Posted by Jacqueline Burt on Dec 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM
It seems safe to say that the lost/abandoned/runaway/home alone toddler trend is reaching epic proportions. Hey, I'm a mom. I understand that kids are quick and sneaky and sometimes they dart away the second you turn your back and they're really good at finding hiding places. But losing a 4-year-old at Walmart at 2:30 a.m. and not bothering to call the police until 4:10 a.m.? What were these parents, high?
Yes, of course. On bath salts and painkillers, apparently. Which probably explains why in addition to forgetting their kid, Jordon E. Finehout and Jessica N. Fleenor of Kingsport, Tennessee, also forgot to fill their gas tank.
At least that made it easier for police to catch up with the couple, who had their 1-year-old child in tow. Phew! We remembered one of 'em!
They also remembered their stash of synthetic marijuana, thankfully.
So, I'm afraid the world just isn't safe for toddlers anymore.
I know, it's not like we were living in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood before, exactly. Still, the economy is abysmal. People are miserably, desperately broke. As a consequence, they're seeking escape in weirder, cheaper, more physically harmful/insanity-causing substances than ever. Narcotics agents and poison control experts aren't even completely sure what "bath salts" are (they sure as heck ain't actual bath salts, though), let alone what they do to the human body. We do know that most "bath salts" contain a synthetic stimulant called MDPV, but "illegal street chemists" are busting out new variants of the chemical all the time, which makes testing and control a challenge.
Things were bad enough when unhappy parents were dulling their pain by dipping into the cooking sherry before lunch or tossing back a couple extra "mother's little helpers." I'm not condoning that behavior, just making a point: Symptoms of bath salt use include hallucinations, psychosis, agitations, and suicidality. Oh boy! Bath Salts are to Meth what Pepsi is to Coca-Cola!
Good lord, the 4-year-old was probably safer hanging out at Walmart by himself than he would've been in mommy and daddy's van.
I almost hate to point out this problem because I don't have a solution. I don't have the slightest idea how to fix this downward-spiraling society or save the innocent little kids who keep getting pulled into the vortex of doom. Still, it's worth bringing up if for no other reason than this: I have to believe we're collectively more likely to give a damn about why people like Jordon Finehout and Jessica Fleenor are obliterating themselves with toxic waste if there are children involved. And figuring out how to help messed-up parents is the first step in giving their kids a shot at a decent future.
Why do you think more and more kids seem to be getting lost and abandoned?