Sunday, July 11, 2010

72 Hours

I was listening to local radio last week, and they were talking about the three year old kid in Eagan who wandered out of a bedroom, out to the garage, opened the garage door, and then wandered off to play on the highway. The child is ok. But child protective services will be holding on to the child for 72 hours. The female radio host stated that it was only right child protective services take the kid, because there really needed to be an investigation. Normal parents didn't lose their children at night. They'd immediately know something was wrong.

Having grown up in a era when parents were sometimes willing to put a lock on the outside of a child's door, just not talk about it in polite company, I know she's full of it. There are plenty of children that wander off, get up and run around in the middle of the night, eat dry cake mix with a carving knife (not me, a previous friend of mine), etc. Sometimes parents have gone to the length of putting a cover on the crib. Sneaky kids are sneaky. The only way you can control them is to put up alarms and fancier locks. And you don't know to do that until after the first time they push that boundary. And that doesn't include all the times parents potentially forget their children, like at a bakery.

Back to the radio host. She was convinced the parents were probably bad parents and the 72 hours was appropriate. That's an acceptable opinion, even if perhaps misinformed. And 72 hours is probably SOP in these cases while they do a bit of investigation. I suspect the kid might actually come home sooner. But then she launched into a story about how when she was little she hid from her mother in a store and wouldn't come out, even when her mother was looking for her. It required locking down the store and calling in security to find her. The radio host seemed to think that was funny. Didn't deserve 72 hours. Her mother was still a good mother. The Eagan kid who wanders away out the garage has bad parents and needs family evaluation.

It's the same. You should have been taken away for 72 hours. It doesn't change just because you were fortunate enough to do it in a store instead of in the street.


Larry Rubinow said...

From the article:

It turns out the half-naked boy had soundlessly left the two-story townhouse where his family was visiting -- going down two flights of stairs, entering the garage, pushing the opener button and walking out, police recounted later.

Emma read this and called bull. A three-year-old shouldn't even be able to reach the garage door button. (Unless, of course, his name is "Brad".) Something sounds wrong with the story.

Scooter said...

Emma needs to own a few more "preowned" homes. Then she'd know that people who do their own work put in cabinets upside down, run wires from one side of a duplex to another, run illegal wires to the garage, mess around with the garage sensors, drill holes in fifty year old wood floors, and do all manner of stupid things, including mounting the garage door button too low (I know...three year old height is very low, but perhaps they put the button near the bottom of the garage steps, but it's reachable from the top of the steps. You can draw me a picture to explain why that's impossible).

Anonymous said...

You did not mention your sisters cage she slept in. (to keep her away from Mosq. as she was alergic)

Kyle said...

Ultimately it seems like a moot point, since no one's likely to ever know for sure whether the child opened the garage door, or if it was left open and the child walked out. I suppose the police could always interrogate the three-year old for a credible explanation of events?

The main thing I take out of your post is that it's further affirmation of my belief that most radio hosts are blowhards who like to make off-the-cuff judgements about all sorts of things they aren't really qualified to comment on...

By the way, the cover on the crib would never have worked on me eh. My trick was to roll back the mattress and lift one of the bottom panels in the crib to effect my escape on various crib bound occasions. That, and turning a baby bottle into a device capable of launching a stream of formula across the room. I was kind of like a baby McGyver in some respects.