Toddlers With Bruises Equal Abusive Parents? Then I'm Going To Jail!Monica Bielanko
A couple days ago Wendy from Famecrawler posted a story about how Christina Aguilera’s 3-year-old son had some unexplained bruises that were raising eyebrows all over the country.
Apparently some third-rate media outlet ran photos of Aguilera’s son Max with the headline: Christina Aguilera’s Son Is Photo’d With A BLACK EYE!!!
Wendy was elaborating on how the bruises were actually caused by Max chasing a squirrel and falling down. Aguilera is understandably upset about the implication of child abuse and is considering suing the magazine.
I was going to chalk up the whole incident to shoddy tabloid-style reporting but then I got to thinking…
My daughter, who is 2, had a huge cut on her head for the longest time and I was embarrassed about it. Like, it was somehow my fault that she cut her head on a table. Sure I was sitting right next to her when it happened, but, well, you know how toddlers are. One second she’s chewing pizza and the next second she was bleeding from her head after banging it on the table somehow.
So I was embarrassed enough that I’d failed as a mother and allowed my daughter to be injured on my watch, then I realized that some people were actually wondering whether I might be responsible for the injury. Not that I let it happen but that I caused the injury.
I’d catch so many people looking at her cut and the faint black eye it caused that I found myself guiltily explaining the cut to strangers who hadn’t even asked. “Yeah, she just bumped it on the table. Crazy stuff.” Which, I’m sure made me sound even more culpable. Like, I’m home knocking my kid around and trying to cover up the wounds out in public.
Even though we all know what clumsy little nutbags toddlers can be, when bruises are spotted on a kid why is it that society immediately questions the parents? Yes, I get that we’re all on the look out for child abuse and that’s great but seriously?
Jacqueline Burt over at The Stir feels the same way:
It’s enough of a bummer when your kid gets hurt. The last thing I needed, or Aguilera needs, or any other mom for that matter, is suspicious glares from strangers… you’ll get those dirty looks for as long as it takes your kid’s bruises to fade. Which makes going to the grocery store or the post office or the park feel about as intense as going on trial. Meanwhile, the bruises on kids who are actually enduring horrific abuse at the hands of their parents somehow go unnoticed … until we find their bodies in rivers, or dumpsters, or buried in the woods.
Why is that? Are the dirty looks over our children’s bruises coming from a good place? Is it the intention of these strangers to make sure our children aren’t being abused? Or have they already tried and convicted us in their minds and the dirty look is the sentence?
Have you received The Stink Eye over a bruised child? Have you given the The Stink Eye to another parent because of an injury sustained by their child?