2009 03/03

Driving while breast feeding?

I heard about this story this morning on Good Morning America. If you don’t have time to read the story here is the short of it: A man called the local police station when he noticed that the car he was next to was being driven by a woman who was breast feeding her baby. Oh, and she was talking on her cell phone!

Now, let’s clear this part up real quick. I have no problem with breast feeding and absolutely no problem with women breast feeding their babies in public. That is not the issue here. But I thought I should clear that up before people started jumping on the defense.

The problem is that the woman was driving around with a baby who was not in a car seat! I have such a huge problem with this. Yes, I understand that the baby is hungry. The woman, who admitted to breast feeding the baby while driving, told the police that she will not deprive her child when the child is hungry. Ummm, if your child is so hungry that he or she cannot wait until you get home or wherever you are going, then you pull the car over into a parking lot and feed him or her. I guess that solution just seemed too far fetched for her.

I understand being hungry. I’ve been hungry while in the car before too but that doesn’t mean I’m going to jump out of my car and run through traffic just to get a candy bar. That would be ridiculous. That would put myself and others at danger. Just like when you decide to pop it out and feed your baby while driving.

And she was talking on her cell phone? Ok, I’m all for multitasking and, yes, I’ve been known to make a call or two while driving, but this lady is a car accident waiting to happen.

The sad part about this story is that she had three other children in the car. So, she was putting their lives at risk too. And, if convicted of child endangerment, she could face up to 180 days in jail. Not that she doesn’t deserve that, but that’s a possible 180 days those 4 kids (one of which who is obviously still nursing) will be without their mother. It is a No-Win situation!

I guess my solution would to make that mom go through some sort of safe driving course. A course that stresses the importance of child safety restraints! And then slap her with a hefty fine. But I don’t even know if that would do any good. It seems to me that most people who get busted for doing something wrong wile driving just continue to do it. I guess most people just don’t think about or really care about the other people on the road and how their poor judgement could affect the people around them.

On a side note, not related to the blatant stupidity of this woman, I am very proud of the guy who called the police. Most people would probably have just passed judgement but not done anything. This guy even tried talking to the woman. Would you have called 911? or would you have just shook your head in disgust and then ranted about it later to your friends or on your blog? I would like to think that I would have done the right thing and called the police, but you never know until you’re in that situation. Before I had kids I would see people driving around with their kids obviously not buckled-in and would shake my head in disgust, but I never got involved. I think things are different now that I have kids though. I’m not sure why.

What would you do? Would you call the police or get involved if you saw something that you knew wasn’t right?

Oh, and here is my little confession: I am by no means a model driver. While driving I have talked on my phone, messed around with the radio, rumaged around in my purse, searched for and handed toys to the kids, ate, handed snacks back to the kids, and even refilled sippy cups. Not all at the same time mind you, but I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be doing those things while driving!

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