First Rule Of Parenting: Do Not Dangle Your Baby Over A Pit Full Of Cheetahs
I remember the first time I read Dr. Spock and found those starting words so comforting. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Phew, I thought, maybe maternal instinct will keep me from putting this tiny infant into harm’s way But now I’m starting to worry that Dr. Spock didn’t know what he was talking about, because there are parents out there who could benefit from a chapter in a parenting book called: Do not drop your baby into a cheetah pit.
This weekend a family was visiting a zoo in Cleveland when the mother thought it was a good idea to pick up her two-year-old and dangle him over the cheetah enclosure, even though safety rails were in place and they are called “safety rails” for a reason. It is not safe to go over them. Somehow, neither of the boy’s parents seems to posses the gene that tells you not to dangle your baby over any kind of 10- to 12-foot-deep pit, especially if the pit is full of wild animals.
The woman reportedly dropped the two-year-old right into the cheetah enclosure. He fell an estimated 10 to 12 feet, and one of the parents immediately leaped in after him and got him out, but it could easily have ended in tragedy if the cheetahs had not decided they wanted nothing to do with any of the people invading their habitat. According to the zoo, the cheetahs stayed away and “did not attempt to interact” with the boy.
The zoo, by the way, is pissed and has filed a suit against the parents for child endangerment. Everybody in the situation is very lucky nobody was killed. The only reason it did not end terribly is that the cheetahs decided to stay where they were, and no life-or-death situation should be left to the whims of giant cats.
Seriously, never dangle your child over a safety railing in general, and specifically never dangle your child over a pit full of wild cats. If an action sounds like something a Game of Thrones villain would do to torture an enemy, do not do it to your small child.