DEAR ABBY: From time to time you ask your readers to "dump on Abby." Well, summer is coming around again, and this message is for working parents who don't realize they're taking advantage of family and friends.
So -- you drop off your children to play in the a.m. and pick them up in the p.m.? Did you think to:
Pack a lunch?
Send a snack to share?
Rent a video?
Buy a pool toy?
Send a game?
Send a craft? Cookie dough? Juice?
While working parents save money by sending their children to play all day, my food bill triples. The extra money I spend in pool chemicals, water, laundry and toys also triples. I choose to stay home with my children, and I love having their friends over. But every year seems to bring an even greater financial hardship. I don't know how much more blunt "Please send a snack to share" can be.
If any of your readers see this, Abby, and realize that they are one of those clueless working parents thinking stay-at-home moms "have it made," I'll trade them my referee shirt, food bill and mess.
Please, folks, be grateful and considerate of the person who is watching and loving your child for free, and show your appreciation. -- ANYWHERE, U.S.A.
DEAR ANYWHERE: I don't think you're asking too much in requesting that parents who send their children to spend the day include a snack that can be shared. Although your list was quite inclusive, any readers who are confused about exactly what that means should pick up the phone and ask their child-care provider what they can do to make the children's day more special.