Striking a blow for parental unity

So I read in the paper that a local police union has a beef with management. They are fighting, tooth, nail and mediator the restriction banning the wearing of earrings on duty.

Fortunately their union is on the case and the world should be safe for diamond stud wearing officers any day now.

I need to get myself a union. My ears haven’t seen a pair of earrings in three years.

Lulled. Ever since becoming parents, my husband and I realized we need representation.

Frankly, our bosses are tyrants. Oh sure, as with any new management take-over, upon their arrival they lulled us into a false sense of security.

They were sweet and fairly easy going. They cooed at us and stroked our egos. We could do what we liked, wear what we wished and our input would be listened to with a benevolent favor.

Those days are gone.

As they rose to power, the demands of our power hungry preschool management never let up. Worse, it’s a dirty job, we don’t get sick days, and there are apparently no vacations.

It’s 24 hours, seven days a week, no time and a half. Clearly, we need a union.

Negotiable. We are not an unreasonable people. We would ask only for two 15-minute breaks, a dedicated lunch time, and clock-out no later than 8 p.m. With hazard pay for slumber parties.

I want a Union Steward I can complain to when the management becomes unreasonable. There are just so many times a person can say “don’t look at your sister in that tone of voice,” before communication has completely broken down.

When negotiations break down we would call in a mediator. Grandparents need not apply as they have an unmistakable management bias.

As for a code of conduct I think that any viable bargaining point must first consider that I should never again to have to say “get your foot OFF my keyboard” or “stop pinching your sister.”

Furthermore, I demand a decent lunch break. Rejected chicken nuggets swiped off a child’s plate don’t count.

I demand juice that isn’t blue, and a bathtub in which tepid water isn’t deemed “too hot!” and rejected outright.

Moreover, I want job security. All the automation in parenting is scary. I don’t like to think I can be replaced by a talking teddy bear and a blue dog on video.

Ousted. Retirement will certainly be a hotbed issue. The planned obsolescence of the position is of concern to me.

Where else is it certain that if you perform your duties impeccably you will effectively be pushed out of the field in under 20 years?

Keeping in mind that “retirement” is only a figure of speech and that you can be called back in, without warning, at any given time. Even if the “child” is forty-seven.

As for future performance reviews, my offspring appearing on Oprah to discuss my performance is acceptable, appearing on Jerry Springer is not.

I’m going to begin organizing in earnest. I think I’ll open with “look, I’m not asking for the world here, but it’s a 8:30 bedtime or we walk.”

And if I have to explain yet again why we don’t put lipstick on the dog, I’m going on a wildcat strike.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is hoping to incorporate weekly hug raises into the job description. She welcomes reader suggestions c/o P.O. Box 39, Salem, Ohio 44460 or kseabolt@epohi.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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