By Ellen Sturm Niz
April 13, 2015
kids in park

Apparently parents who let their kids walk home from the park alone are more neglectful than parents who drop their toddler into a pack of cheetahs, if this weekend's news is any indication.

Around 5 p.m. last night, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv's 10-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were picked up by police after someone reported them walking unattended in their Maryland neighborhood. You may remember the Meitivs, free-range parents who believe in letting their kids walk to and from the park alone, from a similar situation in December, but this time was different."The police coerced our children into the back of a patrol car, telling them they would drive them home. They kept the kids trapped there for three hours, without notifying us, before dropping them at the Crisis Center, and holding them there without dinner for another two and a half hours," Danielle wrote in her Facebook post. "We finally got home at 11pm [sic] and the kids slept in our room because we were all exhausted and terrified."

I am so irate about this I can barely breathe. WTF. The police and CPS are out of their minds. The Meitivs began looking for their kids when they didn't get home by their 6 p.m. curfew, but didn't find out for two hours that they were with the police the whole time. So ridiculous. I can't help but think the police or CPS purposely didn't notify the parents for so long as some sort of cruel way of trying to teach them a lesson. The whole situation is dumbfounding.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, parents of a two-year-old boy dropped him into a cheetah exhibit at the zoo Saturday after allegedly dangling him over the railing, according to numerous reports. The cheetahs, luckily, ignored him, but he had to be taken to the hospital because of a leg injury suffered during the fall. Though the zoo plans to file child endangerment charges against the parents, the toddler was never taken from the parents and there is no mention of CPS involvement, as far as I can tell.

Strangely, I was just looking at a story about how Melanie Griffith lived in a house with lions as a kid because her mom Tippi Hedren wanted to film a movie about them. Griffith, then 14, was later mauled by a lion during the filming of the movie, Roar. What is wrong with people?! These are truly baffling parenting decisions. We all make mistakes, but I think most parents have an innate understanding that giant wild cats and kids shouldn't mix. (For the record, Hedren now says it was a horrible idea, and she is adamantly against wild animals as pets.)

How topsy-turvy is the world when kids can't walk home from the park alone without getting abducted by CPS, and yet the parents who dropped their toddler into a pack of cheetahs got to tuck him in like normal last night? What. Is. Going. On. I seriously can't understand what the Maryland police and CPS are thinking. I can't understand what the toddler-dangling parents were thinking. The world makes no sense to me today.

To Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, I understand and support you.

To the Cleveland Zoo, I support your plan to file child endangerment charges.

To the world, please start making more sense or it's going to be a long week.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who had to edit a lot of expletives out of this blog post. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Image via Shutterstock