Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Excuse Me! May I Shove Your Cell Phone Up Your ...

I went out between downpours to do a few errands and decided to drive through the town park.

On my way out of the park I got stuck behind the hayride thingie - they were moving it back to storage since the farm was closed due to rain.

I was half assed shooting a few shots of being stuck behind the too big for the road vehicle ...





when ...



I literally had to throw my camera down and jump out of my car to try and grab a little boy who was about to run into the main road. You can kinda see that the car in front of me braked but then moved on.

Why would the car move on? Well the little boy was with 3 adults. 3 grown ass women, parents I assume, with a gaggle of kids attached to them and all 3 of them on the phone. All 3!!

I saw them while I was waiting for the hayride truck to make the tight turn. I saw the kids get excited at seeing the hayride. Then they moved back under the trees since it had started to drizzle. When we got to the main entrance to the park, which leads out to a busy road, I saw them again. One child was falling over the fence, another was sitting in a puddle and well ... I went back to trying to get a decent shot of the hayride.

Then I let the red car in and, at a full stop, went back to adjusting my camera. I saw the boy dart out and the red car's brakes squealed and the driver shouted out and the little boy darted back in and the red car took off. Just as the little boy decided to run into the main road to see where the hayride had turned.

I was frozen for a second. All I remember is seeing the back of his head - a sweet little head with a marine buzz cut. I shouted, I think I said "Stop", I looked toward the cell phone addicts and they all had their back to me and him.

In one motion I put the car in park, threw the camera on the seat, and jumped out. I didn't even feel my ankle, knee, back or whatever else hurts at any given moment. I was transfixed by the back of his head and I heard, rather than saw, the rush of traffic.

He was too far to grab but I screamed at the top of my lungs - "Freeze! Right there! Do not move!"

And he froze. And he turned and looked at me. And he burst into tears.

And finally the adults noticed.

All the other children were stunned into silence. The little boy and I were in some kind of eye lock. I walked toward him saying I was sorry I had frightened him while his Mom rushed toward him screaming "are you OK? are you OK?"

He didn't stop looking at me until she picked him up.

I was blocking the lane and the car behind me, unaware of what had just happened, started honking. I gave him a look that literally caused him to shrink back in his seat. Ha! He backed out and went the long way out. Ha! It's about a mile off of any main road. Ha!

Mom tries to tell me she told him not to move, other Moms all cluck and start telling their children how dangerous traffic is and how they always have to listen.

I wanted so badly to hit her. I felt my fist clench. I saw myself punch her really hard in the face. I stared at the cell phone, still in her hand, because I just couldn't look at her. And because I really wanted to take it away from her.

"They never listen" she tells me. I say nothing.
"You have to have eyes in the back of your head" she tells me.
Well No, I think to myself, you just have to be facing your eyes in the right direction and you have to get off the phone.

All I said was - "I can't breathe thinking of what could have just happened."

She thanked me. She told her son to thank me. He cringed. I smiled at him and apologized again for frightening him.

She set him down and he ran to his friends. I turned to go back to my car and I just had to - I grabbed the Mom's arm and whispered in my best Brooklyn Gangsta I Can Kill With The Sheer Force of My Will Voice - "stay off the fucking phone and pay attention, if anything happened to him today it would have been all on you. You. Just you."

Then I went home and had a drink.

I'm a Mom. I know how impossible it is to be everywhere at the same time. I know how quick they are. I dropped Jeffrey because I fell asleep holding him. I lost him in a department store. My sister lost him in Rockefeller Center during the tree lighting. I know parents are just people. I know things happen.

All the more reason to pay attention.

I hate cell phones.

45 comments:

Mrs. C said...

YES, things happen. But you are my hero because they didn't today.

Jay Simser said...

You are so Awesome. I LINKED TO THIS FROM BAILEY'S BUDDY. OOps (I hate caps lock)

kenju said...

Good for you!! You did the right thing.

Matt-Man said...

You...are...Batman. Good Job, Di. Cheers!!

Jeff B said...

The guy in the car ahead of you probably kept going because he didn't want his phone call to be interrupted.

That little boy may never know how lucky he was.

Sylvia K said...

Batman indeed, Dianne, and good for you! I get so frustrated and pissed off every time I go anywhere these days because the same things are happening that you have perfectly described! If you've got a precious child with you leave the fucking phone at home!

Linda Reeder said...

That was an amazing deed you did today, and I'm so glad you didn't restrain yourself in telling the mother just what you thought. She might even have learned from it.

Thom said...

All the way through reading this I thought she's got to say something to that bitch and you didn't let me down. :) What a heroic thing you did. You should be very proud of yourself. I am I know that for sure. You know Dianne, I've lost my neice in the mall one time and I panicked...there is no worse feeling in your entire life...and yes I found her. They can be gone in a split second. Drive a city bus for a while and see the assholes on their cells cut you off, cut others off, turn illegaly, it's shear joy :)

the walking man said...

EACH WHITE BUD A TEAR FROM GOD
In the clover fields
the flowers come,
each pushed
by the soul of a child
seeking dreams lost
to the light of the sun.
TWM

God was able to shed one less tear that day thanks to you kiddo.

mark

Nessa said...

Excellent story. I wish it could be shoved into some people's brains.
And
you illustrate perfectly why I too hate cell phones.

Deb said...

I kept thinking as I read this - please tell the mother what you really think, please! And you did! She needed a wake up call and I hope she woke up after that. I wish cell phones were the issue but unfortunately they are only one part of the problem in our society when it comes to families. Thank you for saving that little boy - you are a hero.

would-be Themis said...

great job lady!

Leendaluu said...

I think you are Mighty Mouse because he was always my favorite super hero....Good for telling her...she needs to run that over in her mind a few thousand times and cringe every time she thinks of the potential outcome.

Melli said...

God put you there for a reason! I hope she "learned" today. And I hope your nerves have settled now...
Thank you.

Deborah Godin said...

You rock!!! And I would love to have been a fly on the wall - er, tree - to witness that mighty whisper!

Ivanhoe said...

That gave me shivers. I hope she will remember that for the rest of her life. You know that if anything happened, it would mess up the driver's life as well. Even though she is ultimately the ONLY responsible person in this mess. I hope you made a difference in her life. I would probably just have a heart attack right there :o)

Jay said...

I grabbed someone's kid while saying "Whoa, look out buddy!" who was about to run out into traffic once. The kids mother grabbed his hand and yanked him back and stared at me like I was a kidnapper or something. I thought about shoving her into the road. ;-)

Spartacus said...

Dianne... no one would have faulted you if you had grabbed the woman's phone and smashed into little pieces on the ground or against her thick skull. Nice work... mom!

Daryl said...

You are amazing ... and I am SO glad you shared those words with her. I hope for her kids sake she listened/heard and starts paying attention

Jeni said...

Yes, I will agree with the mother that it is, at times, impossible to watch kids 100% of the time and yes, eyes in the back of ones head would be a good feature to have provided to us. But, at the same time, when you know you DON'T actually have those eyes in the back of your head, when you are in an area like this was, with traffic, you DON'T turn your back to them for even a nano-second then!
Good on you, Dianne, that the adrenaline kicked into overdrive on you and you were able to move and make the kid stop in his tracks. So much better that you scared him shitless by yelling that he was scared and ended up injured or worse, lifeless! Yes indeed, you are my hero today too. And that you had the guts to mutter or growl to the mother after the fact, just icing on that cake. You're the best!
Peace.

Smalltown RN said...

Diane you are my hero.....good for you for restraining yourself...and good for you for telling her as it is when the time was appropriate....I hope she thinks twice...as Jeni said it only takes a nano-second for a little life to be taken...what a tragedy that would have been....

I think cellphones are useful...but not well driving...not when minding the children...cellphones should have an emergency release button..ie only used in the case of a true emergency....they have gone way to far...but cellphones I think is another topic and an idea for a great post....

Ron said...

AMEN Dianne!

AMEN!

I would have reacted the same way as you.

As I was reading this, I could feel myself getting madder and madder at those cell phone mom's. Ya know...I know cell phones have their place, but they have gotten WAY out of hand. And when they start jepardizing the safety of children/people, I say, fuck em'!

(excuse my French)

I don't own a cell phone because quite frankly...I hate them too.

Well...bless you for being a guardian angel to this little boy.

X ya!

CG said...

I think society is obsessed with cell phones. People lose all sense of where they are and what's going on around them. You prevented a tragedy today : YOU ARE A STAR!!!!!

Terry said...

dear dianne..i think that you are a hero too and you loved that little guy because why would you note the smallest detail of him.
"he had a sweet little head with a marine buzz cut."
yes, you are a hero who was placed at the right place at the right time to save that little boy.

i do have a cell phone dianne because one time a few years back i had car trouble and i had mom golden with me, and no one would stop to help except for one couple who stopped their car and asked me if i wanted to use their cell phone to call for help.
it was the first time i had ever used one and they had to show me how.
that very same day bernie bought me a phone which i use mostly for emergencies. i only buy a monthly card that cost ten dollars from fido...after all 30 minutes a month talking on a phone is more than enough time!

you ARE a hero...love terry

Sparkling Red said...

Thank you for telling her off! People need to be forced to take responsibility sometimes. I can't believe some parents. I don't often feel it's my place to judge, not being one, but I can assure you that I would do a better job of it than that woman did.

Bond said...

Once again, my reason for loving coming here is rewarded...

Great story..I can hear that voice you used...I love that you waited until the boy was gone...

OH and you know she went back to her friends and said "That b**ch was just so rude to me...who does she think she is? I know how to watch my kid..."

Meanwhile little 'johnny' is off free as a bird again.

HUGS

Faye Pekas said...

My heart is pounding and my eyes are teary just reading the post. A few seconds of not paying attention is all it takes to change things forever.

A heroic deed you did, lady :)

Kay said...

Good for you!

I am so glad you got to tell it to her as well... I hopeit sinks in.. What a scare!

CrystalChick said...

I need a drink now reading this!!! So go get another one and we'll toast to YOU!!! OMG, so wonderful that you were there and able to act so quickly.
Yes, of course things happen. Anyone with kids knows that they can be very challenging. One time many years ago, me, hubs and our little daughter (maybe she was 3?)
all took a nap on a Sunday afternoon. We awoke to a maintenence worker banging on the door because the apartment below us reported water coming thru their ceiling. Our little girl woke up first, climbed out of her crib, and started to play with water, got the sink plugged up, and then was afraid because she couldn't shut the water off when it started to overflow. So instead of coming to get us, probably thinking she would get in trouble, got the door unlocked and took off down the steps. And then just proceeded to play with one of the kids downstairs. What a crazy day THAT WAS!!! LOL
Obviously, we were FRANTIC until we found her.
So I absolutely know that sometimes things can happen that you would never ever expect. Baby's in the crib, door is locked, Mommy and Daddy can now get a little rest too. Uh... NO!!!

Glad things turned out alright for the little guy.

fermicat said...

You did your best, but you can't cure stupid. She'll continue to be a crappy parent. Hopefully the kid will be lucky and not have anything bad happen when someone responsible isn't around to prevent it.

Annie said...

Yes. Yes! YES!!!!!!!! Damn, you are GOOD, girl.

Travis said...

I'm glad you said what you said to her. You're my hero for saying what you said to her.

Common sense.

micky-t said...

Oh my God....I couldn't even finish reading the whole post.............WTF...
Momma's on the phone!




Holy shit.....

Jackie said...

Thank God you were there.

Akelamalu said...

That boy was so lucky you were there Dianne and I'm glad you gave it to his mother!

bobbie said...

I am so very glad you gave her an earfull. If only it makes a difference! I'm so glad it was you, and not the guy in the red car who saw him. If only it makes him think once in a while before acting! Hey! YOU are a guardian angel. At least you were today.

San said...

Thank goodness you were there!

Hilary said...

I'm so glad for that child's sake that you were there.. observant and reactive. I ain't fond of cell phones myself.

Michael Manning said...

I share your feelings on this Dianne. You go into a bar or restaurant anymore and no one is communicating to one another. The bar area and even couples at tables all have their Blackberry Phones out to text. I don't talk on a cell in the car or text at all. I wonder what ever happened to the law around here where I live about banning cell phones while driving. This sounds like a scare. I'm glad you were aware and cared!!!

Linda said...

I was going to say "Oh, don't tell me that you didn't say something to this twit about being on her cell phone and not paying attention" when I got to the part of the story where you did. Whew! Good for you! Even if she didn't like what you told her or how you told her, I would be willing to bet that stuck in her head and remained with her as hopefully it dawned on her that paying attention to your young ones is a thousand more times important than blathering on and on to someone on your cell phone.

People can be SO stupid sometimes and it seems that they are becoming stupider and stupider. Maybe it's from the radiation from the cell phones?!? Or maybe common sense is going the way of the dodo bird ...

Raven said...

You are awesome! That's all I have to say.

Border Explorer said...

I hate them too...not so much the phones, but how they change the way we all relate to one another. I'm a resister.

But the amazing part of this story is your parting comment to the mom. You're out in front of me on that one. Way to go.

Volly said...

You are a mighty woman.
:)

Kerry said...

I had a barefoot 2 year old chase my car down the middle of the street one time, while his - mother? grandmother? - waddled towards him, half a block away, completely unconcerned by the fact that a complete stranger (me) just pulled over, got out of her car, knelt down in front of her child and had a conversation with him. (Not to mention the lack of concern that he was running down the middle of the street!) I called Fleet & Family Support to report it, but they moved away a couple of weeks later so I don't know if they ever got any counseling.

And honestly, my kid knew not to go NEAR the street by the time he was 2. It's really not that hard, you just have to start early and be consistent. Oh, and PAY ATTENTION.

You are awesome.

Mare said...

I had to chuckle when you yelled,"Freeze!" [i'm a retired teacher, and that word generally works instantly,] Also, glad that you said something to the mother. It will definitely make her think.
Good for you.