Parenting: February 2008 Archives

We have a new babysitter. She's 15 years old and she has been over the last two Tuesdays to play with August for 3 hours while I answer emails or read the final Harry Potter book. I met her at a Christmas party where she was attending with her parents. Her family are friends of friends and because she seemed to like my daughter so much everyone kept suggesting I have her babysit. They seemed to think she was a godsend. 
I waited a month and a half to call her because I think she's a nice girl who has the potential to become one of the people I am referring to when I use the term "burden on society".

  • She hates school. Fine, lots of kids hate school. I did.
  • She wants to drop out because she already knows what she wants to be - a cosmetologist.  Because there is such a shortage of those...
  • She's a cheerleader. Normally this is not a drawback. But added with the rest of the list, it boggles my mind.
  • She may have flunked a class. Again, I did this too. But she thinks it's funny.
  • She wore flip flops with socks to my house yesterday when it was snowing outside. When I asked her if she was cold she said No. If I slap her, do you think she'll say it didn't hurt?
  • Her cell phone voice mail greeting is "Hi this is C. I'm probably home right now just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave a message and I'll call you back. If I don't call you back, take a hint, it's probably you." I almost hung up right then.
  • She can't spell. Yesterday she wrote on August's chalk board "Your a nut."  Come on! We let these people graduate?
I have been so careful up to this point about who I let in my daughter's life, who I allow to influence her. We hardly ever smoke crack in front of her and it's been at least a year since we sold the strip club.  But seriously. While this girl is okay and seems to like August, the first time my daughter shows any signs of wanting to wear socks with sandals I am so firing that bitch.

I hear that women are natural multitaskers. Natural if you consider that we have no choice.

At this moment, I am uploading photos to my Flickr account, checking the primary election results, listening to the new babysitter play with August downstairs, answering emails and writing this blog. In a moment, I'm going to start reading the final Harry Potter book with my left eye because, hell, it's just sitting there doing nothing.

This might be the only time I can bring this up, but I won an award for Outstanding Office Aid in my middle school when I was in the 8th grade. When I accepted that award I specifically remember thinking two things, "Wow, they like me because I can do several things at once." And "Wait, does that mean that other people can't do that?" I admit, I was a wee bit proud of myself.

The unfortunate twist of my "special gift" if you will, is that it does not work unless I have had an adequate amount of sleep. Looking back, I'm all like Of course I won that award in 8th grade! I wasn't a mother then.

Did you know that the US is one of only 4 countries that have no policy regarding paid maternity leave? The other countries who treat their mothers the way we do is Swaziland, Liberia and Papa New Guinea. Did you know that the French government provides in home help for new mothers? For free.

I have a friend down the street who was a single mom at 18 years old. She worked three jobs and supported her son. He is 15 now - great kid. She's married, has another son who is three and is pregnant with twins. Her husband works seven days a week to support them. And when I see her, all I do is wonder how the hell she's going to survive having all these kids to care for with no help. Holy hell. I mean, she'll do it. She's amazing. But when will she sleep??

Ya know, you're not supposed to drive a car if you're tired. But you can be responsible for a helpless baby who needs non-stop attention. That's how we roll here in the US. We give moms all kinds of advice and then send them out to the war zone with no freaking help. Good Luck! Some people actually laugh when we tell new moms how little sleep they'll be getting. Sadistic little shits, they are. 

As these election results come in, I can't help but wonder what these candidates would have said to a debate question like this. "What plans do you have to provide assistance to new mothers so that our current maternity policies will no longer be that of a third world country?"