What would you do…if you need to leave your 7-year-old daughter with a babysitter for the day? (TAR Lite #9)
1. Hire a responsible teenager who lives on your block, who’s watched her before and with whom there have been no problems?
2. Because you don’t have a regular babysitter, hire a professional babysitting service?
3. Because you can’t afford a babysitter, opt to cancel your plans and stay home?
4. Since you can’t afford a babysitter, decide to change your plans and go somewhere with your daughter?
5. Take her to your parents’ home so you can go off and do whatever it is you want to do without your daughter, even though both parents are unrecovered alcoholics?
Congratulations if you selected # 5, which is what Paul J. and Belinda Jean Berloni’s son and daughter-in-law did, despite the fact that granddad has three DUIs to his credit and a current ten-year suspension of his driver’s license. He obviously has proven to society he can’t be trusted to abstain from drinking heavily at inappropriate times. In addition, Belinda is chief enabler and likely co-addict. Despite this, son and daughter-in-law decided to entrust the most important and precious person in their lives to two alcoholics for the day. This wasn’t a good idea and could easily have turned tragic.
As reported in last week’s issue (TAR Lite # 8), Paul towed the little girl in a plastic Power Wheels car behind their SUV with two dog leashes attached, while Belinda sat in the rear cargo area cheering her on with the hatch open. Incredibly, the child wore no safety gear or other protection, unless a bathing suit is considered helpful—which a couple of drunks, with confabulated thinking rooted in damage to the brain’s frontal lobes, might have figured.
When police arrived, Paul refused a breathalyzer test. After his arrest and in police custody at the station, he again refused. However, police reported he reeked of booze and appeared heavily inebriated.
It’s extraordinary that the girl’s parents left their daughter with the grandparents. The best explanation is they are either co-alcoholics, or idiots, unaware of the fact that regardless of promises the grandparents make, they should never be trusted. Alcoholics take risks the rest of us would never even consider—clear and rational thinking flies out the window and tragedy can easily happen.