Ice Bucket Challenge Officially Jumps The Shark When Grandfather Douses 10-Month-Old
Despite all the money raised so far, we’ve also seen some pretty ill-conceived ideas come out of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. From the Belgian man who’s currently in a coma after having 400 gallons of water dumped on him out of an airplane, to the genius who burned himself substituting extra-cold dry ice for the normal, find-it-in-your-grocer’s-freezer variety, we’ve seen some impressive failures of critical thinking in the name of a good cause. I think it’s safe to say, though, that we’ve hit a new low with the grandfather who decided to include his ten-month-old granddaughter in his ice bucket challenge video.
Most ten-month-olds I’ve ever met start crying when their bath water is half a degree too cool, let alone if they get pelted in the face by a gallon or two of ice water. I’m not sure what could possibly have been going through this grandfather’s head when he positioned his grandchild in her exersaucer to get an impromptu ice bath, but I’m guessing it was something along the lines of, “this is going to get me so many ‘likes’ on Facebook.” Do we need a new viral social media phenomenon to sweep the nation in order to bring awareness to the fact that it’s idiotic and just plain mean to pour ice water on a baby’s head?
If you want to make an ice bucket video, more power to you (just skip the dry ice and airplane dump, please). But please don’t drag your kids, or your grandkids, into it. Ten-month-olds can’t exactly make their own decision on whether or not to participate in these videos, and since they’re only just aware of how to bang a spoon on a pot, their “awareness” of ALS as an important issue is probably not going to be substantially raised by being involved. The only awareness on their part that’s going to be affected is their awareness that you are an untrustworthy caregiver who has ice water for brains. And I think I can safely speak for people with ALS, too, when I say that they do not want you to pour ice water on your small child’s head in the name of this campaign.
The little girl’s father is apparently in the middle of a contentious divorce from her mother. I’m guessing he’s got a copy of this video of his daughter’s maternal grandfather acting like a complete jerk saved as Exhibit A for future custody hearings – as well he should. Grandparents who want to increase their social media capital at the expense of their grandkids’ well-being have no business being left in charge of those kids. Someone get the baby in this video a towel, and while you’re at it, maybe a responsible adult, too.