Thursday, February 5, 2009


Someone asked me the other day if I had any babysitting experience. That's like asking me if I have any experience with eating. Yes. A lot. Probably too much.

When I was 10 years old I walked down the street and knocked on the door of the new neighbors. I informed the mom I lived in the neighborhood and should she need any help with babysitting I was her go-to person. I became employed shortly after. Just so you know, whenever I have kids I will politely decline any babysitting offers from 10 year olds. I mean are you kidding me?! TEN years old? Watch my kids? No freaking way. I am well aware this is hypocritical.

Anyway, I babysat frequently. Then my number got passed around the neighborhood and I babysat more frequently. By the time I entered into the awkward years of Junior High I was well established as Superbabysitter. So much so that I came up with the brilliant idea to start a summer camp. Bumble Bee Camp was born.

For 5 years approximately 15 kids between the ages of 3 and 7 appeared on my front lawn at 9am for one week in the summer, greased up with sunscreen and bugspray, and ready to create chaos for the next 4 hours. We'd start out with an art project, then game time, snack, more game time, lunch, reading, then the all time favorite-pool time. Don't worry moms, the pool was only 3 feet deep and my mom always came out to supervise at that time. By the time 1pm rolled around me and my little bumblebees were plain pooped.

Then I went to college and more families found me to become a regular at their household.

So, babysitting experience? That's a big, fat, definite.

I thought that once I entered into the " real world" I would say adios to those Superbabysitter days. Just cause, you know, I'm so important and busy now. Well, since I am neither of those things (at least in all things work related) I've decided to jump back into the babysitting pool and I don't know what happened during my babysitting hiatus but, um, babysitting became....hard.

Maybe it's because I do it after "working" for 5 hours. Maybe it's because it's the 3 hours the kids are the crankiest. Maybe it's because they're all boys. Maybe it's because they're all boys, there's 3 of them, and the oldest is 3 years old, and the youngest is 7 weeks old. Oh, and the middle 21 month-er. Yeah. That's probably it.

Let's just say I feel important and busy during THAT job. For three hours every day I am:

-answering what seems to be a never ending flow of questions that range from "why does that tree have holes" to "why are your arms tired".

-wishing there was some sort of device that could be attached to newborns with the sole purpose of keeping the pacifier in the mouth.

-trying to figure out what Middle Child wants when he grunts, crys, stamps his foot, points, freaks out, since he doesn't talk.

-wishing that Dora the Explorer could just magically appear on a floating tv in front of whatever child starts crying

-trying to decipher what Oldest Child is saying since he has a bit of a lisp. And becomes quite frustrated when I ask him to repeat. "I wust SAID it!"

-playing games that somewhat resemble golf, hockey, football, and soccer, but barely.

-freaking out about sharp objects, the street, food spilling, drool dripping, nose picking, and other such things you don't want to hear about.

-pretending that sticks and dirt are actually food, and that the yard is a "grocery store"...don't know how he came up with that.

-mustering up the same level of enthusiasm as Oldest and Middle Child over crawling in and out of a portable dog cage over and over and over and over again.

-forever trying to come up with brilliant ideas of things to do. Tracing Leaves worked. Cleaning Up did not.

-trying not to laugh when Oldest Child does or says something worth writing down. Like FREAKING OUT that Middle Child got to help his mom pick up dog poop and he couldn't. Or when he says he wants to "find a big tasty rock to go in my salad".

Bottom line: Office job ain't got nothin' on babysitting.

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  1. I was also quite the babysitter back in the day. And I think now - these people left me with their children? When I was HOW old? I wouldn't leave me with children today, let alone when I was 10, with an infant and a toddler, for 4-6 hours at a time. What were they thinking?

  2. Yay! Now we can share in the hilarity/misery of caring for children. Except that it's my daily job and your cool second, elective job. What is it about these kids that makes them FREAK OUT at the simplest thing, I mean I wish my biggest problem of the hour was that I couldn't get my super hero cape to velcro properly. On good days, my 3 year old gives me various items to take home to share with Michael. Monday it was his police man costume hat, yesterday it was a binder clip and a pen cap. Oooh children... Enjoy!

  3. Call Me Cate: I know!! Seriously, for gods sake at least do a background check. Oh, you can't do a background check on a ten year old?! Well then maybe that should TELL you something!

    Caryn: No kidding...oldest child's biggest and hardest decision yesterday was whether he wanted to stay home or go with his mom to the doctor with middle child. Decisions decisions. Ultimately he threw a fit because he wanted to stay home with me, but I would be holding the newborn. Sigh.

  4. Ah, I feel exactly the same way! At 12 (give or take), I was regularly babysitting and now ... to leave Kate with a 12 year old, are you kidding me? What was wrong with those parents, LOL!

    Errr, have fun with that babysitting venture :)