Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jeez Louise.

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.


Amie said...

If it makes any difference, I don't think that you did anything wrong. Ofcourse I am not opposed to correcting other people's children if they are in my children's space. :)

Lowa said...

Uhh...doesn't sound to me like YOU are sensitive, it sounds like everyone else around you is. For heaven's sake!??!? That is ridiculous!

From what you said, you handled everything fine. For crying out loud, you offered to have someone come to your house for a play date and they drop your class!??! It is not like anyone has anything against their little boy, you guys are trying to make the poor guy feel comfy and this is your reward!?!?


I have no patience for people like that. First of all, the mother at the library should have paid attention to what her daughter was doing, so you didn't NEED to, you know?? I am so tired of going anywhere in public and people being determined that their kid is PERFECT and can do no wrong.

I have been places before and if I hear crying or what have you, I am totally open to the fact that MY child may have had something to do with it. I am not immediatley on the attack and of the mind set that someone must have done something to HIM/HER, you know?? Which ends up often being the case!

People have to be open minded and not so defensive when it comes to their children. Sounds like YOU are and the people around you need to learn from you, not treat you the way they have.

YOu sound like me and take things personally. But honestly, it sounds like this is the other people's problem and PLEASE try to let it just roll off of you. YOu have too much to do to waste energy on these types of things. Enjoy your sweet babies and all your other blessings:) That is my two cents!

Have a great day!

Jen aka Evilynmo said...

The class thing is definitely a tough call. My Bradley class teacher always had her three daughters coming in and out and we loved it =) Especially her super cute 2 yr old. Sounds like the other couples are a little uptight. Sorry Mamma!

Tiffany said...

As a childbirth teacher that also teaches from my home, I have had to deal with this type of thing for years. Finally I had to make a no kids policy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE kids, but when I have several couples in a class, all of whom are spending quite a chunk of money/time/effort to be there, I feel it is not fair to have distractions.
I always try and find a sitter for a couple, but sometimes it is just not available. I do at times offer to teach them privately, for an extra fee.
Don't worry, you have to keep things fair for everyone...it sounds like this mom may have over-reacted a bit by dropping out.

Dollymama said...

You some similar to me--I hate to have to say things to people that may make them offended, hurt, whatever. I can tell you that it's getting easier as I do it more often. I don't know if it will ever be entirely comfortable, but sometimes it's just gotta be done.

You were right to let the woman know that her child was causing a problem for the class. If I had been another class member, I would have appreciated you taking care of business and not ruining my class time.

Her reaction sounds like a typical first time mom. She'll get over it....eventually. :)