Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Fear of Babysitters
Sonia over at Life Love Hiccups posted on finding a babysitter last week and I was all blase in the comments - 'yeah, we have a number, someone on hand if we need then'. This is all true, but what I've realised since, with that post sitting in the back of my mind, is that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to call it.
My own experience with being the babysittee (the babysitted?) means I'm honestly not so keen to leave Dear Boy in the company of folks I don't know so well. There are three pretty good reasons for this (four if you count my oldest sister who loved to shove us off to bed the moment my folks were out the door - but I won't). I shall call them Exhibits A, B and C.
Six-ish. My aunt's wedding was lovely, but we kids weren't invited to the reception. Instead we were packed off to a friend of the family where we were looked after by older teenagers (and possibly the oldest sister, come to think of it - hey!). We were plonked in front of the telly, watching Conan the Barbarian,while the teenagers were being teenagers in the kitchen. Towards the end of the movie, one of them ran in and said someone was breaking into the house and we had to hide. My three year old brother and I crammed into a little box cupboard and quietly hyperventilated for what seemed like hours. Someone wearing heavy boots stomped in and we very quietly shit ourselves (not literally, thankfully, given the cupboard was incredibly small). The teenagers came back laughing sometime later.
Eight or nine-ish. My mama hired a babysitter to look after us over the summer holidays while she worked. We'd watched a stream of candidates come in for interviews. I was sold on the gymnast but we ended up with someone a bit older who lived nearby. We spent long days that summer at the local pool, unsupervised and frying golden brown as our babysitter pashed her boyfriend through the chain-link fence.
Eleven or twelve-ish. Mama heads overseas for a ski holiday with her best friend, leaving us in the care of said best friend's adult sons and one of their girlfriends. The day she leaves I am offered my first bong. One of them blows pot smoke in my kitten's face and she spends hours clinging to the flyscreen door before disappearing out of my lives for good.
So, to say I'm skittish about leaving my boy in the hands of babysitters is probably an understatement. When I had to head north for work and took Dear Boy along, I hired an older lady through Dial-an-Angel because I figured there wouldn't be too many pot-smoking grannies on their roster (you know, police checks and all). But I was still nervous as all get out. Apart from that, my folks, my brother or a close friend with a boy his age have been his only babysitters. Finding that trust with other people is hard. I might just call that number we have and arrange to meet up to chat, to get a feel for her, see how we go.
Am I the only one with crazy babysitting stories? Do you think you can ever really 'know' a babysitter until you've left them alone in the house with your little ones?