With his arms crossed, his lips set in pout mode, he said, "No thank you" when asked to share a toy with his brother. How about you eat some carrots? Again, "no thank you."
Some kids are pretty sharp when it comes to handling adults. In this instance, the little guy in question is so polite it's hard to get mad at him for not sharing with his brother or consuming his vegetables. Not quite the Eddie Haskell type, but still ornery.
The recent incident in Moundsville involving a grade schooler who said a man tried to kidnap him has set a lot of parents on edge. The boy was riding his scooter in the nearby empty school yard while his grandmother and mother were not far away. The suspected kidnapper tried to get the boy to approach his vehicle, surely with evil intent in mind.
The smart little boy started walking away from the man in the car, however the man tried to block his path with his vehicle. What happened next is every parents' alleluia. The boy screamed "help" and then "fire." Those words caught his mother's ear and she came running. Her son was also running - toward his mother's waiting arms.
The man in the silver Buick LaSabre took off and got away. At least for now. Authorities are hoping video cameras around the area may show the vehicle or the suspect. The boy has given police a good description of the man because kids are more astute than we give them credit. The mother also saw enough to be helpful.
The best weapon in the community's arsenal against this would-be criminal and others is the public eye. Anyone who's read this newspaper knows all about this attempted abduction by now and they are mad.
Often it takes a whopping dose of anger to get people off their couches and looking out their windows. Nothing inspires people to pay a little closer attention to their surroundings than someone messing with one of their kids.
The only measure of good resulting from this incident - other than the boy is safe - is a hearty reminder to parents, grandparents, caregivers and everyone else, to be vigilant. While we may think we are being overly protective, it's never too soon or too much to remind our kids about the dangers of the wide world outside their front doors.
I can handle the Eddie Haskells in my life. It's the strangers lurking around playgrounds and school yards that I need help with as do all of us. School has begun for many local kids.
It's time we sit up and pay attention so our kids will, too. Don't send them a text or email. Look in those innocent, young eyes and let them see that you care enough to do so and maybe, just maybe they will actually absorb your words of wisdom.
"No thank you" just won't do.
Heather Ziegler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.