So many good ones, I can’t decide!


Four nominees for parents of the year!

1.  Balloon Boy’s parents who at the very least let their six-year-old climb up to the roof unsupervised, long enough to untie a homemade giant Jiffy Pop balloon, and who at the very worst, involved their children in a publicity-seeking stunt, asking their young son to lie and forcing him to go on national television despite his pleas that he feels sick, and then watching as he pukes LIVE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, all of this costing local taxpayers almost $30,000 in emergency services.

2.  The parents of two young children on the North Side who left their 2 and 3 year-olds alone long enough for them to play with a space heater, igniting a fire that covered the two-year-old boy in second and third degree burns, requiring what will likely be a lengthy stay in the burn unit.  All this in a house filled with over 50 cats roaming around in filth.

3.  Or maybe this Uniontown mother who beat her 3-month-old to death with a crib rail and before that, regularly TAPED A PACIFIER TO THE BABY’S MOUTH TO MAKE HIM STOP CRYING.

4.  Or maybe you’ll cast your vote for this North Side mom:

A woman was arrested Wednesday after an unttended stroller holding her 1-year-old daughter rolled into traffic on a North Side street, police said.  About 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, police Officer A.J. Scarpine witnessed the stroller rolling across the 1000 block of Chestnut Street. Two cars heading in opposite directions on the street came to a screeching stop. A tan van heading north skidded slightly on Chestnut, which was wet from rain, and the vehicle’s front bumper tapped the stroller, the affidavit said. Officer Scarpine ran to the stroller and found the baby. The baby’s mother, Ms. Brown, then exited a store on Chestnut and said to the officer, “That’s my baby. What are you doing with my baby?”

When the officer explained what had just happened, Ms. Brown replied, “Well, I needed to go to the store.”

“But you left your baby outside, alone in the stroller,” Officer Scarpine told her, according to the affidavit.

“I wasn’t that long. Why you messing with me [sic],” Ms. Brown said.

Not, “OMG. I am so so sorry officer that I left my baby out here in the rain while I ran into the store, thereby allowing my baby to roll into traffic and have the stroller actually BUMPED BY THE BUMPER of a screech-halting van. I can’t believe I even thought about doing that.  I am a terrible mother and I deserve what’s coming. Thank you for saving my baby!”

But instead, “What? I wasn’t in there that long, the baby is just a little damp, and the stroller was merely kissed by that van bumper, and really, why you got to be messin’ wit me?!”


They’re all so terrible, I can’t choose just one.  I know! Let’s round up ALL of these parents and award them Parents of the Year award, which is really just us giving them the humiliation, beatings, and burns they’ve dished out.

We’ll put that last mother in a shopping cart in the rain and we will roll her onto Grant Street at lunch time and we’ll be all, “WHEE!  Have fun out there!  Ooooh.  You lose, Frogger.”


  1. Karyn
    October 16, 2009 9:17 am

    you can sell tickets and do a pool on how many cars it takes to finally hit her, then donate all the funds to the therapy that all these kids will need one day.

  2. Josie
    October 16, 2009 9:23 am

    You forgot Jon Gosselin!

  3. PSUmama
    October 16, 2009 9:29 am

    I would also nominate the twit who forced her daughter to ride in a cardboard box on the roof of her minivan, secured only with a clothes hanger.

    How did Darwinism let these people procreate? Sigh.

  4. Pa-pop
    October 16, 2009 9:41 am

    Stories like these anger me. Depress me. Make me ill. I have no tolerance for people who are so self-absorbed that they treat the care and well-being of their children with utter disregard or, worse, inconceivable contempt. Such irresponsibility has no quarter among anyone who is called “mom” or “dad.” It should not be necessary to lobby God for an amendment to the 4th commandment: “Honor the responsibilities of parenthood.” Sadly, there seem to be too many people these days who treat the code of good parenting as – to quote a line in Pirates of the Caribbean – “not actually rules but guidelines.”

  5. Pensgirl
    October 16, 2009 9:42 am

    Kurt Vonnegut once wrote of a society where they put birth control in the water supply and made people get approval for un-spiked water in order to have kids.

    Reading these stories is enough to make you support that idea.

  6. Kelly
    October 16, 2009 9:43 am

    @ the one in Australia, sure she should have applied the brakes, but she is obviously not nearly as stupid as these other parents.

  7. Anonymous
    October 16, 2009 9:44 am

    I cry every time I hear stories like this…I can’t physically have kids and I wonder why me..and not them.

  8. Scarlett
    October 16, 2009 9:47 am

    Read this story… probably tops all of them. Warning-will make you horrified, but ending is so happy you will cry.
    The Girl in the Window (Dani Lierow)

  9. Mike
    October 16, 2009 9:50 am

    Maybe we can put the Gosselins and Balloon boys parents in the balloon. Have it go up 10,000 feet, then shoot the balloon.

  10. SpudMom
    October 16, 2009 9:51 am

    I think the worst part of reading this stuff, for me, is that I can understand how things like #4 happens. That, right there, is a mother who should have asked for help and didn’t when she was so sleep deprived she was ready to die. As a result, her baby died at her hands.

    When my now 7.5 month old was a newborn with reflux and colic on top of it, I felt like someone had imprisoned me at Guantanamo Bay and subjected me to the lack of sleep torture. It was *awful.* There were nights I found myself just wishing I could run away from my screaming baby or something far, far worse. Instead, I asked for someone to come help me. Thank God I did because we never would have survived otherwise.

    It’s too bad that the mother who beat her child to death didn’t just say to someone “you know I can’t do this anymore and I’m scared of how this sleeplessness is making me feel. Think you could do me a solid and come help for a night?”

    Please don’t think I condone what she did. I don’t. I just have a glimmer of understand where that whole thing started.

  11. Dave
    October 16, 2009 10:00 am

    #4 gets my vote. Just a few weeks ago I saw a guy near Negley and Penn do basically the same thing and let his stroller (with baby inside) almost roll out in front of my car. Sometimes I wish a license was required for people to procreate…

  12. lovesthenorthside
    October 16, 2009 10:09 am

    just want you to know there are some good moms on the northside…

  13. Lisa J
    October 16, 2009 10:26 am

    I vote for #2. Only because the balloon parents and the stroller mamma’s kids ended up physically safe (this time). In the case of the woman who beat her child to death?? At least the child doesn’t have to spend years suffering. As much as I’d rather hear the child survived the horrible beating, the fact that most family services work to get the kids back to the parents, makes me feel like that child ended up better off.

    The kid that got burned will have to live with the physical and emotional pain and scars forever. And, again, at some point, may actually be reunited with the parents some day. Now, that is truely heartbreaking to me.

  14. SpudMom
    October 16, 2009 10:31 am

    Sorry, guys, I made a mistake. My comment was in regards to #3. Didn’t read that closely enough before I posted. Again, sorry.

  15. John in the Rocks
    October 16, 2009 10:46 am

    @Pensgirl – I’m not the biggest Vonnegut fan in the world, but I’m with him 100% on that one. You have to take a test or have a license to do everything else in this world, but any idiot (like the ones above) can become a parent.

  16. Tara
    October 16, 2009 11:04 am

    Oh you forgot this one (though its a father, not a mother. so…)

  17. Kathy
    October 16, 2009 11:05 am

    Stories like these always make me think about how when I adopted my pet from a local animal shelter, I had to undergo a background check (yes, they actually called the people I listed), undergo a “waiting period” before I could bring the pet home, sign a “contract” that I would not let the pet outside to roam, and if I moved I would bring the pet back to that agency and not give it away or take it to a shelter, etc., etc., etc. Point being — if it is so difficult to adopt a pet, how can it be so easy for these morons to have kids?!?!

    For the balloon boy, I was wondering why he and his brother were not in school at the time….perhaps the county child protection agency should be following up on that family?!?

  18. summer78
    October 16, 2009 11:16 am

    There are moments here and there that I feel like I REALLY am a good mom despite letting them drink kool-aid and being 5 minutes late for preschool pick up. These parents remind me that maybe I’m not doing the worst job ever, afterall.

  19. Ant_041
    October 16, 2009 11:30 am

    Every time I feel like a bad parent when I have to tell my kids NO! I think of parents like this and know I am no where near that bad. I just feel so damn bad for the kids. They don’t know any better nor were they ask to be born. What kills me is that some people would make really great prents but are unable to have kids. Shit like this bothers me. John in the Rocks and pensgirl are right on with their comments.

  20. Jara
    October 16, 2009 11:33 am

    I swear, if you have to have a license to get married and drive a car, you should totally have a license to have children. Period.

  21. Sexy Jesus
    October 16, 2009 11:42 am

    Summer78 nailed it. I believe these stories, while horrifying, only serve to remind us that we’re not such terrible parents when we wish that we could personally strangle the creator of Caillou or Barney, or have one night of perfect, uninterrupted sleep.

  22. JennyMoon
    October 16, 2009 12:16 pm

    one night of perfect, uninterrupted sleep……I could cry just thinking about how wonderful that would be.

  23. Three
    October 16, 2009 12:27 pm

    You forgot the story about the woman who put her child in dog cage and had all kinds of shenanigans afoot. I believe it happened out Uniontown way. The best “OMG, what the heck is that all about” stories come from out there. There’s nights at work where I read the briefs out loud to my coworkers because of the disturbing hilarity factor.

  24. Rachel
    October 16, 2009 12:47 pm

    Suddenly, the balloon boy parents don’t seem all that bad.

  25. NeedChocolate
    October 16, 2009 12:58 pm

    i can’t see through my tears to give credit to the person who posted “the girl in the window”…but i’m speechless. i’m glad she’s out of there and progressing. you owe me a box of tissues!

  26. unsatisfied
    October 16, 2009 1:02 pm

    so many good candidates, only one trophy….

  27. bethkiz
    October 16, 2009 2:51 pm

    I nominate this woman – she pretended her son was disabled for SIX AND A HALF YEARS. She even convinced doctors he was so ill they operated on him. She forced him to be wheelchair bound and made up so many symptoms that doctors eventually fitted a feeding tube, even though he could eat by himself. All to claim benefits and get free stuff from charities.

  28. JenOH
    October 16, 2009 2:52 pm

    If I was a cop or social worker and had to deal with any of these people, my rage would be so strong that I would not be able to stop myself from physically harming the them.

    Animals take better care of their offspring than these so-called parents do.

  29. Christine
    October 16, 2009 4:07 pm

    I never watch Wife Swap but saw the last half hour flipping channels earlier in the week. Yep — the balLoonies were on it! (I proclaimed the husband an ass at the time.) I couldn’t believe it when they showed up on the news yesterday. Coincidence so soon after their 15 minutes of swapping fame? Not likely.

  30. bluzdude
    October 16, 2009 4:47 pm

    A couple of commenters already said what I was going to write, regarding there being a license to procreate. I mean, there ought to be a test or something, at least. You don’t even have to have sex WELL, in order to end up a parent.

    Regarding Stroller in Traffic Mom: Go with what Ginny said about rolling her into traffic in a shopping cart… I was think about what happened to OJ Simpson in the wheelchair at the end of The Naked Gun…

  31. Patrick
    October 16, 2009 5:06 pm

    How about a shopping cart at a Nascar short track?

    I was in a house the other day for an ambulance call. The mother, scratch that, female parental unit, was grabbing her daughter by the arm and jerking her around to get her out of the way. I really wanted to grab her and do the same to her, but I need my job. The best we can do is report and hope.

    There are really times when you wish the prison system was more biblical…an eye for an eye and all that.

  32. Cassie
    October 16, 2009 7:06 pm

    This makes me sick. Just sick. I always joked saying I wish I could run around with an infertility wand and make the world a better place. How dare people treat their children like this. And that woman who beat her child to death…where was her support system? Why is Postpartum Depression so hush hush? That woman clearly needed some help mentally and she got none. That’s so sad. I don’t condone what she did, not in the least bit. But she has to live with what she did for the rest of her life. I don’t think I could do that.

  33. PittCheMBA
    October 17, 2009 7:11 am

    How about Jon and Kate Gosselin? Octo-Mom has been keeping quiet lately.

  34. AndyTheo
    October 17, 2009 8:55 am

    The tragedy is that #1 probably has a PR team by now and a menu of reality show proposals to star in. #3 is your winner although kudos to #2 for a stellar effort. And a big round of applause for #4 who is hands down the recipient of the Why Didn’t You Just Shut the Fuck Up? Award.

  35. Scarlett
    October 17, 2009 3:59 pm

    NeedChocolate–there is website that the family updates…not alot of info-and very infrequently updated however there are some updated pictures.

  36. Bram R
    October 18, 2009 4:01 pm

    1. The kid booted on live TV? Man, I missed this entire story until ppl were already making fun of it.

    4. I hate to say it, but that’s classic East Deutschtown. Did you know we were featured on an episode of COPS?

  37. red pen mama
    October 19, 2009 4:40 am

    Man, I know I have bad days, but I feel like queen of the world reading this post. WTF is wrong with people?


  38. NeedChocolate
    October 19, 2009 1:25 pm

    Thanks Scarlett!

  39. Megan
    October 20, 2009 4:22 pm

    I was close to defending #4*, until I finished reading it.

    *One day in the Strip District, I put the brake on my son’s stroller, looked left to wave to my friend parked 3 cars down, looked back in front of me and the stroller had rolled at least 2ft away. I still cry thinking about that. Now, I’m neurotic about the brakes, using both and triple checking.