Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some people's children

Yesterday I faced a dilemma.

Sparta and I were enjoying our monthly pilgrimage to stock up on essentials from the No Frills an hour down the road, debating the nutritional merit vs wonderous deliciousness that are rosemary and olive oil flavoured crackers, when I noticed two little girls in a nearby cart.

Their mom was paying for groceries while the two of them happily slorped away at some kind of grody-looking refrigeration-free yogurt drinks (don't even get me started on those).

Anyway, poor choice in beverages aside, they were adorable. Just as we were passing them to begin the trudge home, I noticed that one of the girls was enthusiastically popping the lid of her drink in and out of her mouth.

As I watched, her eyes got big for a second and I froze for an instant, worried she was about to choke before she spat it out and continued unconcerned with her game.

At this point, I had two choices: point out the potential choking hazard to her mother, who was all of two feet away, or just mind my own business.

On closer inspection I was 80% sure that the thing was large enough not to actually fit down her tiny asophagus, so I decided rather than risk telling someone else how to take care of her kids, to give her the benefit of the doubt and just trust that she was paying closer attention than I was.

Still, I couldn't help feeling a little uneasy as we headed to the parking lot. Shouldn't the safety of a child outweigh my need not to be seen as a judgmental busybody?

Then, as we were returning our cart, we came across two women who had "rescued" a dog that had been tied up in the parking lot. The two claimed the dog had been crying and that they had no choice but to untie him and bring him inside for a drink of water.

The owner was seriously upset by their assumptions, saying that she knows how to take care of her own dog and that she should call the police and report them for stealing her dog; It was exactly the kind of scene I had tried to avoid seconds ago.

Granted, I wouldn't have taken it upon myself to confiscate the little girl or something, but there you go.

So what do you think? Where do you draw the line when it comes to giving advice to strangers?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010