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. 🙃
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:
TODDLERS CANNOT BE TRUSTED EVER ANYWHERE.
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.