Thursday, January 10, 2008

Presumptions

Presumptions are assumptions taken for granted. My husband assumes I'll pick up after his poker party because I've done it before. My mother assumes we'll see her around Christmastime because that's been a tradition for 36 years. Presumptions, well, they're presumptuous. And audacious. And discourteous.

But I'll let you be the judge.

This couple at church has one son who is in my Tuesday evening classroom. He is five and ADHDHDHDHDHDHD. Not a malicious child, quite bright, but taxing on my patience. I don't know this couple outside of passing them in the hall at church and the occasional conversation between aquaintances (people whom one knows, but not a particular friend). Three times now this woman has asked, "what are you doing on Friday/this weekend/Wednesday?" in a friendly way. I answer with my hedge, "Why?" because I assume she wants to get together. Each time she replies, "I wondered if you could take Taylor for me." One time it was for an afternoon. Another time it was for the whole weekend ("I figured you wouldn't notice an extra boy around your house"). This time she desired my babysitting services for seven hours. Noon until 7:00 p.m. Friday.

Now, some may consider her request an assumption because I volunteer to work with her child and other people's children on Tuesday nights. Perhaps she makes this assumption that I want another boy hanging around my house because I have three of my own already. One may argue that because I am "church people," it is safe to assume I love her and her child and want to serve them like a Good Samaritan.

I feel her request is presumptuous. Presumptuous to believe that in addition to working with other people's children one night a week, I desire even more quality time with them. Presumptuous to think that when I have three boys of my own, I would welcome an addition to the fray and not, perhaps, a well-deserved break. Presumptuous to think I wouldn't notice the extra ADHDHDHDHD terror running around my house. Presumptuous because where I come from, we pay babysitters to watch our children. Or ask trusted friends or relatives or enroll them in day care or nursery school. Or sit tight until Dad comes home or the children are in school all day. Presumptuous because I barely know her or her child and because I volunteer at church with three other adults in the room for accountability, my home must be a safe place for children to be. Presumptuous because this is the sort of favor one asks of a close friend or relative, not of an acquaintance. Presumptuous because the whole weekend? A seven-hour shift? I have nothing else going on?

I think this woman is discourteous, rude, and audacious. I don't like her very much now.

Readers, what do you think? Any responses I might have on hand for her next time besides Just Say No?

In other news, I've got to check out Good Reads because suddenly I keep hearing about it and noticing it all the time. And on the No-Target Front, well, I'm taking deep breaths while I try to find a locally owned and operated pharmacy to sell me the Aveeno products necessary to keep my rosacea at bay so I don't look like Bill Clinton after a barbeque dinner with a side of scotch. Today I'll get batteries and lightbulbs at the hardware store, but I have yet to track down a pharmacy nearby where I can get the rest of my shopping done.

6 comments:

  1. I have a word or two, but nothing that you could even remotely say in a church!

    ;-)

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  2. Maybe you could say ..Sure! BUT the going rate for my services is $50.00 bucks an hour..in cash..up front..Plus any late fees you might incur..;p

    P.S.
    Thanks for stopping by and giving me more GREEN ideas!

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  3. Aww man...I just write down $50.00 and get so excited I add the word bucks to it. Geez I'm just a goof..Sorry

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  4. "Which week would you like my three?" might stop her in her tracks. Or how about: "Oh, sorry, you must be confusing me with an au pair. Actually, I'm a mother. Why don't you try it sometime?" This gal is seriously rude.

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  5. Hmm, this is a situation that requires some delicacy but also some directness. I'd suggest that the next time she asks for childcare, you tell her directly that you are not available for childcare ever and just leave it at that.

    This strikes close to home, because one of my neighborhors is about to give birth to child #4. She can barely manage the three she already has. I feel pretty certain she's going to be asking me for help when #4 arrives. Just last week, as we were walking by her house to walk our children to school, she leaned out and asked if her kindergartener could join us. We really didn't want the child to join us because we've walked this child to school before and he's slow and always complains of pretend injuries. So now I'm a bit tense because I know we'll be asked to help in a few weeks and I'm not really feeling too nice these days. [shudder]

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  6. We have one of those ladies in our neighbourhood. When my best friend finally tired of her third-oldest and dragged her back home... she found the woman... are you sitting down... on the treadmill. Yes. She was exercising. She farms out all FIVE of her offspring and she RUNS. If I were her, and I had those five children, I'd run, too. But not in one spot.

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Spill it, reader.