Babysitting Abuse

July 17, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus has belonged to a certain Organization for several years, the “clubhouse” of which she frequents almost every day. This particular Organization offers babysitting services at a ridiculously low rate to its members while they are in the “clubhouse”. It’s a great deal, and The Missus and Robert have taken advantage of it several times. That is, until the other day:

Snooty Front Desk Chick: I need to talk to you about that boy.
The Missus: Uhh, ok. What about him?
SFDC: The babysitting services are available only to children of members. You can’t just bring any kid in here and dump him off.
The Missus: Robbie? He’s my son. He’s adopted.
SFDC: *snort* Well have you spoken with The Director about it?
The Missus: No, but we can go do that right now.

And so they did. The Director, as one would hope, gave SFDC a tongue-lashing. I’m not sure if she is still employed or not.

These are some of the fun things we get to look forward to as Robbie grows up. It’s a good thing The Missus and I have a good sense of humor or we would never survive it all. (That, or people like SFDC would not survive.) The core of the situation doesn’t bother me at all. A young woman exercised poor judgement in jumping to an incorrect conclusion. It happens. She would have known that The Missus wasn’t pregnant, and now this kid shows up out of nowhere. Abuse of babysitting services isn’t the first thing that would have popped into my mind, but hey, people have probably tried it before.

But what I really love is that after The Missus pointed out that Robbie is adopted, SFDC marched The Missus to The Director. That’s just beautiful. Did she think The Director was going to demand proof of parenthood or something? What was the goal there? Methinks somebody was just being stubborn and stupid. The former often leads to the latter.

A little part of me wants to see SFDC get fired. It seems weird (and a little shameful) to admit that considering I view this event with humor, not malice. After all, I get a big kick thinking about how SFDC has to look The Missus in the eye every single day. That sort of embarassment is way better than getting SFDC fired. And my goal here should be education, not retaliation. But as much as I am pro-humiliation and pro-education, I am also vehemently anti-stupid, and SFDC behaved very stupidly. The Organization shouldn’t want to be associated with her.

I’ll leave SFDC’s employment status up to the Organization. No way in heck am I going to let myself turn into one of those parents that goes on a wild crusade every time his kid is a victim or stupidity, or bigotry, or whatever. I just hope the Organization reviews its employee training procedures and tries to determine if this error resulted from a flaw in training, or if it’s just the sort of hiccup that’s going to happen now and then. (I assume the latter.) In the mean time, I’m going to remind myself that sometimes people do stupid things, and that the best thing to do is to learn from their mistakes.

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The Comments

Dave K July 17, 2006 at 11:08pm

I would strongly advise against deriving humor from the way your son is treated because of the differences in his biological appearance from you and your wife.  Whether or not today’s event was indeed humorous is debatable, but if you think every encounter spawned by your son’s biological appearance is going to be humorous, you’re in for quite the surprise.  The important thing is to ensure that your son grows up with his biology and your biology transparent to everything within your control. 


I don’t see anything wrong with what the receptionist did, other than maybe not believing that your wife had brought in an adopted child.  But if you look from her perspective, maybe someone has misleadingly said that before.  And since it was your wife’s idea to go to the director, then I don’t see what was so wrong with that.  Maybe new parents need to get approval from the director before their children can be cared for there?  Sounds like a good idea to me.

Mr. Wilson July 17, 2006 at 11:45pm

I would strongly advise against deriving humor from the way your son is treated because of the differences in his biological appearance from you and your wife.

I have a fairly expansive definition of “humor”, just like some people have an expansive definition of “art”. Don’t think Funny Ha Ha humor in this context.

...maybe someone has misleadingly said that before.

As I noted.

<em>And since it was your wife

Mr. T July 18, 2006 at 1:03am

Let me guess, was this Gold

Dave K July 18, 2006 at 1:09am

<i>No it wasn

Dave K July 18, 2006 at 1:10am

...damn I wish the text box would tell you when you’ve missed slashes like Dreamweaver does.

If it was Gold’s Gym, then I’m not surprised one bit by the story.

Mr. Wilson July 18, 2006 at 1:57am

Here is what I read…

Read the line before that one. Even if that doesn’t convince you, don’t sweat it. This is just my approximation of The Missus’ telling of what happened. SFDC was the initiator.\\

Not to nitpick and start a petty argument…

We all need a hobby wink

Michael July 18, 2006 at 2:58pm

My sister and her husband have adopted two bi-racial babies and, alas, they have encountered this type of thing in the past. 

One of the most interesting was in a chain restaurant.  They had gone to put the stroller in the car and Grandma was with my neice.  The waitress came up and saw my neice, had seen my mom and my sister and her hubby and went “What is that?”

My mom didn’t bat an eye….

“An answer to prayer,” she said.

The waitress took the drink order and went away…

But I will say this—for everyone one idiot who will say something stupid or dumb, there are 99 others who see the beautiful, wonderful kids and how much they are loved by their family….

Mr. Wilson July 18, 2006 at 3:18pm

But I will say this—for everyone one idiot who will say something stupid or dumb, there are 99 others who see the beautiful, wonderful kids and how much they are loved by their family….

That is true in our experience. In fact, I’ve been surprised so far how few people have said and done stupid things. Most people haven’t even flinched at the sight of a brown baby surrounded by a white family. Not even the little “Wait, you’re not black…” looks that I expected. I know our society has a long ways to go in terms of racial and ethnic cohesion, but it’s really refreshing to see how many things are considered normal these days.

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