About That Two-Year-Old Who Smokes Two Packs a Day
By Sarah on May 28, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
By now you have probably seen the video of the Indonesian two-year-old smoking. I am not going to post it here, but if you haven't seen the video Amy Grindhouse has it on her site. Poor little Ardi Rizal has a two-pack-a-day habit, and he probably isn't even three years old yet.
A two-year-old smoking cigarettes? His parents say he has been smoking since he was 18 months old.
And I think we can all agree that smoking is sort of an understatement. That little guy was hot boxing that thing.
The speed of his habit isn't my main concern. What distresses me the most is, you know, WHAT THE HELL IS A TWO-YEAR-OLD DOING SMOKING CIGARETTES?
When it comes to nicotine, I am no angel. I smoked for years. I even had a relapse after my children were born, but I never ever ever smoked in their presence. I know smokers that do smoke in front of their kids and that is their choice and their right, but you know what? I don't know anyone who has handed their toddler a cigarette and said, "Here, Pumpkin, light up." And you know why? Because it is crazy. I was sixteen years old when I started smoking, and I knew better at the time. This poor kid probably wasn't even pooping in the potty when he took his first drag.
So here are just a few of my questions:
1) How did he start smoking in the first place?
Really, let's say he asked for one. My son really, really wants a dragon. I say no. My daughter wants to eat Oreos for dinner. I say no. Just no. No, you may not go to school in a skirt with no underpants on, and you certainly may not have a cigarette.
His parents say that his father gave him his first cigarette when he was 18 months old. I would love to know why. I cannot think of one answer that would appease me.
2) Who buys him the cigarettes?
This kid can't just drive to the store. I assume he doesn't have a job, and therefore cannot afford his own pack of cigarettes. This leaves the parents or a really, really crappy uncle.
Ardi's mom, Diana, says, "He's totally addicted. If he doesn't get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick."
Well lady, my daughter gets angry and screams when I tell her that she cannot just eat pasta for every meal and that she will be having green beans with her dinner. My son was furious when I wouldn't buy him the $500 LEGO Death Star set, but you know what? My daughter eats green beans and my son lives on without the LEGO Death Star. Also, neither of them have a habit that is proven to cause cancer.
3) Does this mean he is allowed to play with matches?
Because really, 40 cigarettes a day is a lot for his mom to be following him around with a lighter handy.
Let's pretend for just a second that the smoking cigarettes wasn't the problem. HELLO -- FIRE. YOUR BABY IS HOLDING FIRE.
Sheesh! Our preschool didn't allow baby carrots for snack because they were a choking hazard, and these parents are giving their two-year-old fire.
4) If that doesn't make a set of parents unfit, what does?
The Indonesian government has offered to buy the family a car if Ardi quits smoking. That sounds like incentive for other Indonesian families to get their offspring hooked and then cash in when they take the cigarettes away from the baby.
This poor little boy is also severely overweight.
At what point does the Indonesian government step in and find this child a healthier environment to live in? Where is the line for saying "Hey, this is child abuse"?
The whole situation makes me uneasy. I cannot think of any reason this should be allowed to continue.
Please tell me that none of you smoked when you were toddlers. I don't even think Keith Richards stared that young.