The clawwwwww.

When I heard a two-year-old climbed into a claw machine at Ross Park Mall The Mall at Robinson after her mother looked away for “a moment,” I was all, “Yeah, right. ‘A moment.’ [Pssh.]”

But seriously, watch the video. They show a little girl can squirm up there faster than you can say, “The claw chooses who will stay and who will go.”

Of course the commenters on the story over at WTAE are taking the mother to task like Judgey McJudgers.

GOD gives you children for you to take care of them.. love them.. and share there life.. IF you dont care for them.. they will DIE.. or get hurt.. for the love of god.. WATCH them. or he will take them back.. god bless. this little girl you have another chance.. as a mother..

Good ending for a unresponsible mother……..and please at 2yrs old she should NOT have a pacifer.

Slacker parents who don’t watch their kids need to be bashed. It is bad enough that the child is 2 and sucking away on a pacifier. At 2 a child should not be roaming freely around a food court, let alone out of view/reach of the mother.

The mother was probably terrified and here’s a bunch of strangers getting on her because her two-year-old still uses a pacifier. That’s classy.

Here’s something I have learned as a mother. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever judge another mother for things like this because the Karma Boomerang is vicious in its haste to dole out mommyhood payback.

Mock a mother whose child throws temper tantrums? Your child will throw an epic temper tantrum in the middle of a crowded airport for twenty minutes until she vomits from screaming.

Mock a mother for allowing her two-year-old to still have a pacifier? You’ll be breaking your son of his when he’s three and a half.

Mock a mother whose three-year-old is still in Pull-Ups? You’ll spend a tear-filled stressful month trying to train your  3 and a half-year-old to use the potty.

Mock a mother for turning her back on her child in a crowd? You’ll be frantically searching the gift shop in Idlewild for your child who was RIGHT HERE TWO SECONDS AGO.

I’m not condoning lax parenting; but this was not a child roaming the streets in traffic or left home alone or left alone with a loaded gun.

Give the woman a break, Pittsburgh.


  1. Karen S.
    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm

    no joke. the only thing i find surprising about this story is that it was not my kid in the box. kids are fast, curious, and can get into squeezy places. and seriously, heaven forbid a mom lets her child walk freely for 9 seconds while she eats her lunch with 2 hands.

  2. Marci
    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm

    They even reported on this on SNL for the “Weekend Update.”

  3. Al Lambrini
    December 13, 2010 1:00 pm

    that is extremely right on about the haste people use to judge parents. It seems like they get some kind of twisted jollies doing it. Obviously there are some bad parents out there, but it seems to me people really love the chance to jump on somebody the first chance they get, no matter what the situation.

  4. L-A
    December 13, 2010 1:04 pm

    amen, sister

  5. jdp
    December 13, 2010 1:08 pm

    There but for the Grace of God go I.

    I would totally be the mom standing in the food court going “yeah and the $0.50 its going to take me to get you out of there is coming out of your piggy bank! get out of there right now! and no you leave that stuffed toy IN there!”

  6. amanda
    December 13, 2010 1:15 pm

    I agree completely… and have one of those 3 year old binky suckers. Keeps her from sucking her thumb. I find some of the worst offenders are those without children- and admit to having my own opinions before my life was taken over by my child. I was quite good at the “I will never… with my child”. Yea right. Survival mode kicks in after a few days and it’s downhill from there.

  7. Emilie
    December 13, 2010 1:17 pm

    It bugs me when mothers judge other mothers….aren’t we supposed to be there for one another?

    I can see how this would totally happen – especially to my kid who is more curious than George. I really feel bad for her – she doesn’t deserve to be burned at the stake for this. Sometimes I wonder if the people who get all preachy even have kids sometimes?!?!

  8. tw
    December 13, 2010 1:38 pm

    Great post Ginny and I totally agree! Seriously, who keeps their eyes constantly on their child at all times…it’s impossible. When my son was 18 months he was playing in the living room/watching tv while i was making dinner in the kitchen (feet away) and when i walked in…he managed to climb on top of the couch, squeeze through the screen in the window (leaving the screen intact) and climb on top of the porch roof. Things happen. Oh, and btw he was safe…just gave me a heart attack at age 35.

  9. BeauJacques
    December 13, 2010 1:42 pm

    All the more reason our “super nanny” govt. should never have
    criminalized smacking kids when they need it, and fearing it!

    “Time-outs” and “1…,2…,3” don’t work for shit!

    Now, the fear of an ass-whipping….

  10. Stacie
    December 13, 2010 1:49 pm

    Preach it, Ginny! I was Mother Of The Year once. My first child was a precocious, mild-mannered girl who was singing the ABCs at 18 mos., ate anything put in front of her, and was potty trained before the age of two. I may not have bragged out-loud, but I’m ashamed to admit the smugness that filled my heart at times. And then came TWIN BOYS with significant speech delays, who refused to eat anything except apples and peanut butter bread until they were nearly kindergartners, and who didn’t finish potty training until after their 4th birthdays. I know the karma boomerang of which you speak . . . but I’m so thankful for the experience because my first instinct now is to extend grace or to offer help, and without my sweet boys, I may not have come to that point. So glad there was a happy ending to the story. ♥

  11. Angry Mongo
    December 13, 2010 1:51 pm

    My kid would have been in there, grabbed a few toys and been standing next to me, looking innocent, by the time I turned my head back to her.

    Of course, in all seriousness, had that been my kid and my wife and I noticed it, I would have said, “Got any quarters?”

    I’d love to have the Judgey McJudgers come after me. My three year old would have a few choice words for them, including four letter ones.

  12. BeauJacques
    December 13, 2010 2:01 pm

    Call Edgar Snyder! Sue somebody!

  13. BeauJacques
    December 13, 2010 2:03 pm

    I truly fail to understand that if you’re not permitted to smack kids, then aren’t retractable dog-leashes and tasers not allowed instead?

  14. BB
    December 13, 2010 2:05 pm

    pppsstttt…it was at robinson mall, not ross park.

    a friend of mine’s child is 2+ and has their binky. man does that kid have some serious buck teeth issues as a result of sucking on that thing. eeks.

  15. JennyMoon
    December 13, 2010 2:12 pm

    OH have I been whammied by the karma boomerang! Every single thing I’ve said before having kids has come back to bite me in a gruesomely huge way. I will never EVER utter a word of judgement against another mother. No way. No how. Nope.

  16. Lisa
    December 13, 2010 2:13 pm

    And AMEN!

  17. JennyMoon
    December 13, 2010 2:14 pm

    BB – the buck teeth go back to normal after the binky is given up.

  18. spoon
    December 13, 2010 3:03 pm

    When I heard this story the first words out of our mouths were “yeah our kid would do that.” After microwaving his sneakers and locking me out of the house this weekend I dont put anything past that 22mo old kid

  19. SpudMom
    December 13, 2010 3:04 pm

    I am not ashamed to say my kid wore Pull ups until he was 4. He had trouble getting overnight down pat. So what? No every kid potty trains at the age of 2 and boys are notoriously slow. I didn’t even START with my elder until he was 3 and he wasn’t really ready or getting on board until 3.5.

    It is what is.

    Beaujacques – I do actually own a harness for my kid. I used it for the elder (who is now 5.5 and has no need) and now use it for the younger. It looks like a stuffed teddy bear with a l-o-n-g tail that the parent holds. My mother used to mock the shit out of people using leashes on kids (“What are they? A DOG?! Can’t you control your own kid!?”) But I’d rather be safe than sorry.

  20. BB
    December 13, 2010 3:05 pm

    ah well, that’s good to know…..

  21. Butcher's Dog
    December 13, 2010 3:10 pm

    A sign seen in a Michigan winery: Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy.

    That’ll make you eat your lunch one-handed if nothing will. Just sayin’. Butcher’s Pup is now 34, so bring on the boomerang.

  22. Sue
    December 13, 2010 3:15 pm

    That’s church, Ginny!

  23. Marcy
    December 13, 2010 3:49 pm

    The only perfect parents are the ones whose babies are still on the inside. Remember how sure we were we’d never make the mistakes other parents made?

    “Mock a mother whose child throws temper tantrums?” Yep, that was mine too except she hurled all over a table at Union Grill…

    “Mock a mother for allowing her two-year-old to still have a pacifier?” Yep, third birthday for mine…

    “Mock a mother for turning her back on her child in a crowd?” Yep, looked away from mine for one minute to hand the cashier my credit card and she was already out the door of Eat N Park and in the parking lot.

    And guess what – she’s a straight-A student, has tons of personality and is a really easy-going, level-headed kid who’s not afraid of much. So I haven’t screwed up that badly.

  24. eileen
    December 13, 2010 3:59 pm

    I thought the story was weird, and then laughed and thought that would so be my kid.
    A word of advice from a mother who’s kids are grown, When you point a finger at someone elses kids, three point back to you.
    And I’m betting most of those who condemned, have no children of their own or are the “I know everything there is to know about children but have none of my own” preschool teachers!

  25. PensFan024
    December 13, 2010 4:04 pm

    As a fairly new Parent I am very sick of the judgmental eyes and unwanted advise I get. I am firmly convinced that a baby’s behavior is 90% luck and 10% parenting. My boy doesn’t often like the pacifier. I could go around ragging on parents who use one. But, since I realize that it isn’t a result of awesome parenting but rather good luck on my part, I keep my mouth shut.

    The one that really gets me is “My son/daughter was sleeping through the night at just 3 weeks old”. Bull honky! Just because your kid slept through the night once when it was 3 weeks old does not mean you can go around lying to everyone like you are some kind of super parent.

    My son is happy and healthy so ya’ll can keep the advise.

  26. Angry Mongo
    December 13, 2010 4:09 pm

    @ PensFan024 The one that really gets me is “My son/daughter was sleeping through the night at just 3 weeks old”. Bull honky! Just because your kid slept through the night once when it was 3 weeks old does not mean you can go around lying to everyone like you are some kind of super parent.

    Yeah, but the test of a true parent is to ask that person, “Did you sleep all through that night?” I know I didn’t. I kept thinking that something was wrong that first all-night-sleep-fest but afraid to rock the boat and go look.

    And here’s another tip to all you parents… The fear of Santa Claus not coming is in no way a deterrent. It’s almost a challenge.

  27. Dan (Not Onorato)
    December 13, 2010 4:09 pm

    Very easy to judge when you dont know or havent experienced the situation.


  28. alison
    December 13, 2010 4:10 pm

    when my brother and sister were around 2 years old (yes, they’re twins), my mom left them in my fenced in backyard with a LOCKED gate for all of 2 minutes while she went to grab her shoes. she told my brother and sister that the three of them were going to walk down the hill to get me at the bus stop. my mom came back outside and they were gone. they had figured out how to unlock the gate (not an easy task for anyone!) and started the journey down the hill to find me.

    shit happens. i’m glad the kid is okay.

    the 2 year old was also with an older kid. it’s possible that the mom was eating, watched her 2 year old wander to look at the crane machine with the older kid, looked down to take a bite of food and -bam!- 2 year old is in the crane machine. it really didn’t take long at all!

  29. KT
    December 13, 2010 4:20 pm

    I saw this exact same thing happen at the Mall at Robinson last summer. The child was waiting with his grandma and another child (a sibling maybe)while the mom was cleaning up their lunch table. While grandma’s back was turned, he climbed in. It happened faster than any of us sitting nearby could do anything to stop it.

    Fortunately, after a few moments of panic, the mom was able to get the child to squeeze down far enough to push the door back up over his head so he could get out. He was fine.

    I went home and told my husband, “I saw something today that I could totally see our son doing.”

    Kids are quick. Some, like my youngest, ridiculously so. I have learned over time that if I ever utter the words “I would never…” I had better be ready to duck, cause that boomerang is on it’s way.

  30. Cassie
    December 13, 2010 4:26 pm

    I totally believe in karma. Just last month I took my kids out for dinner with my sister and my son (heaven forbid) knocked over his chocolate milk when he turned to look somewhere. It of course spilled everywhere and my son started to cry. The woman who was just sat behind us said rather loudly to no one, “Get that KID out of here.”

    So me and my pregnant butt gathered my kids silently and left. My sister, on the other hand waited for the bill and loudly said things about that other woman in a nice and passive manner.

    Long story short – people look at me, 26 years old with 2 1/2 kids and automatically judge.

    I’m no saint, but I refuse to judge another mother. We’re all doing the best we can.

  31. Jim
    December 13, 2010 4:36 pm

    How awesome would it have been for the fireman to put away his ax and try to win the girl with a couple of quarters and a steady hand on the claw joystick?

  32. Monty
    December 13, 2010 4:56 pm

    How cute is that kid?? See toy, want toy, get toy. I like the cut of her jib — hope she doesn’t lose that part of her personality as she grows up.

  33. Jill
    December 13, 2010 5:13 pm

    My husband is the middle child of 7 kids…each one year apart from the other. When he was 3, his mom put the 5, 4, 3, 2,and 1 year olds down for a nap and was enjoying her tea. The neighbor called and said “So, where are the kids?” She answered, “Taking their naps…why?” The neighbor said…” they aren’t.” My husband and his “older siblins” were walking to Idora Park (an amusment park near their house) to get fries. (Mind you – Irish Catholic family – circa 1965!) Oh the stories they have…

  34. jmarinara
    December 13, 2010 6:48 pm

    Boy I sure hope you all remember how hard you came down on those parents the next time you meet a homeschooling family.

    A few thoughts:

    1. Is it wrong that the image of her in the toy machine made me giggle?

    2. I don’t blame Mom.

    3. Judgy McJudgston #1 needs a spelling lesson.


  35. CarolineFB
    December 13, 2010 9:55 pm

    That took her a little more than 8 seconds. David Blaine would be so jealous.

  36. bucdaddy
    December 14, 2010 12:41 pm

    ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A 2-year-old girl is safe after crawling into a toy machine at the Mall at Robinson on Wednesday night.

    The event happened between 8:30 and 9 p.m. inside the mall’s food court, police told Channel 4 Action News.


    Now: They had to call the fire department and use axes? Isn’t that a little melodramatic? I mean, isn’t there, like, a door on the back of the thing with one of those little padlocks on it you could snap with scissors? Do they call the fire department when it’s time to restock the machine?

  37. VAgirl
    December 19, 2010 8:58 pm

    An instant is all it takes and I do believe in the karma boomerang (I do,I do, I do, I do believe in the karma boomerang). My second son got up from his nap (this was in the 80’s) walked past me as I had just sat down from ironing, proceeded into my bedroom where the iron and the board where cooling and as I followed no more than 20 feet behind, pulled the cord and down came the iron onto his forehead. Quick trip to the ER and even then a discussion with a social worker. All my friends had thought I was the perfect mom and maybe even I was believing the their tributes. My son still has his star scar in the middle of his forward. At times that is where I give him a quick kiss. It happens, no judgement from me.