Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Not A Case of the Mad Parenting Skillz

Most of you who read Phantom Scribbler (and if you don't, stop by -- I promise you she's worth it!) know that Phantom has two adorable, cherubic kids who provide her with almost daily nuggets of bloggy goodness. She is convinced, however, that her charges are somehow growing up as great little humans without much effort from her. We beg to differ. Phantom has a whole category of posts detailing where she brandishes her inadequacy schtick with abandon. The category title? "My Mad Parenting Skillz". I think if Phantom really wants to work on the (not so) coveted "Worst Parent(s) of the Year" Award, she really needs to take lessons from a family that recently spent the day at Islands of Adventure in Florida.

Juggling Freak reads a forum (called "Stupid Guest Tricks") where employees of theme parks vent about the complete and utter jerks they have the misfortune to deal with every day. No, Juggling Freak is *not* an employee at a theme park, but our devotion to Disney World is rather slavish and sad. At any rate, JF came across a thread where a cast member at IOA vented about some morons who recently put their childrens' lives at a significant danger. And, being the blabbermouth that I am, I have to pass it along to you.

It seems that the employee was working a rapids river raft ride, and a family of approximately 12 wanted to board. The employee pointed out that there were two small children with the party who did not meet the height requirements. The parents (or adults with them) tried to bribe, argue, and cajole the employee into letting the small children on the ride. The employee informed the parents that the children were indeed too small, and could not ride -- the park could not guarantee the safety of the kids if they rode. The parents had the option of sitting with the little ones in another area. One of the adults went off, highly peeved, to sit with the kids. The employee loaded the remaining party members on the boat, watching them place all of their backpacks and a HUGE blue duffle bag in the bag compartment to make sure they got everything stowed safely. He then turned around to load the next party. He heard running feet, and turned around to see the adult and the too-small children running for the boat in an attempt to ride anyway.

The employee pushes the emergency stop button, bringing the ride to a halt. He escorts the adult and kids away from the ride again. After another explanation of the rules, and much pouting from the morons, he starts the ride once again, and sets the boat in motion. As the boat begins to pull away from the dock, he hears a baby crying. He looks over at the boat, and sees the mother, without shirt and completely bare-breasted, pull a BABY out of the duffle bag and begin to nurse it! The employee pushes the emergency stop yet *again* to bring the boat to a halt. The employee attempts to tell the woman that she can't have the baby on the boat, and she begins cursing and screaming at him that she can nurse her baby anywhere she wants!

The employee has to call for the park manager, as the ride has shut down entirely, and the woman is screaming for blood. Now, the employee knows that Florida law states that a woman can breastfeed virtually everywhere -- that wasn't the issue here -- and the woman is threatening a lawsuit because he's "violated" her rights. Needless to say, managers got involved, as well as Orlando police and Child Protective Services. Apparently, the family had checked up on the breastfeeding laws, but not the child endangerment ones. *Who knew* that it wasn't cool to smuggle an infant onto a dangerous ride in a piece of luggage?!?!? The family was also ejected from the park and banned from Universal parks for life.

I think any of us who complain when we've had more challenging days as parents aren't doing so terribly after all.


10 comments:

Miche said...

Completely and utterly speechless! (and mortified)

Phantom Scribbler said...

Ok, I've had bad days, but I can truthfully say that I've never attempted to smuggle a baby on a river rapids raft ride in a duffle bag. Hey, maybe I do have mad parenting skillz!

liz said...

Holy guacamole. That is truly stunning.

KLee said...

Miche -- it truly boggles the mind, doesn't it? You can only wonder how many times they were dropped on their heads in infancy.

PS -- See?!?!? We *told* you you were a good Mom! Now, here's empirical data to back that claim up!

Liz -- it makes my brain hurt just thinking about it....

wolfa said...

This is the best story I have ever read.

ccw said...

I am sitting here with a puzzled look on my face.

How does someone even come up with such an idea?

Marni said...

Disgusting... I'm flabbergasted that someone actually thought they could get away with something like that. People amaze me.

Andrea said...

*speechless*

Old Lady said...

I do get in arguments with people about breastfeeding venues. I had a woman breastfeeding her baby in the bar I managed in the hotel once. All the men at the bar were jockeying to see her boobs. I asked her to retire to a more discreet place and got blasted for it.

purple_kangaroo said...

Wow. Those poor children, being cared for by adults who have no regard for their safety.