Like everyone else on the Internet, I saw the video of the Indonesian toddler smoking the other week. But it’s one thing to see the video and say, “Oh my God, that child is smoking!” and something else entirely to have a news crew follow up and find out that the child has been smoking since he was ELEVEN MONTHS OLD.
His parents, Rizal and Diana, say he started smoking when he was just eleven-months-old, during daily trips to the market where they sell fish.
“He was being very fussy, always cried when we were there to sell,” Diana explained, through an interpreter. “So, we just let him play by himself. … One day, we followed him from behind and found him hanging out at a cigarette stall. … He had a cigarette in his hand, already lit. … He already knew how to do it very well, like an adult. … It was actually his own wish.”
Before long, Aldi was smoking more than 40 cigarettes a day. In fact, his mother says he often uses one cigarette to light the next.
I try to be understanding of other cultures, but, ummmm… that’s… that’s not good parenting. I think I can say that letting your 11-month old wander off in a crowded market — where he learns to smoke and develops a a two-pack-a-day habit by the age of two — transcends racial, cultural, and religious divides and qualifies as universally sh*tty parenting. But you have to admit, that kid does look pretty cool.
(thanks to Upstate Underdog)