Monday, April 19, 2010

IQ Tests Should be Required for Parenthood


A 7-month-old baby named Sofia Wisher died in Antioch, California after being left inside her family's car Saturday night for over 14 hours. They returned home from doing laundry at a relative's house and carried their clean clothes and their two-year old inside, but each parent claims to have thought the other removed the baby from her car seat and put her to bed.

The father woke up at noon the next day and drove to the gym without noticing that Sofia was still in the car. When the mother awoke even later, she discovered that the baby was not in her crib, so she called the In-Shape Sport Club where her husband was working out and the staff tracked him down. Police were called to the parking lot where the baby was pronounced dead. The temperature in the locked car was over 110 degrees. The coroner's office said the death appeared to be a tragic accident.

What is surely accidental is that this self-absorbed neglectful couple became parents. How can anyone condone such a shocking lack of interaction between parents and child? Babies need to be fed and changed often, yet it seems not to have occurred to either of them to tend to their children.

This is one of the best arguments I have ever heard for abortion -- of the parents.

36 comments:

Minx said...

If they had beaten the baby to death with a metal bar would it still be called a 'tragic accident'?
I suppose they will have to live with that on their consciences for the rest of their lives.

nick said...

A tragic accident? That's a pretty bizarre verdict. What I wonder is what motivated them to become parents in the first place if they were so neglectful of their child once born. Perhaps it was the conception that was a tragic accident?

EsLocura said...

and it's only the beginning of warm weather. self absorbed indeed. even if each thought the other had put the baby to bed, didn't they want to kiss him/her goodnight? didn't they check in on the baby? scary ...

the walking man said...

Last time an unfortunate event like this was publicized around her, mom had left the kids in the blazing heat for her hair appointment. She wound up with four years in prison and two dead kids to remember.

The Good Cook said...

Wait, what parent of a two year old AND infant sleeps until noon, "the mother, even later"... bizarre accident? More like accident waiting to happen.

furiousBall said...

horrible

TechnoBabe said...

Unfortunately, anyone can be a biological parent. Being a responsible, caring, loving parent is what takes training and selflessness. I agree with your outrage. Good post my friend. Free condoms should be available to everyone, any time. Half the population should not let the egg meet the sperm.

secret agent woman said...

I can understand how people occasionally leave a kid in the car briefly - but how d o you go for that long and not realize she's not in the house with you? And they slept in that late as parents of a baby? How? It's so hard to comprehend.

Molly said...

Sterilize them. Quick!

Cecilieaux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cecilieaux said...

I have long been a fan of retroactive abortions. Indeed, I have an ever growing list of notorious individuals in it, as a kind of reverse version of what my cyberfriend Savia calls her "spank bank." In her case the individuals fantasized about induce pleasure; in mine, they summon murderous thoughts. Hers is more fun.

Bob said...

tragic.

meno said...

these people are stunning in their stupidity. What parent doesn't interact with their child every 10 minutes? And then wonder where the child is if they don't.

Unbelievable. I wonder what the rest of the story is, perhaps drugs played a part?

mrwriteon said...

What a horrific story. I am trying to avoid thinking of the agonies that poor baby went through before she succumbed. Horeswhipping would be much to good for such people as those alleged 'parents'.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Minx,

It's hard to be non-accusatory because while I feel bad for those parents, I feel far worse for the dead baby who was apparently overlooked. The whole thing is simply ghastly.

Thank you for your visit!

Nick,

As a parent, I am lost in wonder that they could be more attentive to their laundry than their child. And that so many hours could pass without either of them interacting with her in some way.

Eslocura,

Their older child was taken into protective custody. I have never known parents to sleep until noon with two babies and no nanny.

Mark,

There was another such case last year - I think I did a post about it but it's buried in my archives. A father forgot to drop his baby at day care and went to work, leaving his son in a sealed car all day with the same result.

How can this happen?

Good Cook,

Exactly. My two older children are 19 months apart. Sleep was not on my agenda for a very long time.

Thank you for coming by!

Van,

Yes. !!!

Babe,

It's particularly troubling that many people who would be wonderful parents can't have children while some who do don't treasure them enough to give them the care they need and deserve.

Agent,

I am nonplussed that both parents could go so long without doing something for the baby. The two-year old needs care as well. How could this happen?

Molly,

Fine idea. They've earned it.

Cecil,

I'm reminded of turtles who lay their eggs in the sand to hatch themselves and move on.

Bob,

It really is the stuff of Greek tragedy. I cannot imagine how those people feel, but my overpowering sorrow is for the helpless baby.

Meno,

Toxicology tests were done but it will be three weeks before the results are in. Supposedly both parents worked two jobs, but I've been a single mom who worked too many jobs, and still cannot understand such horrific neglect. The mother sleeps past noon while the father wakes up and goes to the gym. Everything in me screams WTF?!!!

Ian,

As am I. I have occasional dreams in which I have forgotten to feed my horses who are loose in a vast field and I wake up shaking. Although I no longer have horses and my children are grown, a parent never stops worrying about them or about animals in ones care.

At best, we have two people who were not ready to be parents. It's unthinkable.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I am ALL FOR retroactive abortion.


Where do I sign?


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Mercurious said...

Good God. For someone to call this an accident is the clearest signal that narcissism is now the norm.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarlett,

So many idiots, so little time.

Mercurious,

We live increasingly in a Me-First world with decreasing consideration for others, but when we kill our own children in the process and that's written off as something that could happen to anyone, we are in dire trouble.

Thanks for coming by. I tried to access your blog but wasn't able to.

Geneviève said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heartinsanfrancisco said...

Genevieve,

I don't like to rush to judgment, but can't understand why this couple allowed 14 hours to pass without checking on their young baby. They may not be bad people but something is terribly wrong. And I did not invent the horrid story.

witnessing am i said...

I am not sure I would have passed an IQ test before having children, but this goes beyond that. This borders on total lack of common sense -- for living. How have these people lived as long as they have?

I fear that in lacking common sense, they also lack an active guilty conscience.

Warty Mammal said...

I can't imagine anything more hideous. A plethora of thoughts well up, too many and of a nature perhaps best not left here.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

David,

You have to wonder so many things. While parenting is basically learned on the job, much of it is simple common sense. How is it possible to forget ones child?

Warts,

Please feel free to express your thoughts here. Your input is always welcome.

Jo said...

Susan, I guess this is a sad commentary on what has happened to the family unit. How can one family member be missing for so long, without the rest of the family noticing?

"The father woke up at noon the next day and drove to the gym without noticing that Sofia was still in the car. When the mother awoke even later, she discovered that the baby was not in her crib..." How many parents sleep in until noon - or later - and don't pay attention to their 7 month-old baby! Not anyone I know...!

You're right when you call them self-absorbed and neglectful.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jo,

I think it's a sad commentary on what is happening to people in general - they are becoming increasingly uncaring about others but when helpless children pay the price, things have clearly gone too far.

I raised three children and simply cannot understand how these parents could be so out of touch, literally, with theirs.

Maria said...

Ugh. That is just unthinkable. And the lack of communication between the parents was just odd. I mean, how can you NOT say something like, "Wow...thanks for putting Elsa to bed for me." or "Did you have any problems putting the baby to bed? Was her diaper full?"

What morons. But...then...I just had an appt with a 17 year old parent of a 3 year old autistic child today. She asked me (in front of him) why he had to act like such a "fucking retard." She then went on to say that she wants to get pregnant again and has applied to MTV to see if they want to film her pregnancy for their network show about teenaged parents.

Fuck that.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maria,

The case you describe is one of the few that makes me think compulsory sterilization is a good idea. It's appalling! The average dog or cat cares more for its offspring than your client or the parents of little Sofia. How terribly sad that such people reproduce with impunity.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I usually avoid criticizing parents cause its a tough job and a big responsibility to be parents. But then, incidents like this do make me want to push for compulsory IQ tests for parents to be.

I agree with others that this has to do with the decline of the family unit and the rise of individuality over community in modern society. In that sense, we are all to blame.

TaraDharma said...

I am always stunned at stories where parents 'forget' their children (in cars, mostly). who the hell forgets to check on the children, change their diapers with some regularity, feed them? It's abuse, per and simple and they should have to suffer jail time because of it. Shame on them. I feel for that baby, and for its sibling.

TaraDharma said...

see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Calvin,

I'm not sure blaming society at large is relevant. It's just a matter of having a small, helpless creature in ones care and protecting it, even when that is inconvenient.

Tara,

I try to be non-judgmental, but cannot find excuses for two adults who allowed this to happen. Even if that baby had been in her crib, leaving her untended for over 14 hours is simply so negligent that it becomes criminal. Children are not toys to be played with only when the mood strikes.

Jocelyn said...

This hurts me too much.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jocelyn,

Yeah, so many feelings, it really does hurt.

Pamela said...

They did an article on this sort of thing in the Washington Post. It's tragic, but what they found was that if a routine is disrupted, it can indeed happen, even to the best of people with the best of intentions. I don't like it either, but unfortunately tragic mistakes happen.

Pamela said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pamela,

I've heard that, but still find it hard to believe. Perhaps ADD is more widespread than we know.

The baby whose father left him in a car all day last summer was such a case - there was a change in parental routine and somehow, the dad forgot to drop his son at day care. It's really horrifying when there is so much pressure on people that it overrides their instincts to protect their children.