Thursday, January 03, 2008

Adventures in (acquiring) babysitting

On New Year’s Eve we had our first paid babysitter for D Jr. It all kind of happened last minute. Some good friends of ours who have been overseas for the better part of the last two years reminded us that their 14 year old daughter, M, is now available for babysitting. We jumped on the chance to hire this young lady so we could attend New Year’s Eve celebrations as a couple (since D Jr. was born New Year’s Eves have been spent at home).

I have to admit I was a bit nervous. With the exception of daycare, D Jr. has never had a babysitter that was not a family member. I wasn’t entirely sure how to “prepare” him and make things as easy for M as possible. I thought we came up with a good plan of action, though.

M came over about an hour before D Jr. went to bed, so we were all able to hang out and give M and D Jr. a chance to know each other. They had only met once or twice before in the recent past – M and her family left Alberta before D Jr. was born! Things went well – M seemed game for an hour of watching monster trucks on TV, playing with trucks, colouring and drawing trucks, etc. After an hour of this great fun, D Sr. and I put D Jr. to bed and waited until he was asleep before departing. I thought this was a pretty foolproof plan that likely only required M to make sure that the house didn’t burn down and, at most, might require a diaper change and a bottle at midnight.

Imagine our surprise then when M called us about 40 minutes after we left the house. The reason? My child puked all over his bed. While Momily readers are well aware that D Jr. is a pro puker, they may be surprised that it has been about 6 months since he last puked! We were all set to leave the party, but M explained that she was only calling to find out where his pajamas and sheets were . . . she did not expect us to come home immediately. She had things under control. She was handling things. My angel was not hysterically crying looking for his parents. He accepted her explanation that we were busy and she was going to take care of him.
Neither of them needed us.

Say what?

I was pretty flabbergasted and pleased and happy and a bit concerned. Could this young woman really be handling things this well? We bet on yes and stayed at the party after assurances from M’s parents that she would be fine and take it in stride. M’s parents also expressed pleasure over the fact that babysitting a puking toddler might just be the best form of birth control out there!

When we got home at around 1am, D Jr. was sound asleep. While I drove M home she said that she is more than happy to babysit for us again. We are more than happy to hire her again – if she can handle puke, everything else will be minor league! It may seem silly, but I feel that having the lovely and capable M on the roster has opened up a whole "new" world of socializing possibilities for us . . . at least until April! Movies, dinners and “name that tune” here we come!!


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