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Status report from my Facebook page….” Sad news and a question. I was reading trends a few moments ago, and this is one of the reasons why I don't need to read nor see the news, but a 19-month old died in Houston, TX, because her siblings (two 3-year-olds) put her in the oven and she was severely burned. The oven was on. Now my childless self-wanted to know what was so damn important (sorry for the language), that the mother and the boyfriend had to leave these 4 children alone in the house? Nothing was that important. Ladies, unless you are passed out on the floor, there is NO REASON to leave a child under the age of 12 along in the home. NO REASON. if it is that important, CALL A BABYSITTER OR RELATIVE to watch your kids. Heck, take them to a police or fire station. Anything just does not leave them at home alone. Kids are too smart for their own good these days. Having them sit in front of a television set or computer while you are out for 5 minutes or longer does not cut it for these kids. There is so much stuff for a child to get into. You cannot have a baby watch a baby. There is a blog post coming, so I will continue my rant there. Be blessed.”
This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have written on My Ambiance Life. It comes with sadness, because I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am a compassionate person, among my many flaws. It is a flaw that I proud to have, and I feel that this is one of my character strengths, but it also comes with a price, I cry too easy. Even though I have not cried about this particular case, I have cried about others in the past with the same ending…. Child dies while another sibling is caring for them, because parent is so in love with SO (Significate Other), too lazy to call or text an adult, or too crazy to call or text another adult to watch their children. The child who is doing the watching usually is a sibling, who is next to the child who dies. In this case, it is two 3-year old twins (I assume), and I guess, as the most cases are) the 19-month was crying, and they were trying to find a way to quiet the child.
Now there was supposed to be a fourth child in the home, and I wonder where was that child and how old that child was. If that child was slightly older than the two 3-year olds (age 4-8), that would explain why the mother put that child in charge, but it still does not excuse for the absenteeism of the mother and the boyfriend. It happens all too often. A few weeks ago, an 8-year old was put in charge of a 1-year old, I believe, and the 8-year old beat the baby to death, again trying to quiet the child.
As I explained in my post on Facebook, I am childless, and even I know not to leave someone that young in charge of a baby (yes, at 19-months, they are still babies in my eyes). I am not saying that a child cannot watch another child, but as an adult, you need to be within earshot range to grab the child and go into protective mode, should they get into harm’s way. Some of the helpful ways that an older sibling under 12 can be helpful are:
· Listen out for the baby when they should be waking up from a nap.
· Alert parent when the baby is hungry or needs a diaper change.
· Entertain the baby with you nearby, not out at the corner store.
· Feed the baby with you nearby.
· They can also briefly hold the baby while sitting down.
Again, I do not know nothing of this case, and my prayers go out to all involved. I am not sure if the mom briefly left the children before, or if this was a first. Either way now is not the time to criticize her (despite my rant on Facebook). She has a long road ahead of her, by first laying her child to rest, then dealing with children services, who have no sympathy for the neglect of a child. After all, even if she and the boyfriend were in the house, which could happen too, it was neglect in children services eyes. People have left children before, and it will happen again in some other part of the country.
My prayer for parents has always think before you act, and this includes leaving children with others, especially with another child. Make sure that child is responsible for taking care of that child, and it should be a child over the age of 13. I did not mention 12 because that age is so awkward. You are not a little child, but you are not a teen either.
I feel better, and I hope that everyone starts doing a little more thinking.