Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Only Place We're Allowed to Talk About the Unspeakable Thing

I hereby make this post the place where we can talk about the toddler who was murdered.

The little boy was 16-months old, and his name was Benjamin Kingan. His twin sister , Emily. was in the room when he was murdered. I can't even imagine how this affects the family, including 3-year old brother Jacob.

Apparently, the woman who killed him feels just awful about it. ANd you know what? I don't care how she feels. I try not to judge. It was my Lenten Resolution a few years back (April 200&). I try. But you know what I am doing right now? Judging Judging Judging and condemning. Innocent until proven guilty, whatever. She's admitted to it. The facts are not in question. It's just a question of her sentencing now. If she gets anything lighter than life in prison, I will be terribly terribly disappointed.

So, are you allowed to talk about it with your friends and family or are people just too horrified and you have it all bottled up inside?

And if you work outside the home, does it make you scared that your childcare arrangement isn't as good as you thought it was?

I did ask some questions about a certain caregiver at Chuckles's school after I saw how she treated her own children. She left his school a very short time after that (maybe a week). My priority is my children and there are trade-offs and compromises that I make.

Here is a brain dump of my thoughts....
If you're single, you need to work. Just get the best childcare you can.
If you're married and can afford to and want to stay home, stay home.
If you're married and need the money, work and get the best childcare you can.
If you're married and don't need to work for the money, weigh your options carefully. This is me. I like working. I feel like I'm a better person and a better mother when I work, but if I didn't have good childcare, I would quit in a heartbeat (or I would have my husband quit). If meaningful part-time opportunities existed in my field, I would do that, but they do not exist. I have looked. Oh, how I have looked. And I am in no way judging this family's decision because by all accounts this was a good center and just one rotten, isolated crummy caregiver.

And I am scared that something will happen to my children (in day care, in my care, freak accidents, SIDS, car crashes, genetic defect, in the yard with a stray dog...I have a limitless imagination that trends toward the terrible).

And I have no way to end this post other than to say that I am sending my condolences to the family.


  1. hm. what if you can't find childcare that costs less than what you would make working? what if childcare costs all of your take home pay?

  2. Did you see that DCFS shut that daycare down? Honestly, I don't think that if my kid went there, I could drop him off there one more day after I found out a kid was murdered there. Yes, I know it was an isolated event and it was an otherwise good daycare. But I just could not leave my child there. And then the article I read (Tribune) quoted some parent who was confused as to why the daycare was shut down, and felt somebody owed him an explanation. Umm, think about it for a minute, sir.

  3. Here's the link to the Tribune story Shannon references,0,3167700.story

    Now, did DCFS shut it down because of this incident or are there other ominous signs there? All the article said was "pending the outcome of criminal and child protection investigations."

    If my child attended that center, I would have a hard time sending him back, BUT if I had researched teh center and liked it, felt safe there, etc, I would be a pick upset/confused if it shut down without notice (thus leaving me with no childcare when I still have to go to work). Obviously, the people sending their kids to that center thought it was the best for them (for whatever reason). To have that taken away and need to find something that is (in your mind) second best would be difficult.

    The part of the article that infuriated me most were the comments (all along the lines of don't put your child in day care no matter what). They were actually very civil comments, but as a parent who has a child in day care....I'm just fuming that people think it is this simple. I honestly love my day care and I think Chuckles's caregivers have genuine affection for him. If I wasn't comfortable with his care, he wouldn't be there. Period.