DEAR ABBY: My husband is scaring me to death. He frequently puts our two children in dangerous situations, and sometimes they get hurt. Last summer he let them "play" with an ax, and my daughter ended up with a gash in her leg that required a trip to the emergency room for stitches. My son has fallen off a roof and received a concussion because my husband allowed him to play there.
Last week, I caught my husband pulling our trampoline over to a one-story shed so our children could jump off it onto the trampoline. Abby, trampolines are dangerous enough without the added "boost."
When I voiced my opinion, he said I should not question his parenting. He always says that, and continues to place them in danger. I have no family close by to help me stand up to him, and he refuses to go for counseling. He says a walk in the park does him more good. What should I do? -- TOO MANY E.R. VISITS, ASHLAND, ORE.
DEAR TOO MANY: A parent is supposed to have common sense and mature judgment; however, your husband must have been absent when those traits were handed out. Since you have no family nearby to help you stand up to him, and he refuses counseling, I urge you to go without him. Your therapist will be your ally and help you to find the strength to do what you must.
There are laws against child endangerment. Before your husband again places the children in jeopardy, pick up the phone and call Child Protective Services. You'll find them in the phone book.
DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law, "Sylvia," recently attended a housewarming hosted by one of the teachers at the middle school where she is employed. (I'll call the woman Grace.) Grace married a year ago, and she and her new husband have built a lovely new home with three bathrooms.
Grace took everyone on a tour of the house. Sylvia told me that there were camellias floating in the toilet of the master bath. Grace explained that it was a "subtle" way to discourage guests from using their bathroom instead of the guest bathrooms. Sylvia thought it was a clever idea.
Abby, I think it was rude and ridiculous. When you open your home to guests, you open all of it. How can you show someone your master bedroom and bath, and then not allow them to use it if the others are occupied?
What is your opinion on this matter? -- GRACIOUS HOSTESS IN MAINE
DEAR GRACIOUS HOSTESSS: I vote with you; the idea was all wet.
DEAR ABBY: I believe I have a positive solution to the dilemma facing "Uncertain in Florida," who thinks her mother-in-law is too old, frail and hard-of-hearing to care for the new baby.
Abby, she should hire a baby sitter and have her mother-in-law there, too. This would benefit both the grandchildren and Grandma by keeping them involved with each other. The baby sitter could supply the "muscle" and Grandma the love. -- IT WORKED FOR ME IN L.A.
DEAR WORKED FOR ME: Why didn't I think of that? Thank you for an excellent suggestion.
Abby shares her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "Abby's More Favorite Recipes." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 per booklet ($4.50 each in Canada) to: Dear Abby Booklets, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)
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