Friday, August 12, 2005

I'm calling you out.

Child abuse comes in many forms. There is the physical abuse, there is also mental abuse and then there is a hard to categorize type of abuse. It's sort of passive and probably a long term effect on children, a silent killer type of abuse.

[What are you on about, Clokeeeey?]

I'm on about this "parent" I saw this morning who was working on silently and deliberately bringing about the early demise of her children. She had a middle primary school aged child in the front passenger seat, plus 2 others in baby seats in the second row of the Tarago.

[Sounds pretty normal to me. What gives?]

Well, what disturbed my was what she was holding in her hand while driving. No, it wasn't a mobile phone, no it wasn't the herald sun. Yes it was a cigarette, a lit cigarette and she was puffing away, using the in car ashtray and just blowing away to her hearts content. Windows only marginally opened, but that really doesn't matter. No matter how wide open they are, the smoke still hangs around the driver.

What possesses a parent to smoke in a car with children on board. Do they just not care? I saw this again this afternoon, this time the windows were closed. Did she think the smoke would only go into her lungs and the kids will be safe as the bubble of stupidity that surrounds the driver will keep the air clean around the kids.

For fucks sake!

Last weeks paper had an article where the state government is considering legislation to fine people that smoke in cars where children are present. The question is, do we need legislation like this? Surely a parent that loves their kid(s) will not smoke in the car. Or maybe smokers just don't care about anyone else, maybe a fine is too lenient?

Well I'm sick of this type of abuse, so I'm calling the Tarago driver out. I have your rego and I'm not afraid to use.


You should be ashamed of yourself, I loathe you. Give your kids a chance, they can't defend themselves. If you had driven close to where I parked my car, you would have heard a few well chosen, polite words. No point being abusive, I don't want to compound your kids problems with more abuse.

If anyone thinks this is a once off thing, don't, this is the 3rd time I've witnessed it and she never stops the car long enough for me to do anything about it. At least this time I got her rego.

Anyway, more sport later when the cricket finishes.

Look after your kids, you don't get many chances.


ChickyBabe said...

Good post, Clokeeeey! It makes me wonder whether these continue to smoke while pregnant and then think nothing of it. Sad to say, but I've seen it.

Sherri said...

I completely agree with you 100%. There was actually a recent anti-smoking ad here in the U.S. that showed a mother smoking in the car after lovingly strapping her baby in the carseat. I wish that woman could see it.

The Torch Singer said...

Hi Clokeeey...

Michele sent me.

I totally agree it makes me sick to my stomach to see shit like that. Sick to my stomach.

How is melbourne treating you. I am an aussie living in NYC.


Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

OMG! I couldn't agree with you more. I think smoking to start with is pretty disgusting, smoking in a car is even more disgusting, but smoking in a car with your kids in there, well, the children's aid should be called.
Glad you fixed your link, I would have hated to miss out on your site!
Have a great day! (Or is it evening in Oz?!)

mooalex said...

The wise Ms.Q ( said, "I am starting to figure out that what the Beatles said applies to blog love: The love you take is equal to the love you make."

So, I wanted to stop by today and just say "Hi" because I enjoy your blog, but don't stop often enough and leave a comment. Also, I wanted to invite you to contribute to my "Bloggers Summer Photo Album." Read more about it at I hope you'll want to share your summer fun with the Moo!

(Yes, this is a "form comment," but I mean every word! I swear!)

(Here via Michele!)

mercuryfern said...

Hello, Michele sent me.

Yes, this sort of thing is completely infuriating. When I worked at a day care, there was one family of three small chilren who came in everyday smelling like ashtrays. Two of them had severe asthma. I filled out all the forms I could, but the parent was one of those very defensive angry people to whom it was always promblomatic to talk. It's so hard to protect children when their parents are choosing to endanger them.

Pearl said...

Hi, Michele sent me via the meet and greet.

I'm getting a vibe that you're a little peeved there. It also makes me shakes my head in disbelief when caregivers hover over in a cloud of smoke or use a chocolate bar as a sooteher on developing teeth. Common sense isn't so common and rarely responds to being legislated. Perhaps the nerves of the parent is on edge and its the lesser of two evils and without the cig, the parent feels she or he will haul off and do more immediate physical and emotional damage?

Interesting idea to enforce. In Canada, there's a big movement to ban public smoking. First none in hospitals, then none is restaurants and bars, bingo halls, buses or taxis. It was a civil liberty protest at first. Now a new equilibrium of norms seems to have been reached.

As we get more info on what constitutes a risk and to whom, so many entrance exams for parenthood or citizens could be put in place. Where do you draw the line? Does the parent who pooh-poohs sunburn and neglect to bring sun protection get dinged? Does the parent worry too much and throw off the child's balance of Cortisol? Does the parent not instruct properly so the child gets peridontal disease increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke? Does the parent neglect to teach nutrition or feed the child nutritionally leading to incomplete growth, lower immune system and hyperactivity and diabetes? Or only if there is a fmaily history of these conditions? Must a parent teach a child to see with insight and compassion, respecting the child modeling how to respect others and be charged for seeping KKK venom into the ambiant environment? Is it abuse to threaten to give a strap even if one never lays a hand on a child and it's a Christian environment of positive discipline? Do the parents stay married to model the perfect family shape but in effect only stay together long enough to give a messed up model of bonding equals simmering barely concealed resentment and barbed competitiveness? Interesting to ponder.

Thanks for putting your thoughts out there. Like your passion.

Kait said...

Hey there! Michele sent me!
Happy weekend,
Adjunct Kait

BecK said...

I agree! They should be taken out and beaten!
My hubby grew up in a smoking family and always smelled icky as a kid. He yells at his mom to not smoke around the grandkids like she did when he was small.
I just think it's plain rude to smoke near anyone, I don't pee in their face so shy should I have to deal with their smoke in mine!...

Oh I'm here vie Michele...great blog, I'll be back!

Lynda said...

Yep, yep, yep - I agree! The sad part is that the addiction is so powerful, they almost can't help it, but I'm with you - I don't care. Sometimes choices must be made. These people can refrain from smoking in other venues that matter to them - they don't smoke in church, during weddings, during meetings with the boss, etc... why are their children less valuable than these few examples?

And, Michele sent me!

InterstellarLass said...

Hi from Michele!

I totally agree with you. Some people just don't think.

panthergirl said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by.

I'm almost surprised she had the little ones in carseats. That's the other thing that drives me loose in the car, or riding in the front seat in newer vehicles that have airbags.

The amazing part is that these are the same people who sit in front of the tube watching Oprah every day. Are they not paying attention to all the "human interest" stories she does about child safety, disease, etc.? I guess they just like the free-car giveaways.

You can see that I'm as passionate about this subject as you are!

Mahd said...

I just can imagine the conversation between smoker and child:

"Mommy, I can't see through the haze and it hurts to live"

"Quiet or I will close the windows completely and put my cigarette out on your forehead"

Ok, maybe that's a little extreme, but you get the idea.

~Cathy~ said...

I agree.... it makes me sick to my stomach to even think about what those poor kids are breathing in. Hopefully, you'll get your "polite" words in soon.

princess slea said...

I still have terrible memories of my dad because he was a rude smoker. When he would light up at the dinner table before I had finished eating I would take my plate and eat under the table ~ even in restaurants. If he would get pissed and make me eat at the table, I would build forts around my plate out of menus and napkins. He smoked in the car with the windows up too, I think it greatly affected my relationship with him because it disgusted me so much. Now that I'm a mother, I don't allow anyone to smoke around my kids and I especially get satisfaction at telling my dad he needs to go outside to smoke.
If you get the chance you should ask that mother if she takes the kids into the tanning bed with her too.
great post
(here via View from a Minivan)

weasel said...

I see how this works. Post about cricket, get two odd Englishmen to reply. Post about smoking parents, get a gazillion women thinking you are the Australian Moses.

I agree with you, even as a smoker. I think I have the right to do whatever harmful thing I want to myself, I just don't have the right to inflict that on others. Nobody does.

Clokeeeey! said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I knew this would strike a chord.

Back to watch some cricket now, not sure why, Aussies are getting walloped.

...mj said...

You sly dog clokeey, you! Pulling all those chicks!

Love you work, and I heartily agree with this post. I'd hate to be that kid and die prematurely of lung cancer with but a distant memory that mummy used to smoke with them in the car before she too died of cancer...

Sorry that was a bit melodramatic... oh well.

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