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Category: Family & Kids

Not Sue-table Clients

| San Diego, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I am giving a tour of my home daycare to prospective clients.)

Mother: “This is quite lovely. I really like your outdoor space and the type of toys you have for the children in the playroom. I was wondering, how do you deal with discipline?”

Me: “Well, it depends on the type of behavior I am dealing with. I mostly redirect, show appropriate behavior, and say no when I have to. I only resort to time-out when a child really needs to cool down and their actions are directly affecting the other kids.”

Father: “Well, how do you deal with hitting or biting?”

Me: “Some children, not all, will go through a phase or episodes. It’s a matter of getting them to understand it hurts, showing them alternate ways to express frustration, anger, or excitement, and also teaching the other children to say no firmly. As hands-on as I try to be, it cannot be always be avoided, but we work through it. Both parties learn from it, in terms of self-control and assertiveness.”

Mother: “The reason we are looking for daycare for our daughter is because at the last place, a little boy bit our daughter. We are both lawyers, and I can assure you that we sued the bejeesus out of that provider.” *disturbing giggle*

Me: *thinking to myself* “And that makes me want to take you on as clients because…?”

Me: *out loud* “Some things will happen. This is a safe space, regularly inspected, but toddlers are learning to handle their feelings and emotions and sometimes it manifests in physical ways. I am here to guide them and show them better ways. I cannot condone litigious responses to fairly normal occurrences that cannot possibly be prevented, though they can be corrected. Are you fine with being sued if your little girl hits another child at the park?”

Father: “She would NEVER do that. If she so much as grabs food without asking first she gets a spanking, so I can guarantee you she’s not going to physically attack another kid.”

Me: “…”

(Needless to say, I made the rest of the tour as brief as I could and when they emailed me to ask about enrolling, I turned them down politely.)

Doubly Impressive

| UK | Family & Kids, Hotels & Lodging

(My parents are the customers in this story. They are staying at a very charming B&B in Britain.)

Mum: “I can’t believe how well the owner looks after this place, especially considering that he’s on his own.”

Dad: “I know! Everything’s spotless. He must work terribly hard; it seems that every time I turn around I see him busy doing something.”

Mum: “Hey, there’s the owner over there. Let’s go tell him what a great job he’s doing.”

Dad: “…that’s strange. I saw him only a few minutes ago, and I could have sworn he was wearing a different shirt.”

Owner: *overhearing* “You do realize that I have a twin brother, right?”

Waiting For The Muffin (Little) Man

| TX, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(Our chocolate chip muffins are coveted by kids as an after-school snack. We recommend that people call ahead and have us set one aside if they want to make sure we aren’t out by the time they arrive, since we stop baking muffins around midday. We will also warm up the muffins on request, but only if they will be eaten immediately, as they will be tough once they cool off.)

Me: *answering phone* “Good afternoon, [Store]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “THIS IS GEORGE.”

Me: “Hi, what can I do for you?”

Caller: “…”

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “THIS IS GEORGE.”

Me: *making the connection between the high-pitched voice and the name of one of our regular second-grader customers* “You want me to save you a muffin, George?”

Caller: “CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN. HEATED, PLEASE.”

Me: “I’ll wait and heat it up when you get here. See you soon, buddy.”