When it comes to jerks, he's head of the class, but Bentley Williams pulled a trick right out of parenting 101 on The Bachelorette last night. Rumored to have joined the cast to promote his business rather than to win the heart of Ashley Hebert, the single dad from Florida didn't blink when he felt like bailing. He used his kid. And he laid it on thick.
Telling Hebert and the rest of the guys he was going crazy without his little Cozette, he made his exit without having to deal with the discomfort of telling the truth (because, ahem, calling her an "ugly duckling" to the viewers was sure to at least get a grimace, maybe some tears?). And that's why we pull the kid card, isn't it? To get out of things?
Listen, I want to hate him -- he was a JERK for the way he treated Ashley. But on the parenting side of it, well, we've all done it. Probably (hopefully) not in the asstastic way that Bentley Williams did. Not on national TV where we're showing our daughters we're liars who have little respect for women. Ah, but I digress.
The hard part is figuring out when it's OK to "use" our kids. Take saying "I have to stay home with the kids" so you don't have to go to a funeral of someone you have never met. Is that OK? You never met the guy, so really, it's not like you're disrespecting the dead. And if your kids have no connection to the deceased, they don't really belong there either. So it depends on the disposition of your significant other. Do they need someone at their side to hold them up? Or are they fine to make the rounds of the funeral home alone? What about avoiding family gatherings because the wee one has developed a sudden sniffle? Declining a party invite because you can't find a sitter that night when you really probably could, but you just don't want to?
I'll admit there are times I pull a Bentley Williams. But I "use" my kid as a means to lessen the load of a three-person household and the three social schedules that come with it. Sometimes, something's got to give for my schedule. And some people are so demanding that, as much as I hate to admit a lie, it's easier than dealing with hurt feelings and their insistent demands when I just need one day in my own house with my husband and my kid. At least if I say I'm spending a day with my kid, I am -- unlike Williams.
On the other hand, it's the lies that kids get caught up in that I won't abide. The divorced parents who set kids against each other. The parents who claim they are doing something with their kids but are really off on another great adventure and can't admit they had other plans that weekend. The dad who uses his kid on national TV to bail ...
Do you ever pull a Bentley? Are there times when it's just not OK to use your kids to get out of things?
Image via ABC