Get widget

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quit It

The smoking Indonesian baby made famous by an internet video gone viral has kicked the habit, according to CBS news.  The report then asks, "but will it last?"

I don't think it will.  Once back home, I doubt the parents of two-year-old Aldi Suganda will be able to withstand the epic string of tantrums I'm assuming he's about to commence.  I know I can hardly keep it together when my children want something as simple and non-addictive as a spoon.  I've learned quickly that I have less than five seconds to hear them request something, process their often illogical request, understand the baby-English they're speaking, and retrieve the item before the crying starts.  (I assume, of course, that these situations will lessen as they continue to grow, and I continue to emphasize that bashing one's head into the kitchen cabinet is an inappropriate response to "no, you can't eat that sponge.")  I can only imagine how an additive substance will exacerbate the situation.

On first glance, many might assume that the child will never smoke again.  Being two years old, after all, severely limits access to cigarettes.  Being two years old, in fact, could be tantamount to being in rehab - adults go to rehab to cleanse themselves of harmful toxins and allow their physical addiction to peter out, and the success of rehabilitation facilities are based on the inaccessibility of the sources of addiction.

Another aspect of rehab clinics is professional monitoring.  While Aldi was there, professionals could make sure he did not harm himself.  Being forced to give up something as addictive as two packs of cigarettes a day could turn any adult into a cranky and angry mess.  Add to that a definite lack of understanding as to why one can no longer smoke, a lack of desire to quit, and an age where the wrong kind of grape for a snack can send you spiralling into the depths of inconsolation, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

The child's parents aren't trained for the intensity of distress this will cause in their lives, and - new car or not - with the lackadaisical laws and rules applied to smoking and cigarettes in Indonesia, it may prove to be too much for them to bear.

Will Aldi's parents be able to stand stonily by as he thrashes himself around, bites, throws objects and maybe even hurts himself in an attempt to show them what he wants, or will it just be easier to hand him a cigarette if it will stop the screaming, the crying, the self-abuse?  No one likes to see their baby in pain.  In the height of the situation, will his parents be able to see that the cigarette is even more harmful than his toddler behavior?  I hope so, but I can also see them easily giving in.

Video of Aldi smoking

(You'll notice I haven't touched at all on the fact that the child was smoking in the first place.  I've yet to read an article that covered that to my satisfaction, and I refuse to speculate on it.  My visceral reaction is too strong and negative for me to make any sort of statement on it without more facts to shore me up.)

CBS Article

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...