A good part of my new responsibilities at work involve fielding parent phone calls and answering questions.
"Yes, Mrs. Rosenberg. We do have a record of Noah going home with Adam today.Thanks for calling!"
"I will make a note of that and be sure Naomi's counselor knows to use a lot of bug spray. Thanks for calling!"
"Yes, the Trailblazers will be going on a field trip THIS Thursday, not next week.Thanks for calling!"
Then sometimes, people come out of the woodwork. Batshit crazy people appear out of nowhere. And then they call me.
"Ma'am, I am sorry that your daughter doesn't like her swimming instructor. Frankly, I don't care. Because he does a fantastic job. Perhaps your five year old is simply cold when she gets in the pool. Or maybe she is upset because she lost a silly band. Or that another girl in her group has the same swimsuit and jealousy starts early. And mostly, I don't care because this is her THIRD swim instructor. Maybe you should be paying for a camp that doesn't include some fine swimming lessons every day."
"Sir, I am not sure what you would like for the camp to do. It is pretty clear that your son doesn't like the lunches you pack him. And we have a pretty solid 'no force feeding' policy. He really hates that bread with all the seeds in it, and the lox on his bagel- he is not a fan. And also, you should know. Your child is not a vegetarian like you may think he is. You should SEE that kid scarf hot dogs on cookout day."
"Ma'am, we will certainly talk to the counselor of the group about your daughter's issues. I know she is not getting along with anyone, and it is week 7 of camp, and you really think she should be making friends at this point. But let me give you some hints. She would probably get along better with her group members if she didn't steal their stuff, make fun of everyone, and flick her boogers on people when her finger isn't in her nose. You made her this way, now fix it. "
"Sir, I understand that your son doesn't like the arts and crafts time. Can I be blunt here? That is because YOU are a chauvinistic pig. Yes, certain kids have different interests. But the approximately... ELEVEN hours a week your son gets of sports kind of trumps the 2 hours of art. Some kids even like art better! Maybe he would enjoy himself more if he didn't think that art was a girly thing to do. And maybe he wouldn't think that if you took your eyes off of my chest and thought about being an example to your son. Just sayin'... "
"Ma'am. I have no idea where your son left his sweatband. I mean, why the heck is your son wearing a sweatband? We aren't sweatin' to the oldies here at camp- little kids can be cruel. So can the counselors who make fun of him behind his back. Don't you want you son to have friends? I know you checked the lost and found. But I would like you to consider the distinct possibility that your son purposely lost his sweatband. And by lost, I mean flushed it down the toilet or dug a hole and buried it in the far field. And no amount of labeling on your part will help us recover it. And please don't swear at me. "
I hereby pledge that I will never be this kind of parent.
(Repeat with me after raising your right hand and putting your other on the Holy Book of your choice)