I do not support child labour. Although my daughter does work as a voice actor on an animated kids’ show … which, come to think of it, they do pay her for … okay yeah, so maybe I support it a bit. But when it comes to personally profiting off the backs of my children, I am totally against it. Unless, of course, they needlessly break a limb as a result of somebody else’s negligence and you have to deal with the nerve-shattering scream-crying (theirs too) as you try not to run over innocent pedestrians while careening your car through rush hour traffic on route to the hospital, cursing at every red light because you can’t get there fast enough to alleviate your child’s suffering or your own spiking blood pressure. Then it’s totally okay.
We bought Delia an inexpensive (aka cheap) scooter on Sunday, and on only her second time out on the thing, the front wheel inexplicably locked as she was gliding down a slight, pebble-free incline, sending her flying ass-over-applecart onto the pavement, hands and face first. Thankfully she didn’t break her arm, but she did sprain her wrist, rendering it bound by a brace for the next two weeks:
(Not to seem glib, but I’m quite certain she’d have willingly snapped her own femur if she’d known how much delicious attention a mere Velcro splint would garner at school the next day.)
Apart from the fact that shoddy workmanship most certainly played a part in her injury, I felt compelled to get some kind of satisfaction for her, especially in light of the fact that this was the second incident that had happened to her in the same week. The first happened two days before at a large grocery chain in Toronto that will remain nameless (though this NO NAME store is Pretty Common to most Canadians).
As I’d walked along the cheese aisle ahead of my cart-wielding daughter that day, I stepped around a yellow A-frame sign warning of wet floors beside a defrosting freezer. Realizing only seconds too late that I should probably warn Delia, I turned in slow motion to see her skidding past the poultry section like a Dodger stealing home plate. By the time she’d come to a complete stop against a sharp metal floor bracket, she was scraped, bleeding and whimpering in pain. When I crouched down to console her, a woman came over and offered her sympathies, then suggested I sue the store for creating such an obvious health hazard for shoppers.
In any event, I gathered up my disabled little darling and got her into a chair, found an ice pack to put on her leg, gave her a cup of tea and a scone (yeah yeah, consoling her with food, I KNOW!), and marched over to the store manager to tell him what had happened. Thankfully it wasn’t the same manager who’d shown no interest in my having done a double half gainer over the side of one of their shopping carts myself two months prior while wheeling it beyond the magical force field outside their store boundaries (I swear to God, I did NOT see that “Attention Shoppers” sign). This time we were offered an apology and a $25 gift card to make up for it. Perhaps a somewhat paltry olive branch given the blood loss, but we accepted it graciously enough.
Which brings us back to Scooter-gate. While I’m not trying to exploit my daughter’s pain for personal gain, I … well yeah, okay, I’m definitely exploiting it. But it’s not for my personal gain. It’s for hers. I want my money back for that POC scooter so that I can put it toward a less dangerous recreational pursuit for her. Like Scrabble. Or a yoga matt. To. Just. Sit. On.
So given my success at the Dupont Street Loblaws (oops, did I let that slip?), tomorrow I’ll be taking on that giant retail toy store chain that will also remain nameless (for the sake of discretion, I’ll simply refer to it by its lesser-known handle, Stuff For Kids N’ Shit).
Their floors had better not be wet, if they know what’s good for them.