Worried that the clown you’ve booked for your kid’s birthday party will be too scary for some of the guests? Well, pretty much anything you could come up with is super tame compared to the entertainment one mom arranged for her 8-year-old son.
The Tampa, Florida, mom hired a stripper for her son’s birthday party. Yep, a stripper. A full-on, skimpy underwear-clad, booty-shaking stripper. (You’re forgiven if you think this is an April Fools’ joke, but the story broke before April 1, so we’re as sure as we can be that it’s legit.)
See what you think for yourself…
The Internet has reacted as expected, with calls for the mom to be prosecuted for child abuse and the stripper taking her share of the backlash for agreeing to dance for children.
Setting the issue of strippers dancing at 8-year-olds’ birthday parties aside (now there’s a sentence we never thought we’d write), it does make us think about how much we pass responsibility for our kids onto other adults when we leave them at parties — sometimes adults we really don’t know at all beyond exchanging a smile or a few words at the school gate. The same goes for after-school clubs and sporting events. Life is unpredictable, and we basically have no idea what’s going to happen in our absence.
But what’s the alternative? If we never leave our kids anywhere without us watching their every move, they’ll never learn about the world outside that ever-protective Mama bubble. A world that includes strippers and unexpected birthday surprises and all manner of things that may be tricky to explain.
Most parents of 8-year-olds would be pretty comfortable leaving them at a party under the watchful eye of another parent for a couple of hours. Perhaps it’s less of an age thing and more to do with how well you know the adult who’s going to be in charge.
This is the kind of dilemma that calls for mother’s (or father’s) instinct. If something doesn’t quite feel right, don’t do it. It’s OK to be that mom sitting on the chair in the corner of the party room (although your 12-year-old might need to be convinced of that).
Equally it’s OK to leave your kid — if they’re comfortable with it too — at a party when you don’t really know what’s going to go down. Parenthood doesn’t come with psychic powers, unfortunately.