Here in the childless offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we have mixed opinions on administering corporal punishment to children. Should kids get spanked? Or should they not? As for myself, I occasionally got “spanked,” or a “got a whuppin,” as we called it, but shoot, ole Crusty’s momma used to chase him around with a bullwhip. But looking back, it’s easy to see that these rare occasions were meant for show and to distill fear in poor little Crustini, as the spanking part really didn’t hurt. So some times a little spanking is in order, at least for me, but actually inflicting serious pain is not. And at what age should this type of discipline begin?
I don’t know. Four? Five? I think we can all agree though, that a mere 13 months is too young. Hey, that’s a BABY man! It happens, and in public too. As proof, let’s consider Southwest airlines, where on a recent flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, a stewardess observed a mother slap her 13-month old baby. The stewardess was horrified, as were the passengers who witnessed the event. So what to do? The stewardess did what any sensible stewardess would do: she confiscated the baby.
My momma only slapped me once…and I deserved it. I remember it well. It was April fools day and, knowing that my idiot brother would shake tons of salt on his food before he had even tasted it – an insult to my mother the cook – I loosened the top of the salt shaker and…well, you know what happened. Everyone stared in horror at the plate of food, now obscured under a mound of salt, except me of course. I laughed. I laughed heartily. Without batting an eye, my mother slapped me at the dinner table. I knew what was coming next of course. I simply stood up and went to my room without my dinner. But I hardly think the baby loosened the top of the salt. Besides, they don’t serve food on Southwest flights. Maybe if your plane crashed on a deserted island for a few weeks, you might get a bag of salted nuts. Um…hold the salt.
Upon landing at Albuquerque International Sunport, the stewardess explained the situation to the aviation police as paramedics checked the baby, who had no injuries. After speaking with the stewardess, the parents, and witnesses, aviation police chief Marshall Katz and authorities felt it was an isolated incident and returned the child to the parents. Katz added that the stewadess’ action neutralized the situation.
Typical! The prisoner is returned to his captors. I hope for the sake of the kid that it was an isolated incident, and that the mauling mother felt the kind of deep down shame that will prevent her from slapping babies in the future, cause that’s just wrong. If I could leave her – and you, dear readers – one final bit of wisdom to help guide you in the future, it would be this:
Don’t slap no babies!
(Incident reported by the AP.)