parenting advice

Internet Rage Brigade Furious At Dad Who Let His Pet Python Near His Baby

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.21.11 AMA Michigan dad has all of the internet shaking their pious fists at him after he posted a video on YouTube showing his 14-month-old daughter playing with the family’s pet python. He insists his daughter was safe. I agree, and suggest that the internet go back to leaving their loaded guns out around toddlers and denying their teenagers access to birth control, like the caring and responsible parents that they are.

Jamie Guarino, the father, says that he has been a snake charmer for sixteen years. Granted, the job title of “snake charmer” doesn’t engender much confidence, but sixteen years of experience with snakes does. Guarino has a YouTube channel called Snake Hunters TV where he posts videos about snakes with his older daughter, Krista (age ten). Clearly, this isn’t some idiot who said, “Check it out — I just found this enormous python, and it just so happens that I also have this tiny baby. Let’s put them together and see if sparks fly!” This is a man who loves snakes, has handled them for years, and wants to educate people about them. Cool. Snakes are so completely not my thing that I am uncomfortable sharing a continent with them, but if that’s your passion, go for it. Here’s how Guarino describes his work with snakes on YouTube:

I have been a Reptile Enthusiast for many years now. I have always been fascinated by and respected SNAKES. I now have a beautiful Daughter who has pursued my Hobby and Passion out of her own interest. She amazes me more and more each day. She understands the importance of this fascinating creature in our Eco-system, and how it belongs with us and deserves respect! We started a Video Documentary/Web-Series that we hope can reach and touch the World. We want to show you that snakes don’t have to be seen as evil monsters!!

Sure! Okay! As long as they do it somewhere where I am not, I have no problem with this. I have little doubt that Guarino has spent a lot of time teaching Krista how to handle a snake safely. As far as the video with his baby goes, you could argue that he is flirting with his child’s safety in order to make a point, and I think there is an element of truth to that. He might, in fact, be a bit of a douchebag. However, I also agree with him when he says that his daughter wasn’t in any danger.

In the video, you see Alyssa and the thirteen-foot python, whose name is Nay-Nay (because hell yes) on the ground together. Guarino is within feet of his daughter, holding the camera, and another person is also right there on the floor with them. Defending his video, Guarino says that snakes can be “loving pets.” There I’m going to have to disagree with him. Snakes do not feel love. They give hugs that will murder you. Would I do this with my own kid? No. But I also don’t have the familiarity with snakes that this guy does. I do, however, have a fourteen pound Pekingese who bit my son on the face once and left a scar. Any animal can be dangerous to a child depending on the circumstances. So let’s stop judging Guarino and acting like our collective parenting shit don’t stink. (Screenshot via YouTube)