Dear Kevin’s Mom and Dad,

caperacres2.jpegDear Kevin’s Mom and Dad,

We met your five-year-old son at the park today. A large play-park in Chico, over an hour’s drive from our home. He played with my two kids, ages 5 and 6. He just latched on to us. We had a nice time, and Kevin seemed very sweet.

We played with Kevin and another boy, Timmy–whose dad was right there–for a solid hour. During that hour, no grown-up checked in with Kevin at all. No adult supervised him, other than my wife and me–two total strangers.

Disturbing, don’t you think?

caperacres1.jpegWhen I asked Kevin where his mom and dad were, he said you were at work, he thought. When I asked him who was watching him, he didn’t know. He didn’t know the name of his babysitter.

When it came time for us to leave, we said good by to Timmy as he trotted off with his dad. And then we said goodbye to your Kevin. He looked lost and wandered to the new play-ship in the park.

Kevin’s Mom and Dad, you should fire your babysitter.

As Kevin wandered aimlessly, alone, my wife and I watched. We couldn’t leave until we were sure he had a grown-up. We were prepared to call the cops. I asked Kevin where his grown-up was, and he didn’t know. I began walking with him from adult to adult, asking, “Is this your babysitter? How about that one? Is that her?” We did this for about 8 minutes, looking for your five-year old’s babysitter.

playground.jpegI was steaming… and heartbroken. As a dad, I’m sure you would be too.

I had my cell phone out to inform the cops of an abandoned child.

In the nick of time, a tall, blonde, young woman approached with a big, fake smile. “I was looking for you by the sandbox,” she said. Liar. We had played there for a good 15 minutes before saying our goodbye’s. Your son’s babysitter was hiding somewhere talking on her cell phone with her ditzy friends, neglecting your 5 year old.

I confronted her. Where have you been all day? This child needs adult interaction and supervision. We haven’t seen you this whole time. I was about to call the police.

We turned over Kevin to the mindless child in charge of him, and left. Margi couldn’t stand it. Sitting in our car, we watched as Kevin finally was given water and some attention. Margi wrote a note to you, informing you of the incident. She wanted Kevin to slip it into his pocket, but the Neglectful Babysitter was suddenly attentive. So, Margi marched over there, and gave her a healthy dose of Mamma Bear.

It was beautiful. We cheered when she returned to the car.

kids-playing1.jpegYour babysitter responded as expected. Defensively. Dishonestly. I’m sure you’ll never see Margi’s note. One of her ignorant girlfriends got in on the action too, defending the indefensible.

I wish I could contact you directly, Kevin’s Mom and Dad. I don’t blame you. I’m sure you’d be upset if you knew. And that’s the problem. You don’t know and you can’t know because the only one who could tell you doesn’t even know he’s being neglected.

Sad, isn’t it. Maybe every mom and dad should do a little spying on their babysitters.

You’ve done a good job with Kevin. He was well-clothed and clean; his hair was trimmed. He was polite; he had a gentle spirit. He was a good playmate for our kids. Too bad he was so alone while under your babysitter’s sorry excuse for care.

I hope you read this and take action.

Sincerely,

A Dad

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8 thoughts on “Dear Kevin’s Mom and Dad,

  1. “Sad, isn’t it. Maybe every mom and dad should do a little spying on their babysitters.”

    YES!
    I wish this could be published in the local Chico paper! I was cheering too when I read your wife gave her a vocal lesson. Someday she will realize this was actually a gift/life lesson for her when she get’s older and is hopefully blessed with her own precious child and knows only then the true seriousness of her poor poor judgment. I think we need more parents butting in when it comes to childrens welfare. They don’t have anyone to look out for them but “fellow little people care-givers.” People thought we (my husband and I) were control freak worry wart parents when we first got or daughter. I guess I just envisioned this kind of thing only worse “me on TV crying and begging for the pedophile who snatched my child to please return her safely. It’s too bad to even have to THINK like that but it’s the reality of the world we live in and other than friends I have known 10 years or longer or family, I would gladly put off date night til she’s 18 than find out my child was at a park all day without anyone looking in on her. I sure hope Kevin’s mom gets that note. It only takes 1 second and to think that sitter took many many seconds, “HOURS!!!” before checking in on her child she was supposed to be supervising and caring for. Her fake smile as she clicked over on her cell at one point when the mom called and she said “Oh I took Kevin to the park and were here playing, yea he’s just fine but I better go he’s on the swing right now. Then she clicks over to the real person she has been devoting all her attention to that day other than the child she was entrusted to watch. That’s it watch, water, interact maybe read a story and play a game. Throw him a peanut butter sandwich!
    Gee what’s wrong with HER! I gotta stop typing about this it infuriates me in fact I wish I never would have read this today because I will be thinking about it all day. Maybe I will take my daughter and my “bandwagon energy” to the park and make sure all the children there are getting the proper supervision they should be!

  2. Dear Another,
    Yeah… the dangers are real. I will say that this park is very well designed. There’s a high fence all the way around, and only one entrance (the first picture). If you lost track of your kid, you could easily run to the entrance and stand guard. I don’t know whether the babysitter was in and out, or just off in a corner (and there are corners). I do know that she didn’t check in at all, and that if she were watching Kevin from afar, why did it take so long to get him when we were going from adult to adult?
    Dear Lord, please watch over our children, and keep them from all harm.
    Bottom line: nobody is as watchful as a loving mom or dad.
    Bill

  3. If anything happened to the child, the sitter would be responsible for TORT. The issue is serious, and it is alarming that she did not realize how dangerous it was not only for the child but also for herself.

  4. You guys are all ragging on the sitter when my heart is raggin’ on those parents!! Now maybe I’m screaming up the wrong tree, but there are so many children out there who are being reared by someone other than their parents – on a regular basis. You are so right there is no better watchful eyes than a loving mom and dad. Too bad they’re too busy to be doing their first job of taking care of their children.

    I know, I know, I sound like an old fogie….

  5. Bill,

    You should post that letter on Chico Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section. Perhaps Kevin’s parents, or someone who can put 2 and 2 together to figure out who you are talking about, will read it there.

    If you’d like, I’ll repost it for you.

    Furiously,

    Donny

  6. if you are convinced that kevin was/is in danger with this caregiver (no matter his/her age) then with the picture and name, date, time and place the incident took place…you could still report the situation to cps in chico. they may be able to investigate and determine his home situation and reach out to protect him. (note: cps in all parts of california are understaffed and over worked) if kevin is taken to this park regularly then he may show up there in the future and/or someone might know who he is.

    unless caregivers (parents or others) are convinced that children are in danger when not properly supervised then this sort of situation will continue to happen. gone are the days when children could go to the park or to a neighbor or even play in their own yards without a responsible person keeping an eye on them all the time. it is truely wonderful that God sent two loving caring adults (you and margi) to protect and care for kevin that day. only God knows what might have happened to him without your intervention.

    thanks for caring about kevin.

  7. Before reading the comments I, too, thought that the Enterprise-Record needs this.

    Donny’s idea to have it on craigslist is also good. Somehow this will get to Kevin’s parents.

    But I disagree with Jean’s stance that this is primarily the parents’ fault. The babysitter could very well be putting on an entirely different façade to the parents, and Kevin probably doesn’t know well enough yet to share the poor babysitting that is going on. It might have been a niece or a friend from church or otherwise, and so the parents could have legitimate cause to trust her. And parents do deserve a break once in awhile.

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