I am Not your Babysitter

Friday, July 01, 2011

Dear Other parents at the Park/Baseball field/Pool/Beach/Walmart etc,

I've been watching you for awhile now, and have come to the conclusion that you are operating under a seriously mistaken assumption.

Which is:

Being in the same Vicinity of YOUR children = Watching and Attending to the behavior of YOUR children.

As evidenced from the behavior of your screaming/crying/cursing/running through other people's BBQ's children, you seem to believe that your right to "relax" supersedes the rest of humanity's right to relax/shop/eat/swim.

I know what it is to raise a child. I know what it is to teach a whole Roomful of them, and believe me when I say that I understand the adult need to tune out. However, doing this while your child(ren) run amok is simply not acceptable.

And don't give me the free range children bullshit. Your child was just pulled out of traffic/out of the deep end of the pool/off of the top tier of the store shelves by ME. You aren't encouraging your child's "independence" by letting them place themselves and others in harms way. What you Are encouraging is a selfish belief that Their desire to play/scream/swim/run/throw themselves in traffic is more important that the needs of a Community.

And while I am on "Community", let me address your other mistaken belief that because I am a Mother that I have an overwhelming desire to watch over Your children. Not just casually as in "everyone looking out for each other" but as in "You are sitting in your lounge chair Drinking a beer/reading/reading/texting/talking on the phone" and have no idea what your child is up to.

Said child may have just had the idea that running through a crowd with a flaming stick is a great idea. Or maybe you gave him/her some fireworks. While I applaud your own Darwinian instincts to see if they are strong enough to survive, I don't appreciate you dragging MY family into your natural selection experiment.

I am also pretty sure that no one else got the memo that if more than 2 other adults are present that your obligations as a parent can be set aside, leaving you free to pursue what ever other more enjoyable activities you may have had planned.

In short, I am Not your babysitter and I resent you treating me as such. In fact we ALL resent it - the other parents, the other kids and even YOUR kid. He/She just wants some attention from you, even if it is to say "Yes I'm watching" for the billionth time as they jump into the pool.

Yeah, I know you'd rather be having a beer and chatting with friends. I truly get it. But when we signed on as parents, that option gets curtailed for a time. Our job to raise children who are independent AND courteous, polite and respectful humans must take precedence. It sucks at times, I know. However, if you take the long view what is more important? That text? That phone call? Or having a kid that others can say is well behaved and considerate?

I know my answer.

Baleful Regards,

PS - Give a thought in advance to if your child is going to scream in terror through the movie/fireworks/museum. Can you take just a moment to consider whether YOUR need for entertainment is overpowering your knowledge that your kid is not going to be able to handle it, and drag everyone within earshot into your grim, Private hell? I didn't see fireworks for years because I knew that Emily would have a violent screaming fit and was that really fair for Anyone? Thanks.

1 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

Amen sister.

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