This post was inspired by a woman that I encountered at the mall today. She was, I presume, a childcare provider. She wore that kind of outfit that nurses wear. You know, the one with the v-neck collar. It’s blue… uh. There’s a name for that style of clothing. I just can’t think of it now.
Anyway, she was a childcare provider. She pushed a gigantic stroller holding six children of skin colors and hair textures.
“Shut up, Jason,” she yelled at the eldest boy who led the line of strollers.
I wasn’t judging her then, but for some reason, her yelling “shut up” at a child who wasn’t her own seemed odd to me. I mean, I hear parents yell and do plenty of other mean things to their kids in public plenty of the times. And, at times, and while I may not agree with their actions, I sometimes do get where some of these parents are coming from– frustration, stress, fatigue. I get that.
But that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is that it was weird to me that she, the childcare provider, was yelling “shut up” at a child not her own.
I guess in hearing that, I thought of his parents. And I wondered whether “shut up” was something a childcare provider or anyone should say to a child that they’re being paid to care for, a child whose parents have entrusted them to provide something equal or better to what they would be receiving from them (or, the parents).