Adoption: I want my sister to keep her child.

Help! Girl Scouts Are Bullying My Kid.

Help! Girl Scouts Are Bullying My Kid.

Advice on manners and morals.
Oct. 20 2011 7:17 AM

Bye-Bye Baby

My sister is making a huge mistake by placing her child for adoption.

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Dear Madness,
If my dentist started hyperventilating and threatening to blow his brains out, I’d be out of the chair and the office so fast that I’d still have my bib on and that saliva suction device in my mouth. You would think the problems at his practice would be self-limiting since patients who witness them won’t be back, and soon the appointment book will be empty. I know jobs are hard to get, but you are working for someone who’s both paranoid and has a drawer full of sharp instruments. It’s possible your boss is a drug addict, or mentally ill, or has some underlying physical cause for his behavior. But he needs help, and it’s time you alerted your state's dental board, confidentially if you prefer, about what’s going on.



Dear Prudence,
My family is going to Disneyland. The problem is that in order to get the free admission for kids under 3 years old, my husband and his brother insist on lying about the kids' ages. (“Why, yes, our 2-year-old is exceptionally tall!”) I am not willing to sell my immortal soul for $74 and want to pay for our child. I want to do what's right without causing a trip-ruining fight or being portrayed as a stick in the mud. Do I die on this hill or pray for absolution from Mickey Mouse?

—Pinocchio’s Wife

Dear Wife,
You don’t say how old these kids are, but I hope the boys aren’t shaving and the girls aren’t wearing bras. I contacted Disneyland on your behalf. The company has no policy to hold parents hostage at Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse if they lie about the ages of their kids. Instead I got this cryptic email: “For their comfort, we suggest guests bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate if they feel their child may be questioned.” When I asked what happens to guests who prefer the comfort of not bringing a birth certificate, and how Disney’s corporate elves would sniff out an over-age guest, I was told it’s the company’s belief that “honesty is the best policy.” It sounds as if your husband and his brother have a shot at their scheme to save $74 a head getting their kids in the park. You have made clear your dismay at involving your child in this holiday deceit. Now you should back off. You should back so far off that when it comes time to enter the park, you say that for your comfort, you will go through a separate admission line. Plan to meet at Peter Pan’s Flight, where children never grow up.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.