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Sitter’s pushy granddaughter is a concern for working mom

DEAR ABBY: Because my husband and I work, I take our 6-month-old to a sitter several times a week. I understand little ones tend to be mean sometimes — hitting, biting and pushing — but in this case, it’s a little different.

My sitter cares for her 3-year-old granddaughter as well as her clients’ children, and her granddaughter pushes the littler ones. I have seen her push a 1-year-old down. I have never observed any of the other children do it, only the granddaughter.

I wouldn’t be so worried if my daughter were 2 and could defend herself, but she’s only 6 months old. She is crawling, sitting up and standing already, and I’m gravely worried the girl will harm my infant. I don’t want my baby ending up with a head injury. What can I do to try to resolve this? — DEEPLY CONCERNED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR DEEPLY CONCERNED: Talk to the sitter about your concerns. Ask if it is possible to keep the older girl separate from the younger ones, however, the only way to be absolutely certain your little one is safe would be to change babysitters.

DEAR ABBY: I made a friend on Facebook. “Drew” and I texted through Messenger, and I went to ride four-wheelers with him one day. We hit it off great. We started dating, and he moved in with me for a few months.

In the beginning, Drew didn’t mention he was working only part time. After he told me he had been moved to part time, I told him he needed to tell his boss he needed full time or a different job. I wrote a comment to that effect on their page, and his boss texted me back saying Drew can work as much as he wants! He also said Drew hasn’t worked full time since he started working there.

Well, Drew got mad at me and left. I still love him. I thought he was my soul mate. Should I keep wishing we could get back together? — FEELING LIFELESS

DEAR FEELING LIFELESS: No! In a sense, you were taken for a ride, and I’m not talking about four-wheelers. Your next soul mate should be someone who is completely honest and, preferably, fully employed. Drew is neither.

DEAR ABBY: I have been remarried for four years to a wonderful man who treats me like a queen. However, he and my 18-year-old daughter dislike each other, which causes a huge amount of stress and conflict. They fight, and I’m stuck in the middle. I don’t know what I can do to resolve this problem. I love them both with all my heart! — DESPERATE FOR PEACE

DEAR DESPERATE: I wish you had mentioned why your husband dislikes your daughter and vice versa. Is he overbearing and trying to parent her? That is YOUR job, not his.

Your daughter is no longer 14. At 18, she is now considered to be an adult, and because the “combatants” are both adults, they should act like it, be civil and refrain from turning their disagreements into open warfare. Your mistake has been allowing yourself to be placed in the middle. A better solution would be to get family counseling if your daughter plans to continue to live with you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Singer Jerry Butler is 81. Actor John Rubinstein is 74. Actress Kim Basinger is 67. Country singer Marty Raybon is 61. Political commentator Ann Coulter is 59. Actor Wendell Pierce is 57. Actress Teri Hatcher is 56. Actor David Harewood (“Supergirl”) is 55. Singer Sinead O’Connor is 54. Actor Dominic Monaghan (“Lost”) is 44. Actor Ian Somerhalder is 42. Rock singer-actress Ingrid Michaelson is 41.  Rapper-actress Nicki Minaj, below, is 38. Country singer Sam Hunt is 36. Rock singer-actress Kate Voegele is 34. Actress Anna Sophia Robb is 27.


Refuse to let emotional matters confuse you and those around you. Stick to facts and truth, and find a way to navigate your way through misleading information. Strive to let go of what no longer works for you, and focus on the best way to get ahead and ease stress.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Create a designated workout room, creative corner or comfortable place to kick back with someone you love. Your effort will make a difference to your emotional well-being.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Keep your emotions under control and your mind on what you are trying to achieve, and bring about the changes that will help you reach your objective. Show compassion and understanding.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Use intellect to win support and to get ahead. An enthusiastic approach will help deter anyone trying to get in your way. Uncertainty and vacillation will hold you back.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Ask what you can do for others, not what others can do for you. Refuse to get entangled in a situation that is divisive or misleading. Stick to the facts and do your best.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Liberate your mind, take action and make your dream come true. Stop thinking and start putting your plans in motion. Join forces with someone you love.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Embrace what’s going on, and turn chaos into order. Consider what you are aiming to achieve, and don’t stop until you reach your objective. Turn any negative you face into a positive.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Learn from the experiences you have endured, and you will stumble across a better way to handle similar matters. Question motives, ask questions and rely on facts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Add value to your home, or make an investment that will encourage you to use your skills. Personal growth and physical improvement will lead to positive results.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Learn all you can before you commit to someone or something. Expect underlying problems to surface. Back away if you feel pressured. Taking a risk will leave you in a precarious position.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Distance yourself from people who are a terrible influence. Put your time and effort into self-improvement and honing your skills. Personal growth will lead to better relationships.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Associate with people who have something to offer, who make you think and who provide mental stimulation. Refuse to let negativity take over.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Stick to familiar people, places and projects, and offer a unique spin that will lead to new trends and possibilities. Find new ways to use it to your advantage. Set the pace.


By Chuck Sheppard

The Weirdo-American Community: An unnamed 28-year-old man in search of a voluntary castration found himself drawn to a website offering such services, which led him to travel from Virginia to a cabin in the woods of Poteau, Oklahoma. There, on Oct. 12, Bob Lee Allen, 53, and Thomas Evans Gates, 42, allegedly relieved the victim of his testicles during a two-hour surgery, The Oklahoman reported. Allen told the victim that he has “a freezer of body parts” and that “he was going to consume the parts and laughed and said that he was a cannibal,” an affidavit said. The day following the operation, Allen took the victim to the hospital because he was bleeding badly, but cautioned him to say “he done it to himself.” The hospital contacted police, and investigators searched the property, finding suspected body parts in a deep freeze. Allen and Gates were charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors, including conspiracy to commit unlicensed surgery and failure to bury the body parts.

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