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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beware of Pizza Delivery Men

Here's an interesting article: Is pizza delivery OK for sitters?

Now, to be fair, we all know I don't have kids. Ok, that is out of the way.

Aren't we being a little bit overprotective? The results of this poll show me that some parents are concerned not only about a teenager ordering a pizza and interacting with a delivery person, but are also scared that they can't even use an oven or stove? There is some serious lack of trust going on here.

Let's think about this. We're talking as old as 16 years old here. 16 year olds can drive cars, have jobs (often these jobs involve cooking or operating an oven...), and frequently interact with strangers of all types. I was a latch key kid, so I was home alone a lot, but even as young as 13 or 14 I was being left at home in the evenings without anyone watching me. I was using an oven and stove at 8 years old, although I rarely used the oven alone just because what would an 8 year old be cooking alone in an oven? A cake? No, I usually made scrambled eggs or something in the morning when I was a kid.

But a frozen pizza? I'm certain that a 16 year old can handle cooking a frozen pizza in an oven. Even if they forgot it, it would smoke and set off the smoke detector before it flamed up, and the worst result I could see would be burned pizza. Frankly, at 16 I think I would be insulted at the idea that I wouldn't be trusted with an oven. But, at 16 I wasn't babysitting anymore either.

Back to the delivery man. I did a Google search to see if there has ever been an incident where a pizza delivery man abducted or assaulted children while on his route. I found no evidence of it, although I did see an incident where a pizza delivery man was abducted, and another where a pizza delivery man called in to police that he'd delivered a pizza to a guy on a wanted poster. So, there's no history to go on. I think we're being a tad ridiculous. What, honestly, do we think is going to happen?? Seriously. Only adults should order pizzas?

If you hire a sitter that is a teenager, make sure they don't open the door for ANYONE! Don't let them use any major appliances in the house, be careful with the stove or oven, it could catch fire! Make the kid an unhealthy frozen meal in the microwave, but follow the instructions carefully!! Don't cut it for them, knives could be dangerous. Oh, maybe you should just make peanut butter & jelly. Hm, maybe I'll make the peanut butter and jelly for you. Don't rinse the dishes, the sink could over flow! No bath time either, you might drown the kid, or scald them with hot water. Keep the doors and windows locked, don't dare leave the house for anything.


Edited to add (8:22pm): The more I think about this, the more I am reminded of my poor little Sims who start cooking something, then get distracted by a kid or something else and then suddenly the whole kitchen is on fire and they're just standing there screaming and jumping up and down until the fireman can come and put the fire out and scold them. That makes me laugh.

But those are Sims. We're talking about real people.

I also once called the pizza man for my sims in the hopes that the pizza man would save the Sims' life. It didn't work, and anyway that's a story for another day.


Sandra said...

Yeah, when I was 9-10 I would make a fried egg/bologna/cheese sandwich after school. Old gas stove that had to be lit. Click click click... boom. Always started like that. Made cakes and stuff, learned in 4-H. I ate my young...

Mary said...

My parents were much more protective than yours and they would have found this pretty insane. Also, I can't imagine any of the people I sat for being this neurotic---hell, some of them more were way more sketchy than any delivery person I've ever seen. If I was hiring a babysitter for my kids, I probably would make advance arrangements for dinner, but mostly because I remember hating to have to come up with dinner when there was nothing obviously available for the kids to eat.

But, the fact of the matter is, parents are in general, way more neurotic and protective I think than they were even when we were kids and there's even less emphasis on developing basic life skills such as cooking, etc. So, it might actually be true that you can't trust the 16 year old too use the stove, but if that's the case, waiting two years isn't likely to help.

Kim said...

I can see preparing a meal in advance because you don't want to be a pain. The kid that I sat for the most (who I think just graduated from college OMG) also used to BEG me for candy and I'd always give it to him, so I think his mom fed him early so we wouldn't eat so much candy. Yes, I said "we."

I don't like making phone calls, so I'd prefer not to order the pizza anyway. Even now, I order from Genova's nearby because they have my address on file which gets me off the phone as fast as possible.

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