Toddlers at the mall

Today I went shopping in a mall that had escalators and of course I observed something that I must now hurl into the social internet for your reading pleasure. πŸ™ƒ

There was a guy with a very young toddler boy in front of the escalator leading up toward my sushi lunch-to-be. I waited patiently while the little toddler debated what to do about those moving stairs. Obviously they were very fascinating to him.

The guy, probably in his 20s somewhere, had his phone in his hand and half bent down to occasionally lead the boy away from the escalator with his free hand.

But of course we all know toddlers…

The kid stepped onto the flat part of the stairs that immediately moved forward and up and of course the boy fell. His tiny fingers tried to balance his chubby body by latching on to something on the ground, but couldn’t because the entire surface he was sitting on was moving. Forward and up. The flat part that he was sitting on now suddenly looked like a step. Even though I couldn’t see the boy’s face I could tell he was confused.

What’s worse, his fingers almost go caught in between the steps.

I almost had a heart attack. I walked closer to the escalator where the emergency stop button was located and just stood there watching.

The guy in the meantime was able to half bend down to lift the boy up onto his feet again with one hand (and not drop his phone in the process, let’s give the guy a medal), but at no time did he ever attempt to hold the kid’s hand.

Isn’t this common sense, to hold the hand of a small child on a moving escalator?

I stayed by the stop button and waited. I figured, if the guy isn’t smart enough to hold the kid’s hand at the bottom, he likely may not at the top, either.

He was however smart enough to stand behind the little boy in case he lost his balance again. Which is the other thing I worried about.

The child was too small to reach the handrail (is that what it’s called?), and the glass sides were moving too so really, it was not a good situation to be in (although I bet the kid thought it was fun…).

While they were moving upwards, the guy looked at his phone. Not holding on to the child. Not watching the child. While on the moving escalator with moving walls beside the toddler’s reach.


At the top of the stairs he must have said something to the boy to help him step over the threshold, but of course the boy lost his balance again and the man managed to grab him before he fell a second time.

When they were off, I finally got onto the escalator myself.

By the time I reached the top both the man and the toddler were still alive but the kid did a blink-in-the-eye U-turn and raced toward the down escalator before the guy could move his eyes away from his phone…


I almost, ALMOST, said something. But then I didn’t.

I don’t know who needs to hear this but here’s a news flash:


If you want to let them explore, put your phone away and all your other distractions and focus on the kid’s safety. Especially in an environment that is not designed to be a toddler playground.

End of rant.

PS My own toddler, the second one, the girl child, was an absolute fearless maniac. I speak from exhausted experience, thank you very much. Let it also be known that I gave her a lot of freedom. But I watched her, no matter how tired I was. I did not take my eyes off her for four plus years. This does not make me a better parent than anyone else, but it made me the best parent I could be for her. She managed to survive, and so did I, without too many scars and bruises. Also, I really, really like to sleep now. 😴

End of second rant and end of this blog post.



27 thoughts on “Toddlers at the mall

  1. That’s so dangerous! It’s amazing how some people either don’t care about or don’t recognize potential danger. Smart-phones should not be used when caring for a toddler in a public or potentially dangerous environment imo.

    Very happy that the little boy is okay! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This drives me nuts when I see irresponsible parenting like this. I’m doubly mad because I’m emotionally affected and anxious about the childs safety.

    First, pay attention to your kid. They like it. It’s fun for both. You only get this time once and then it’s gone. Second, holding hands is fantastic bonding opportunity. Not just at potentially dangerous times but just for the heck of it. Dawdling along at a toddlers pace allows a bit of childlike wonder back into our lives.

    Another one that drives me nuts is when parents aren’t holding the hand of their small children in parking lots (mandating they hold on to the shopping cart is an acceptable alternative.) Cars can’t see kids and kids aren’t conscientious of what cars are doing. Recipe for disaster.

    Finally, when you get to your vehicle, put your damn kids in the car first. They’re safer there. Don’t let them stand around waiting to get distracted and walk into traffic or put your children’s safety into the hands of people you’ve no doubt been griping about as you were driving to and fro.

    Essentially, parents, stop being so dad-gum interested in the irrelevant and focus on keeping your toddlers safe. Plus, get off your damn phone and be a parent. Whatever that means to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That parking lot thing is so true, omg, a whole new scenario forming in my head. Kids can’t be trusted to stay in one place, toddlers especially! They want to satisfy their curiosity and can’t begin to comprehend that a parking lot is not a safe place for a child to play. Same like the escalator.

      Ugh. πŸ™‚


  3. Lordy, I couldn’t imagine not paying full attention to the kids when they were toddlers. This was especially fun with the twins when we would arrive somewhere and they would immediately charge off in different directions.

    Gawping at a phone when you’re on an escalator is stupid enough; even if you don’t have a small child to watch out for.


  4. Those blessed mobile phones! I’ve lost count of ‘near accidents’ I’ve seen just because people aren’t concentrating………….. why don’t young women walk along a pavement and not look where’s they’re going?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And you know, had the child fallen, gotten caught, or some other horrible trauma the guy on the phone would have claimed it was surely someone else’s fault.
    Short of grabbing the child and screaming at the inattentive guy, thank you for standing at the ready to stop the death trap.
    At the very least the guy should have paid for your sushi…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth. He would have sues the mall, the company that made the escalator, the electric company for having the audacity to provide it power, the mall security company for not providing an escort for his toddler, the maintenance company for lubricating the parts, and of course Claudia, because she was standing so close, creating a diversion.

      Liked by 4 people

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