I have a current childbirth class going. There were four couples in the class to begin. One of those couples has a 2 year old boy. They just moved here from... ah... somewhere. So they don't know anyone to have a babysitter. I told them that my 11 year old could watch their two year old upstairs during class for $5/class. They thought that was a great idea. The first night they came, their son was asleep when they arrived, and they laid him down on the sofa in our upstairs room. Well, that was a Bad Idea. When he woke up, he was in a strange place with strange people. That was all it took for him to decide that my house totally sucks. The next time, he kept coming down by his mom, but it was minimally disruptive. The third class, however, he started screaming as they hit our driveway and we had to wait for the first 10 minutes of class for him to calm down and stop crying. Then while doing relaxation, he was making noise and crying as well. One of the other couples was making little comments and looking uncomfortable.
I talked to PreacherMan about it and he suggested a playdate to help the little boy get acclimated to our house while mom is there and he can come and go and make noise and play. So I suggested this. The mom hemmed and hawed a bit and I finally admitted that some comments were made. She got upset. Later her hubby called me and was really mad that people had made comments and long story short, they dropped my class.
I can't decide now if I did the right thing or not. I feel so bad, and I know they like me, they are hiring me as their doula... but I hate people dropping my class. On the other hand, are their needs more important than the other couples'? Of course they're not. But, I want to always say "children are welcome in my home". Sigh. I don't know.
Then, on the topic of sensitive parents, I took the brood to the library today. There are these neat little reading cubbies in the children's library. My little girls went around collecting books in the little shopping type baskets and depositing their baskets in the cubbie where our diaper bag and backpacks were. I had to leave to change CottonBall and when I returned, my girls were out on the great book hunt again, and there was a little person I didn't know rifling the book basket that my girls had left in the cubbie. I went up to her and said, in a sweet voice, "Hey, sweetie, those are my little girls' books. PLease don't take them out of the basket." She ran over to her mother. I hear mama say, "What did she say to you?" And I told the mom what I said. A minute later I look over, and the little girl is crying. Great. So now, I'm the wicked witch who makes kids cry. I walked over and said, "Oh, is she crying? I'm so sorry! I promise I wasn't mean to her." The mom says, real snippy, "Yeah. I heard you." She says her little one is "a bit freaked out" yeah, because I'm mean and ugly? What on earth? I guess she was just shy. But the mama seemed pissed off.
Maybe I'm just still too sensitive.