Thursday, December 3, 2009


We have always struggled to find babysitters for our children. We don't have family close by nor to we have friends with teenagers. And I have stopped short of stalking teenage girls at the bus stop for fear of being arrested.
This year, we hit the babysitting motherload. Through various circumstances we have been blessed to find not one, but three reliable babysitters! They range in age from 14 to mid-20s. Seeing as I have an infant, the one I am most comfortable with for all three children is the oldest and I tend to call on her the most. For the rest of this story, we are going to refer to her as Mandy*. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
Now Mandy is wonderful! She is very energetic and fun and the kids love her. Other than the very small issue of her being a Florida fan (Roll Tide!) I have found no flaws with her.
Earlier this week, Mandy was watching not only my 3 but also Libby's friend, Logan while Brad and I were at Logan's house for our weekly bible study. When we returned home, Mandy tells me that the kids were good as usual but that Libby was saying some unkind things earlier. She had tried to talk to Libby about it, but Libby got embarrassed and upset and wouldn't talk about it or apologize. I asked whether Libby was being unkind to Emma Jane or to Logan and Mandy tells me that Libby was actually being rude to her.
Oh crap!
I assured her that I would speak to Libby about it. Because I seriously don't want to lose a babysitter because my daughter is being a brat. So as I was helping Libby get ready for bed, I mentioned that I heard she was being unkind to our babysitter. Libby, in true girl fashion, immediately started to cry and said "I just can't talk about it!" Oh, well, we are going to talk about it, girlie!
I let her go to bed, because trying to talk to a tired, unreasonable 4 year old is fruitless. The next morning, I resumed the conversation with her.
Me: Libby, were you saying unkind things to Miss Mandy?
Libby: yes
Me: What did you say to her?
Libby: I don't know.
Me: Libby, did you know that what you were saying was hurtful?
Libby: yes. But I didn't mean to hurt her feelings.
Me: Sometimes even when we don't mean to, our words can hurt other people.
Libby: (her face screwed up in pre-outburst concentration) But Mom-my! She is fat!
Do you hear that sound? That is the ton of bricks falling on my head and burying me.
Oh, Libby.
You told her she was fat!!
The mortification I am feeling on behalf of my daughter is so great that I have actually broken out into a sweat.
And all I can think of is my own sister.
Because when I was only a little bit younger than Libby is now, I looked my sister's very large swim teacher in the face and said, "My but you are fat as a pig."
My sister has never quite forgiven me for that humiliation.
If only my three-year-old self had known how that comment would come back to bite me in the butt someday.
We made a special trip to visit Miss Mandy later that day and apologize to her.


Krystyn said...

We've got to work on that, too. Izzy's been know to say "you have a big booty!"

Good for you for taking her and having her apologize!

Bren said...

Poor Libby is probably going to remember that for the rest of her life. Good lesson but a tough one to go through. I love the drama though "I just CAN'T talk about it!"

Good job in taking her over to apologize. That will DEFINITELY stick!

blueviolet said...

I'm guessing that she probably learned a big lesson that day and will be much more careful about things in the future.

I would have been mortified as well!

Kids don't have filters at all!

Morgan said...

Oh Lauren, I would have been mortified! I think you handled the situation very well though. I'm going to try and remember this in the future when Ella says something unkind one day.

Kmama said...

Oh no!! Poor Libby...a big real world lesson to learn. She was just being honest. Hopefully Mandy realizes that she meant no harm.

Ashley said...

What a story!
Horrifing for you I'm sure but pure entertainment for the rest of us!

shortmama said...

Its so hard to teach kids honesty yet still being considerate of feelings! No stressing mama!

Sierra said...

Oh! I so feel your pain. but way to go to meet it head on and have her apologize.

Kelli said...

When I was little I was at the gym with my mom and a lady walked by and I said (loudly) "Mommy, why that lady's legs so big?" She still talks about it.

Cindy said...

Out of the mouths of babes. I am glad that Mandy was comfortable enough to tell you. She wants what is best for Libby, realizing let's correct this before she says something to someone who would really get offended.

Emily said...

SOOOO glad it wasn't my child! What did Miss Mandy say when you apologized?

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Yeah, I am thankful it wasn't my child as well... at least, not THIS time! These are the times when parenting is the most difficult, yet the most important.

Mrs. NB

Rachel said...

Oy! What's that thing that parents say...? One day, I hope you have a kid JUST LIKE YOU...? Aye yi yi! Sounds like it's hereditary, no? Ms. Mandy sounds like an absolute sweetheart :)

heidi said...

Oh no!!!! They just don't have any idea about what they're saying, do they? It's just the truth to them so they speak it. I hope all fences were mended and you didn't lose a good sitter!

Megan R. said...

OH man! What did Mandy say when you took her to apologize??