Saturday, April 29, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

Today, I’m spending the day with my favorite 4-year old, William. William’s Mom is going to the Cub’s game with the guys and his Dad is working all day. This is a pretty big deal. I’m pretty sure that I’m the first non-family member to be allowed babysitting privileges … EVER.

Things seem to have changed a lot since I was a teenage babysitter. It seemed like parents were a lot more relaxed about such things. As a sought-after teen sitter, I’d get calls from friends of friends for babysitting. They’d leave me in charge of their precious children without really knowing me, based only on the recommendation of someone else. It was a pretty easy gig too. I’d play a couple games, read some books, have a snack, throw the little buggers in bed, and hope The Love Boat and Fantasy Island weren’t re-runs. At the end of the night, I’d collect my $2 an hour and go home.

For lots of reasons, parents have had to become more selective about babysitters. William’s parents are fairly easy-going folks, but when it comes to his welfare, they are exceptionally careful. There must have been several discussions about who to ask to baby-sit today. Maybe I was chosen as an acceptable caretaker because I have 15 years experience as a Social Worker. Maybe they chose me because I worked in a Day Care Center for 3 years. Maybe they think at 41-years of age, I’m old enough to handle the responsibility. Or, perhaps they picked me because I love their kid and he digs me too (admittedly because I have dogs and he LOVES dogs, but I take what I can get these days).

So, my Saturday is going to be filled with time at the park and the library, play-doh, coloring, and painting, reading, running after dogs, cartoons, and making cookies . . . oh, and we’re making a surprise present for William’s Mom and Dad too (shhhh, it’s a cactus garden . . . don’t tell).

* The picture above isn't William and Starbuck, but it looks a lot like them. The photo reminds me of the relaxed way Starbuck acts with little kids.


At 8:38 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

Yes, times have changed. Even I got asked to babysit when I was a kid. Two bucks and hour sounds a bit high, but I'm older than you.

You certainly have a full and fun day planned. A cactus garden? Cool!

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

What?!?! A phony dog and kid?! Have you no shame? Oh well, I guess they're real out there in somebody's life. My sister's Grandson John is just as cute, but he doesn't have such a good dog companion.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Aisha T. said...

That pic is adorable even if it isn't your charge! Your Saturday sounds like so much fun! I love getting my nephews for the day. Of course, we have D's son quite a bit but, it's fun having the splurge days without being parenty. (D's son is a delight, so I'm lucky, don't have to pull the discipline thing too much and usually have a really great time)

At 10:44 PM, Blogger gnightgirl said...

A thought provoking post; I can hardly believe myself, how many kids I took care of at one time, until wee hours of the morning. Did you ever get those parents that told you to stay out of the cake, or asked you to do up the dishes? Tyrants.

At 1:17 AM, Blogger Ed said...

When our children were young enough to need babysitting we were fortunate to have some excellent babysitters - the two oldest girls in a family of eight children. You'd have thought they would have had enough with helping to look after their siblings but they were in demand as babysitters. I think people thought - like us - that they could handle anything that was thrown at them.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Unacknowledged Genius said...

I predict you had an exhausting but satisfying day. That's how I feel after I've had my six year old grandson for the day.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Al said...

One time when I watched one of my Nephews, we taught him blackjack. When my sister asked what did you and your uncle do, he said he learned that the dealer stays on 17.
yah she was really happy about that. We also told him to tell her "that it doesn't matter who wins or loses, only if you cover the spread"
I think he maybe old enough for craps next year

At 6:18 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Dick - We'd have made you a cactus garden too!

Ron - Kids and dogs, always a cute combination!

Aisha - Sounds like your life is full of fun times with the kidlettes

GNGirl - Yeah, they were usually the ones who thought you were over-charging them at a buck an hour.

Ed - Maybe those girls just wanted to get out of the house to a place where there were only 2 kids to take care of!

U Genius - We had a really great time. I had no idea a person could be entertained with Play Doh for that many hours. I found out later that his Mom won't let him have it at home ... ooops, I accidentally put it in his packpack when I dropped him off at home ... :)

Al - Sheesh! We had such a full day that we never got around to the card games. We did sneak in a little cussing and cigar-smoking though.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger AndyT13 said...

I love that your dog is named Starbuck. That's just a riot.
I hope babysitting was fun.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger naive-no-more said...

LOL about the Love Boat and Fantasy Island remarks. I spent many a baby sitting weekend night watching those movies eating food out of a strange kitchen.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Like you, I can't believe that I used to babysit when I was still almost a baby! I bet you make a kick ass sitter!


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