Should a child care worker ever hand over a baby to a drunk parent? A New Year's Eve fight broke out over that question when a "highly intoxicated" mother attempted to pick up her 2-month-old baby from a babysitter. She attacked two other people and was later arrested.
This was not just an argument, either. The mother hit one of the victims several times in the face, arms, and chest, and the second victim in the face. I don't know where the baby was during this fight, but I just hope he or she was a safe distance from this altercation and not in one of the victims' arms. I guess I'd have to hear more about the story to really say ... but maybe it was a good call not to let the baby go home with the mother?
I can imagine the mama-bear rage that would be unleashed if a sitter refused to hand over a baby. I'm sure the mother was outraged (and maybe a little embarrassed) to be told she was too drunk to take her baby. And then of course there's that lingering threat hanging over that accusation -- if you're too drunk to take your baby home, maybe you're a lousy mother. Maybe you're a total screw-up in life.
I don't know if the mother was driving, either. I would feel less nervous about sending a baby home with a drunk mother if I knew she at least had a safe way to get home. (I would still feel uneasy, though.) But if I knew she was getting behind the wheel of a car with that baby? No way. Better to suffer the mom's wrath than to let an accident happen.
People in that state can become irrational -- and dangerous. But what if the mother wasn't really that drunk? What if it was just a bad judgement call? I don't know that I'm completely comfortable with the idea of a sitter being in the position to make that call. I've come home to a sitter after parties or dinners where I did have something to drink. I don't like getting drunk in the first place, so I've never been in that position. But I think I'd get kind of defensive if I came home a little "happy" and was then accused of being unfit to stay with my baby.
I guess when in doubt, the sitters should call the police. But what are you supposed to do while you wait for them to arrive? For all I know, that's what these two people did, and the fight broke out while they were waiting for the police to arrive and make the call. Still, you could look at it this way: These two people may have saved a baby's life.
Do you think a babysitter should refuse to hand over a child to their parent if they suspect the parent is drunk?
Would YOU refuse to hand over the baby?
January 16 at 7:38 AM
I would not hand the child over. I have lived with a drunk and sometimes you cannot tell how drunk they actually are. I have seen a drunk just sit there, not saying a word and you would think they were not dangerous, but their blood alcohol level is 3 times the legal limit. Regardless of how they are acting, drunk is drunk and no child is safe around that.
by mom2wyJanuary 16 at 8:17 PMI have actually been in a similar situation. A girl who I had just met and seen a few times called me one day from the bar asking if I could go to her house and get her dd who was around 8mos old. When I realized she was home alone I grabbed my son who was one at the time and took off.
When I got to her trailer I smelled something. Ya she left a pot of water boiling on the gas stove. The water had all evaporated and the bottom of the pan was burning. So I shut that off and got it off the stove. I then went to babies room and she was in her crib asleep. Her face was smashed against her crib and she scared me really bad so I picked her up quickly scaring her but once she realized who I was she calmed down.
Well I stopped by the bar told how ticked I was that she left her and about the stove which she said she forgot about. Told her baby would be at my house to send her hubby to get her when he got off.
Well he asked me to keep her so he could deal with her after I told him what happened. She calls at like three am after the bar closed and she was wasted wanting to have her baby. I told her she was safe and to sleep it off cause I wasn't letting her have her whom she was drunk. Well she blew up on phone screaming I can't keep her baby and took off in her suv to my home.
She knew the directions to our house but had never been there. She took the street a couple blocks over and cops caught her. She was arrested on the spot and they called me to come get her suv. Her hubby came and got the baby next day and her suv the next evening.
by Pammi86January 17 at 10:26 AM
I think the babysitter did the right thing!
by Brandyaz2002January 17 at 10:47 AM
by gr8d8n3momJanuary 17 at 10:53 AM
There just isn't enough in this article for a clear answer.
You don't know if someone else was driving the car, & would be at the home to help care for the baby.
You don't know "how drunk" is too drunk as far as the sitter believed.ie was the mother slurring her words, staggering etc. If that were the case and the mother had someone with her to help with the baby, the sitter could have put the baby in the car for the mother.
So too many "if"s .
Plus, if I were sitting for my friend, I would tell them to go have fun and pick up the baby in the morning!