gerund or present participle: babysitting
- look after a child or children while the parents are out.
While the parents are out, we babysitters are faced with a daunting job: take care of the kids. The crazy messes, fights and incidents are often left out of the picture when we’re asked how it all went. It may look all calm, but it wasn’t an hour before you came home. Here’s a mom’s guide to the end-of-the-night report:
1. ‘They were great.’
Translation: No, they were not great.
While this statement is often true, we babysitters are sometimes…intimidated by parents. You aren’t scary, but we feel like if we told you about the sibling’s body slamming each other, you might get mad. Or the time Jimmy decided to clog the toilet with the bath toys. Or when Lucy wanted to create some art, on the walls, with Sharpie. Don’t forget the time when all of them teamed up and locked one of us in a room for two hours straight.
But wait! Don’t feel like you need to probe and ask more questions. We most likely won’t tell you, even if you ask, “Are you sure?”
2. ‘They went right to bed!’
Translation: Haha! That’s a good one!
Actually, they decided to have every possible disease known to mankind, with additional questions about life and when mom is coming home, in five minute intervals, with crying and begging (most likely babysitter, not child). We appreciate comments like, “They should go straight to bed,” and “He/she is a really great sleeper” (for you moms they might be!). Getting children to sleep is a challenge, and while they do go to bed eventually, a medal of honor would be a sufficient reward for this feat.
3. ‘We didn’t watch any TV! We made crafts and learned about the water cycle.’
Translation: Dora taught them about the water cycle, not us.
Sometimes, the only way to stop that body slamming we talked about is to sit them in front of the TV so we can do some dishes and make it look like we had complete and total control the whole time. There are some cases where TV is a good thing. There is nothing Cinderella or Cars can’t fix. Often, our booties need a little sitting down, too.
4. ‘$20 is fine.’
Translation: We bathed them. We got spit-up on a new top. We conquered mountains of toys, caves of homemade forts, and the hellish fires of diaper changing. All of this before 10:30!
The childcare feats we accomplish in a few hours are incredible, and it makes us question why motherhood isn’t a full-time paying job. Let us bow our head in a moment of silence for our underpaid sisters. We appreciate that sometimes money is tight, but 5 to 10:30 with $20 at the end of it all isn’t fair to us, or to you.
5. ‘Can you come back next Thursday?’ ‘I’d love to!’
Translation: We wouldn’t actually love to, but we have a hella massive college tuition to pay.
Food ain’t cheap nowadays, and if babysitting is a way we can afford it, then sign us up. Really, we love Jimmy and Lucy, but we don’t love them enough to see them on a weekly basis. Not that we have anything better to do on a Thursday night. Is Netflix and Oreos a good excuse…?
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