Risk Assessment: A Parent’s Job
I want to thank Jane, for providing me with some more nonsense to bitch and moan about this morning. She alerted me to this delightful piece of comedy, in continuation of my blog post yesterday.
You should read the article, but what it says is this: If you put your child in a snowsuit or otherwise dress them for the weather, they will surely die in a car accident due to carseat malfunction and/or complete ejection from the seat in a collision. Or at least that is the implication.
So you see, you’re pretty much fucked no matter what you do. I have a really great idea, kids. Let’s prioritize. Or triage. You know, kinda like what they do in the hospital when you go to the ER.
Fact # 1: Any time you travel by motor vehicle there is a chance that you may have an accident. The accident may be minor, or you could really smash things up. But still, it’s just a small possibility. Unless you live in Blizzardpeg, of course, where 30 cm of snow is no big deal and everyone still drives like the lobotomized assholes they are.
Fact #2: It is for sure at least -20C outside. NO way around that for at least 6 months a year.
So, based upon the previous assessment, decide on which fact poses the immediate threat.
Did you pick exposure? 100 points for you.
Based on my parenting expertise and exemplary decision making skills, I will risk the snowsuit, because that is an imagined or possible risk, versus a “holy fuck I froze my child” risk.
Who the fuck comes up with these studies, and who has the time to study this bullshit? Is this what “job creation” and “economic stimulus” get us? Studies to give already neurotic and paranoid parents more things to worry about?
I’m going to create my own study. You’ll see the article in a few months or years or however long it takes to make this shit fly. How’s this for a title? “Worrying So Much About Your Kids and Crawling Up their Ass Every Second Poses Risk of Suffocation and a Generation of Douchebags”
I guess the reason this and all the other studies that expose new dangers to your child irritate me so much is that you cannot possibly eliminate all risks where your child is concerned. We all do the very best we can, but you can’t catch everything. As parents, we are risk assessors. Stupid shit is gonna happen no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
My kid ate dirt last year. I wasn’t super excited about it, but I’m also not going to cement off the garden or put a muzzle on her when we play in the backyard. I’ll teach her to ride a bike, and will put a helmet on, because the noggin is an injury that can be catastrophic. Will she wear full armor? No. Because a scraped knee is an injury that will not devastate her life. It might just wreck her bike ride.
I’ll make sure all the chemicals and cleaners and poisons are kept out of reach, but if she accidentally pulls out a container of chili powder and eats it, she’ll learn a quick lesson.
I want to protect her from hurt as much as I can, but the truth is, I won’t be able to do it forever. She will have to learn to fend for herself, dust herself off and take the shit that comes her way.
And in this day of the internet, I will need to teach her how to sift through all the information out there without causing panic.
But first, we just need to make it through these next 20 years in a carseat alive.