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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Children ≠ Luggage

Imagine for a moment that you're a mom with a dilemma. You have to get your kids to their dad's home several states away. Your car will not fit them all. What do you do?

Here's a hint- you DON'T put your kids in the frickin' trunk!
A mother has been charged with felony child abuse and child cruelty after she allegedly forced two of her children to take turns riding in the trunk of a car on an eight-hour drive from Alabama to Virginia.

Cheryl Ann Schoonmaker, 38, forced the two girls, ages 8 and 10, to take turns in the trunk July 1 because there wasn't enough room in the car, according to Curtis Schoonmaker, her ex-husband.

The woman was driving five children, including an infant, to her ex-husband's home outside Washington, D.C. None of the children was injured during the trip. The girls told their father what happened the next day and he called police.
Well, let's see... one of the five children was a family friend- that one could have stayed HOME. The oldest of the remaining children could have been seat-belted in the front seat. (Yeah, I know- the oldest is 10- illegal to have in the front seat. Well, so is sticking your kid in the TRUNK!) Then there would have been plenty of room for the other three in the back.

Yeah, I'm a little upset about this. A friend of mine has joked that you should be required to have a license before you have children. I'm very much against that. But there are some days...

I ran my kids' lives through my head, and I'm pretty darn convinced that I've never done anything remotely close to this. I'm not a perfect parent- far from it. But... I would never endanger my children's lives (or anyone else's kids, for that matter) like this DNA donor did. I mean, I remember when the boys were babies- I was panicky because we had the boys facing forward from Day One (because the car seats wouldn't fit into the car the other way). I felt terribly guilty when I blew off T2's headaches as just allergies when they were really migraines (because I didn't think that little boys could get them). The idea of putting them intentionally in harm's way is just beyond me.

This woman... well, first of all, she should have her parental rights terminated if she is convicted (because, granted, we only have the kids' side of the story so far.) And not just for the 3 she had with the ex-husband. The baby should be taken away, too. And, then... she should have to do community service in the morgue... seeing the damage that car wrecks can do to little bodies.

Children are a gift... a blessing. Not a piece of luggage.

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