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Author: toni

~ 09/23/09

Okay. Here’s one up for debate on the bad mommy-o-meter. Following is a video that some customer took of a mother MELISSA CATHERINE SMITH-MEANS (37) of Alabama DRAGGING her kid through a Verizon store on a leash.

She has since been charged with felony cruelty to children and has had to retain a lawyer. Now the mom maintains that this was a game and that the kid ASKED her to do it. She told DR. PHIL (cuz you know, abusive moms need their 5 minutes also) that her husband does it to the kid all the time at home…in fun!

Sound nuts? Well, I should have prefaced that information by saying they are a military family. And having grown up myself in a household with a STEPFATHER who was career military, I know their idea of fun and punishment can have a VERY different tone than what the average parent’s idea is.

Anyhow, after watching this clip a few times, I’m pretty sure SMITH-MEANS (an unfortunate but possibly accurate name) is lying through her teeth to save her ass.

But the question is, does she deserve to be in such deep trouble now?

Look, as a mom who has had her last nerve worked more than once, I can imagine a situation where a kid throws a tantrum in a store and decides he ain’t going anywhere.

They do the DEAD-WEIGHT DROP. You know that one. Where they just make their little body go limp and even if they’re one of those bony bird kids, suddenly feel like they weigh as much as the bag of cement you stick in your trunk in the winter to give you traction on the ice. Julia did that A LOT! It’s one of the super powers children have… along with poop so toxic it should be declared a Superfund Site.

So, I can imagine a frustrated mom, tired, late for picking up another kid, embarrassed by the tantrum her kid is throwing, suddenly saying FINE! and dragging the kid out the store.

Then again, she coulda been really pissed to find out that her cell phone plan didn’t offer rollover minutes.

Whatever. I’ve never dragged my kid. Not with a leash anyway. I’m not a believer in those things. But I have certainly picked up Julia like a sack of potatoes and thrown her upside down over my shoulder and hauled her terrible-twos tantrum throwing self into the car.

Fortunately, I haven’t done that in some time. Not because I haven’t wanted to, but because now it would require a visit to the orthopedic surgeon. Now I just threaten to ground her from treats. I know. Cruel. But you gotta find your child’s weakness and prey on it. It’s a mother’s job. After all, when they’re teens, they’ll prey on your overwhelming concern by staying out all hours and not letting you know they haven’t died in a drunken car accident. So think of it as early payback.


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