Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Teenage Babysitter

I don't know how parents of more than one child find babysitters.  Being the parent of an only child is sometimes hard enough to find adequate sitters.  My #1 sitter for the past few years is a teenage family member.  She does a good job of making sure my little man is fed, out of harm and occupied when she's in charge of him.  But that's it. 

I don't know if it's the times now or what, but when I was a babysitter I had a bag of things with me to do with the kids, we went outside to play, I made food, picked up the house (espcially any messes made when I was on duty), took care of the dogs, gave baths to the kids, put them to bed, etc.

Oh, I would also know in advance whether or not I was free to babysit.

In the past week I've tried to arrange babysitting for a few things:

1.  We have an 80's themed 30th Birthday Party for my Sister In Law & Brother In Law in July.  When we first got the invite the party was 2 months away.  Every week since then I've been asking "the teenager" if she can babysit for the 2-3 hours we'll be going to the party.  Which is now 2 weeks away.  And her answer is still "I don't know if I will have plans with my friends that day yet.  Ask me when it's closer".  This translates to, "Ask me that day and if I don't have anything else better to do I'll come over and babysit otherwise you'll have to beg find someone else in a few hours or not go".

2.  I needed a sitter for a few days this week while we had some changes in our schedules for work.  I had the option of sending my little man to pre-K for the week but they were closing for vacation the following week and "the teenager" was off from school so she said she would help out for a few days (Monday & Tuesday, the days of the week least likely for her to have other "plans").  So, I changed my schedule at work, found other plans for my little man on the other days (because I wouldn't want to over do it, and have her babysit for a whole week, that would just be crazy) and we were all set to go. 

So I thought.

Sunday afternoon came and I checked in with "the teenager" just to remind her of the hours for Monday & Tuesday, and what did I find out?  What?  She can't do Tuesday now?  And has known for a week that she wouldn't be able to do Tuesday but just decided it wasn't that important to tell me, cause you know "her friend can watch him instead". 

Great, just what I want, another random teenager that hasn't baby sat for me before to come to my house and babysit all day.  Not happening.

So she just babysat on Monday.  I left her a huge list of things to do during the day, how long he should be allowed to watch TV & play video games.  I even made both of them lunch before leaving for work.

So at the end of the day I come home to find out my little man has watched 2 movies (Tangled & Finding Nemo), played way too many hours of video games.  Didn't eat breakfast.   Didn't do any of the other multiple things I put out for them to do during the day (crafts, coloring, flash cards, work books, play doh).  Oh, and the house was messy, the dog aparrently thought it was a good idea to eat the stuffing out of a chair and she thought it was aparrently a good idea to let it happen, and not pick up the stuffing that was now all over the floors.

I guess I should just be happy that she did babysit, and he was fed (lunch) and kept out of harms way. 


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