I am extremely concerned about the following incident which happened today, Friday Sept 2, at Lefferts Park approximately between 11:30am-12:30pm.
I will leave it to your obvious discretion as to whether or not you will put it on your website. If you post this, I would like to be “ANONYMOUS” however, should the parents want to speak further with me, you may disclose my name/email address.
As my children played at Lefferts Park, I kept a casual eye on our surroundings as many people do. I noticed two sweet little girls, close in age, accompanied by a non-Jewish babysitter. They had a double red Maclaren stroller. The girls looked to be between 2-4 years old, presumably sisters. They were wearing matching light pink, short-sleeved shirts, and light pink leggings. One girl had blond hair, the other I believe a reddish blonde/brown.
At first nothing remarkable caught my attention (although as a side note, she did speak quite harshly several times to the maidelach), but then I happened to notice the babysitter FELL ASLEEP on the bench. I tried to judge favorably, thinking perhaps she was just resting her eyes a moment.
Since I was concerned, I kept an eye on the girls and the babysitter in addition to watching my own children. It was at least 5 minutes that her eyes were closed, then she startled awake and tried to locate the girls (who I had been watching play the entire time). I saw other parents notice this situation as well, but we all kept quiet. However, the SECOND TIME the babysitter AGAIN FELL ASLEEP, and this time it was closer to 8-9 minutes. Again, I kept an eye on the maidelach.
It makes me beyond uncomfortable to speak to someone in this situation, but I felt that the safety of the girls was far more important than my own comfort. I walked over to the babysitter, and said in a firm voice, “Excuse me.” She woke up, looked at me and I continued, “If you are watching these girls, you should stay awake.” I walked away in order not to speak further, as we all know–chas v’shalom, the dangers of unattended children.
She shouted angrily at the children, “Let’s go.” She walked to the swings, and pushed them for less than 3 minutes in the swing, all the while staring pointedly when I happened to catch her eye. She left the park quickly.
I can only daven that my words be heeded properly, from a concerned mother to another.
Have a Gut Shabbos, and ksiva v’chasima tova, may we all be blessed with revealed, sweet good year,
PS. Additionally, I would like to note that I would have spoken up to *any* babysitter, Jewish, or otherwise. I mentioned non-Jewish for points of identification (she was black, and looked to be in her 50s).