Upside Some Kid's Head on Euclid Street
We're walking along Euclid Street in Adams Morgan last night on the way to eat at Mixtec, my son and I, and we're a few steps behind a mom and her two kids, maybe 8 and 6. The younger one is telling the mom that somebody hit her at school today. Mom wheels on her daughter and delivers herself of this little lecture:
"You get yourself in that bitch's face and you hit that f---in' bitch and you hit her upside the head, that f---, you hear me, you f---in' slam her so hard she don't know which way to look. F---."
Whereupon her two little kids sheepishly look around to see who has heard this choice moment in parenting. The kids say nothing and mom goes on, her voice a tad less agitated now, but her language still more than enough to turn heads.
My son, who is 10, sidles up to me and says, "Nice language."
Yeah, I say.
"Nice mother," he adds.
And all I can think about is the dad in Germantown who is accused of teaching his eight-year-old son the ways of the gun that the boy then took to day care, where he blew a hole in a seven-year-old girl's arm.
Here on the blog in the aftermath of the Germantown incident, we got off into what I suppose was a predictable debate about guns and who should have them. As Virginia legislators must be asking themselves, at least in private, maybe there should be some thought given to whether everyone should have the same access to firearms.
But if we're going to debate licensing, maybe the subject that most cries out for such regulation is parenting.
What do you do when you see public displays of horrific parenting? Do you ever speak to the parent? I never have, though on occasion, I have shamed parents out of especially brutal physical attacks on little kids with a method that I acknowledge is crude, but turns out to be reasonably successful: Applause. Which tells me that somewhere deep down, even the most out of control parents still harbor the ability to be shamed.
By Marc Fisher |
January 28, 2006; 11:15 PM ET
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