Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Darling Damage

Tonight, after a particularly difficult day at work, I'm lying down, reading a book, fantasizing the day away and Handsome and Darling arrive home.

Handsome comes into the room and grimly says: "Come look at your daughter's face."
I call for Darling, she walks in the room and I behold a bruise under her eye about 3" in diameter and one slightly smaller above her eye.

"Darling, what happened?"
"I was pushed down! On the ground!"
"By who?"
"Agressive Son of Our Baby Sitter"

Handsome pipes in with "Baby Sitter says she was hit in the face with a frisbee" It's pretty clear by Darling's shiner that a Frisbee wasn't the perpetrator...

I ask Darling, "Is that true? Was it a Frisbee or did Agressive Son push you down?"
"Agressive Son pushed me down when we played Frisbee"

This seems like a simple case. Question Babysitter why she wasn't watching the kids more closely to know what happened.

It's not. She served her husband with divorce papers today. They were arguing when Handsome came to pick up Darling.

I can understand why Agressive Son might be a bit stressed/over stimulated today seeing his parents split.

Any excuse for pushing down Darling? Hell, The Fuck NO! But sort of understandable considering his parents' sitch. We've never had a problem in the last 3.5 months that Darling's gone to this particular babysitter.

What to do? Let it pass as a bad, bad day or press the issue? Boys are more agressive than girls, I can't accept anyone laying a hand on Darling in any shape, form or fashion, but considering the circumstances, do I give Babysitter we've liked until now another chance, especially considering this is about to be her only form of financial sustanance?

I will address it tomorrow night when we can both be there. Bruises on my Darling (and whatever emotional trauma notwithstanding)is unacceptable. How do I approach this?



Anonymous said...

Here's an idea - stay home with your kid. Then you know what is going on with them. No matter how great you think a babysitter is, no one can love or care for your child like you can.

Unknown said...

Moxie Mama: Definitely sit down and have a serious talk with Babysitter. I used to work with kids and the rule goes that if there were any injuries to the head, the parents were IMMEDIATELY called because of a risk of concussion. And I'd start calling new babysitters right away.

Anonymous: Did it dawn on you that Darling is in child care for a reason? Not everyone has the luxury of staying home with your kids, and I don't think that paranoia will solve the problem here. Sorry to sound harsh, but as a working mom, I'm here to tell ya, sometimes babysitters are very necessary.

Back to Moxie Mama: I think you sound like a super mom and I'm sure you'll make the right decision! You're right to be very concerned. But I promise you, there are good child care providers out there.

Anonymous said...

"They were arguing when handsome came to pick up darling". I would be more worried about that. Who knows what your child has or will be exposed to at that home. Depending upon how they "argue"- it could be yelling, cursing, or worse. Kids don't need to see that stuff and I'd get my kid out for that reason alone. If this is your sitter's business, then she should prevent her perosnal life from negatively affecting it and obviously she can't.

Anonymous said...

Not a luxury, a sacrifice and a choice.

Anonymous said...

As a mom of a little boy who can get excited and push a kid down, I might be tempted to say "it happens". HOWEVER, I would be extremely bothered that the sitter had a different story than your daughter. I agree that something must be said, and you might want to look into your other options. I'll say a prayer for you!

MoxieMamaKC said...

Anonymous, becoming a stay at home mom? Not an option financially. How do you know I'd even be good at it? Not all stay at home moms are created equal.

I make a lot more than my husband does. Poverty isn't an option that benefits my child, either.

My husband has already been discussing with his boss the possibility of working from home 2 days a week to cut down on child care costs.

He works for an internet based company so we're hoping this might be a partial solution. We were planning on putting her in a preschool when she is 4, but now it seems a more stuctured daycare environment is the better option.

Yesterday definitely seems to be a sign to speed up that process.

My babysitter has always been a good one. Her son runs up to Darling every morning to give her a hug. Darling talks about him non-stop and they have a good friendship. However, they fight like regular kids do over toys and stuff.

I'm bothered by our babysitter's lack of professionalism when it came to caring for my child yesterday, but I don't want it to seem like she's ever been neglectful. She's done a great job and Darling always looks forward to going there. If she had been a horrible babysitter, it would make yesterday a no brainer.

We'll figure out what to do after our talk with her...I hope.

FletcherDodge said...

We had a similar experience with our daughter. When she was 9-months old (entering the phase between crawling and walking) there was an incident at the baby sitter's that ended up with our daughter in a cast with a broken leg (something about her falling out of a bouncy seat, never really got the full story).

We were suspicious but let it pass as just an accident. We really liked the baby sitter and some of our best friends employed her.

Then a year or so later, she came home with a swollen lip and a out-of-place tooth with matching head bruises. There was little explanation and at this point, we found a new babysitter that we were really pleased with.

My personal thoughts on this is that a single incident can be viewed as an accident, especially if your gut is telling you good things about the child care provider.

But two "accidents" is a pattern and at that point it is my responsibility as a father to take the child out of harms way (as much as possible).

Just my two-cents.

MoxieMamaKC said...

Again, Emawkc, you are the voice of reason.

Since spin doctoring is sort of what I do for a living, Handsome let me lead the conversation tonight with the babysitter.

Without direct confrontation such as "Your little brat hit my beautiful child!" I approached it like you seemed to have done. I asked if Overly Aggressive Son and Darling got along and I told Babysitter that Darling told me last night that he had pushed her down and again when I asked her about their interaction I told her that she told me that OAS didn't like her and that made her sad.

In my reasonable grown up voice I asked her "What's going on?"

Based on her answers, I think everything is ok and intuition is one of my better qualities usually, and from her answer and knowing the kids, THIS time I'm chalking it up to a battle of Alpha Kid Dominance.

One more mark on Darling and we're out of there. If she hadn't had a stellar record until now, Babysitter wouldn't be getting this tenuous chance.

GB, RN said...

Pay no heed to the militant stay-at-home Mom faction. I know plenty of kids who had sitters growing up, graduating to latch-key. And they turned out just fine, in one piece, without longterm effects or post-traumatic stress.

I'm one of them.

I don't think that because a Mom works instead of staying at home, means she loves her children any less or makes SAH Mom any more superior than Working Mom.

Just found your blog. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
The best thing to do for a child is to provide the best life and opportunites possible for your child. The decision to (whether that be a "decision" or not) work as a mother is NOT a bad choice.
I work to provide my child the BEST insurance and finacial stability possible. My child will have a college education provided to her. Many people don't believe that children deserve a higher education from their parents (if that is what they want). You are a closed minded, judgmental, immature "adult". I would put my child up against any child that has a stay at home parent - without a doubt my child could hold her own (physically, mentally and emotionally). Sounds like you might have some emotional maturity problems. I assume you would say a mother should stay home with her chld while collecting welfare, if necessary...I DO NOT agree.

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