Saturday, November 21, 2009
One of the interesting things about parenting is the introduction of babysitters into your life.
I live half a world away from my nearest blood relative so babysitting usually involves a relative stranger (no pun intended.)
I spend most of my life consumed with the safety and well being of my babies but when I need/want to go out, I transfer their care to someone I barely know. I have a few sitters we've used for years but more often we get a year out of a sitter before they leave for college, get a job, move away etc. At least that's what they tell us...
We do try to use a sitter who has been tried and tested by friends. We do a basic interview. We try to have the kids meet her first so they can give their impressions.
Even with all this done - I leave the house thinking "What do I really know about this person?"
I believe in the law of attraction so I believe that if I believe in the good - good will happen. This has been working but it's still odd.
Despite specific instructions not to; babysitters have allowed my kids to watch TV, drink soda, stay up late, have ice cream or candy, use nail polish - I could go on.
You might be thinking I'm Amish. I'm not - it's just that we don't do these things at bedtime.
Some of my friends think I'm too Dickensian about it all.
"That's the joy of getting a babysitter - you break the rules."
I just don't see it that way. My kids are still little.
What is with the incessant rush to tweenage?
I just don't think my four year old needed to stay up late and have a sugar party.
(OK that was two years ago - I'm possibly not over it...)
Then there are the babysitters who downloaded stuff onto our computer. Had 'guests' over. Ate the entire contents of our fridge and left their dirty dishes. Not even in the sink, mind you. On the coffee table!
Those who were so soundly asleep we had to shake them awake. Those who sat in the dark because they couldn't find the light switch?!
Those who sat in the cold because they couldn't find the thermostat. Really? It's right there in the hall.
Those who don't show up. Aaaargh.
No wonder our social life is minimal.
We have had great experiences too but it just seems such a lottery. The wild part about it is that no matter how it goes - you still have to hand over an extra-ordinary amount of cash.
"Thank you for giving my kid a sugar high so that she didn't go to sleep until 11pm and will be hideously cranky all day tomorrow - here's $75."
We have a sitter tonight - I'll let you know how it goes.