Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Water Baby

We go to the beach a lot.  We love the beach.  This weekend, while at the beach, a little girl came by to play with the boys.   I love that about kids.  They see another kid & they just start to play together. 

And this girl is ADORABLE. She has beautiful cafe-con-leche skin; crazy, happy hair with a tiny blue barrette in it, and a precious pink gingham bikini.  This child was friendly and very charming. This is the kind of child that makes me wish (a tiny bit) that I had a little girl.

What she didn't seem to have were parents.

I asked where they were & she said "they are in the white car". . .I looked -- saw the white car, but no parents.

Her name is Olivia, and she is 3.

THREE. Almost 4, apparently, but still. She's 3.

The waves at Bob Hall Pier are not too bad, but it's very easy to get out too far without realizing it. Especially if you are 3.

My son is 3 and I won't let him NEAR the water without me or his dad. I won't let the 6 or 9 year olds near the water without me or their dad.

I have this thing about water safety. I think it is important.

I think that one of the duties a parent has is to ensure that children are safe around water.  Pools, lakes and beaches.  Beaches with strong undertows that can sweep a child out into the ocean as fast as you can say David Hasselhoff.

We could not see this girl's parents anywhere.

When it was time to go, I said "Olivia honey, we have to go. Let's go find your mommy, OK?"

She said "No -- I am going to find some other kids to play with" and she skipped over to another family playing not far away.

I approached the family and explained: "I don't know who she is, but I am going to call the ranger. Can you keep an eye on her?"  The Mom said "I thought she was yours".

I wish.

By the time I got to the car -- Viola! Her mother shows up.

Her mother looks just like you'd think she'd look. 19. Tramp Stamp. Piercings.  Gangster Boyfriend who obviously is not Olivia's daddy.  (How do I know?  Olivia is clearly half white and half black.  Gangster Boyfriend is clearly Hispanic.  Not Olivia's daddy.) 

It's not that I have a problem with moms being 19 with tramp stamps and piercings and Gangster Boyfriends. (well, the 19 & Gangster Boyfriend parts aren't cool). I do have a problem with letting your 3 year old play by the water without proper supervision.

Sigh. Poor Olivia.


  1. i am glad you were there for her for that little while, and just maybe, she will have a good memory of her childhood because you took that time to be there...

  2. I totally agree with you Mary. Last year I had a similar experience with an 8 year old bobbing in waves that were over my head. She did have a little life vest on, but could not touch the bottom or control where she was headed. Mom & Grandmom were on the beach too far away & not paying any attention. I hauled her to shore twice when the current took her into some fishing lines & she finally decided to play on the beach 5 or more cars down from her "family." All I could think of was that Mom & Grandmom had taken life insurance out on the little girl & were just waiting to cash in.

  3. That story makes me cringe. Poor little thing. Cannot imagine letting a three-year-old tool around anywhere without a grown-up, let alone near the water. :(

  4. I know Mary. It's terrible. My first real-life code once I graduated was baby who drowned in a bucket of mop water. So yeah, this irks me, too.

  5. Oh Andi -- I can't imagine what that must have been like for you. Shudder!

    I did report it to CPS tho -- I got the plates of her "parents". Hope it does some good.

  6. Mary, you are such a great person. When I was 20 I was in la-la land, enjoying the waves when I was swept under by the undertow. I would have been a goner if my soon to be hubby (my daughter's father) hadn't swam down, grabbed my arm and swam up and to the shore. So, I know that if it (the deep waters) can get me, it can certainly take the soul of the innocent child. She was so lucky to have found you. I hope her life gets better.

  7. Oh my hell!! That little bitch should have been slapped!!! WTF!? My "baby" is freakin' SEVENTEEN and I still won't let him go in the water without me watching his every freakin' move!!!!! This pisses me off royally!

  8. Thank you for reporting. You did the right thing.

  9. Reporting to CPS was the right thing to do. I'm so relieved to hear that!

  10. When my kids were 3 there were never farther then an arms reach away when we were out in public. And the got pulled back many, many times.


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