If your child is old enough to open the front door and walk outside, he/she is old enough to know when and how to properly cross a street.
Let me explain.
As we were driving home yesterday, we noticed the car directly in front of us unexpectedly stop. Confused, Lewis reached up to honk the horn. We were driving on a fairly busy street and desired to continue smoothly on to our final destination. Right before Lewis actually honked, however, we noticed the cause of their stop. A four-year-old girl was crossing the street.
It was ten o'clock at night.
As we sat there in our car, we watched this small child make her way across the street, never looking left nor right. Her eyes were on one thing and she was determined to reach her goal. She wasn't in a hurry to reach it, as was clear by her slow and even gait, but she knew where she was going. Luckily no cars came from the opposite direction and the car in front of us saw her at all. The driver mentioned later that he thought she was a dog when he first saw her, just out of the corner of his eye.
When she made it to the other side of the street, she opened the door of a car there, calmly climbed in and began honking the horn and playing with the lights.
We pulled over, as did the car in front of us. Lewis was ready to call 911, but I told him we should go knock on doors first to see to whom she belonged. The driver and passenger of the car in front of us were knocking on the door of the house it looked like the kid might have come from, while Lewis knocked on the door of the house across the street. They said that it wasn't their kid, but nobody answered the door the other driver knocked on. That is, until he gave up and was halfway back to the street. Then someone finally came to the door.
If I was a mother and someone came to my door telling me that they had almost hit my child because he/she had crossed the street by him/herself without even looking I would have freaked out. So I guess maybe this lady's stoicism is something to be envied because she didn't bat an eye. Rather, she stood there calmly while her ten-year-old daughter walked across the street in a remarkably similar fashion as her little sister to investigate. Mostly, however I was just disturbed by her behavior/attitude.
That mother should be counting her blessings that nothing happened to her daughter. This occurred on the main road of a neighborhood. Now to be fair, at that time of night (ten freaking o'clock!), it is normally not a very busy road. However, last night was Game 7 of the NBA finals, and it was clear from the volume of cars parked on the street that many households in this neighborhood were hosting parties for the game, and since the game had ended by this time many people - us included - were driving home from watching the game. PLUS the stupid Lakers won, so I'm sure lots of people were riled up about the outcome, not to mention the near-disastrous placement of that Amber Alert. In short, good thing that one driver was paying enough attention to notice a tiny person on the street in front of him.
I keep replaying it in my mind. It was freaky the way that girl was just all of a sudden there, barefooted and ghostly in the headlights (although the freaky aspect might just be because I've been watching too much Heroes on Netflix). What if the car hadn't seen her? What if he managed to miss her and we hit her? What if she had made it across the street safely without anyone noticing and tried to cross it again to get back? What if a creepo saw her and took her? (Like I said, there was an Amber Alert so kidnapping was on the brain)
The point is, keep an eye on your four-year-old, lady! Especially at ten o'clock at night and especially on a busy street like that. More importantly, teach your kid how to cross the street! A four-year-old should know that she shouldn't cross a street without an adult. At the very least, she should have learned to look both ways before crossing!
And for goodness sake, care more when somebody tells you they almost killed your child! Or at least show it more! Good heavens.