For my birthday this week, we got a babysitter so that Chris and I could demolish all-you-can-eat sushi and not have to worry that our animalistic ways were scarring Bean for life.
That’s such a carefree expression. “We got a babysitter.”
I’ve heard a thousand people say it before. It sounds so easy. “We got a babysitter.” Like there’s just some magic babysitter hotline you call and one shows up on your front porch with a bottomless carpet bag and spoonfulls of sugar. In reality, getting a babysitter is a terrifying experience. At least for me it was. But I scare easily.
The hunt for a babysitter started a couple months ago. I had this great idea to ask one of the college-aged girls that work at Bean’s daycare. It was a perfect idea. They knew him, he knew them. I knew them and him. He knew me. We knew him. You get the idea.
So, for a couple weeks I staked out my girl. I knew just the one I wanted. She was Bean’s favorite. And she was cute and friendly. High marks in my babysitting judgment guidelines. But when I went to ask her about babysitting, I choked. I didn’t know what to say. What if I asked her and she said no? Or, even worse, what if she said yes but really meant no? What if she laughed at me and said something like, “Your kid? I don’t think so!” Cause if that happened, I would have had to beat her with my diaper bag.
This was harder than asking out a boy in middle school. Oh, the rejection! Oh, the agony! Oh, the horror!
So, for a couple weeks I pumped myself up. I would give myself little pep talks when I walked into the daycare.
“You can do this. You can do this. You are a mother. A damn good mother. And Bean is awesome. Who wouldn’t want to babysit him? You can do this. You can do this.”
And then I’d walk into the nursery, see the girl, and I’d freeze up. I’d get that feeling like I suddenly had to pee and then I’d worry the whole time I was in the nursery packing up Bean’s diaper bag that I was going to wet my pants. Right there in front of her. And then she’d never babysit for us!
One afternoon, I had had enough of myself. As I walked into the daycare center, I got ready. I would do this TODAY. This was THE DAY.
I WOULD ASK OUT THE BABYSITTER.
So, I walk determinedly back through the daycare classrooms until I got to Bean’s nursery and I threw open the nursery door, ready to proclaim my need for her to be our babysitter.
But when I threw open the nursery door, she wasn’t there. It was a different girl. But I was on such a high. I had worked myself into such a state that I blurted out, “Do you babysit?” She said yes, gave me her number, I walked out with Bean, and drove home in a daze.
How had this happened? I had asked out the wrong babysitter!
I came home, completely defeated, and explained to Chris why we would never be able to leave the house again without our baby. “Why don’t you just ask the other girl instead?”
“I can’t do that!” I shouted in disgust. “I JUST ASKED OUT HER FRIEND! You can’t ask out someone’s friend and then ask them out, too!”
That’s when Chris called my doctor and asked to have my medications adjusted.
A few weeks after the whole wrong babysitter debacle, I was in the nursery picking up Bean one day after work. It was just me, Bean, and the girl. MY GIRL. And, suddenly, without warning, without preparation, I just asked her for her number. I just did it. And it was so natural.
“So, um, do you babysit?” I said, never lifting my eyes from the bottles I was packing in Bean’s diaper bag.
“Oh, yeah! Sure! Here’s my number,” she said.
And that was it.
It took another couple weeks before Chris and I could get the second mortgage approved on our home to be able to afford a night out with a babysitter. But once that paperwork came through, we were ready to go. So I called up The Babysitter and scheduled her to come over for a couple hours on my birthday. We just wanted to grab a dinner somewhere. It was a school night. We wouldn’t be gone long. Blah, blah, blah. It was so easy to schedule with her.
The night of my birthday, she came to the house right after I put Bean down for bed. He was still awake in his crib, but he was just chillin’. Chewing on his binky. Sucking on his toes. Picking lint out of his bellybutton. You know. Normal stuff. She told me later that he never made a peep. He went right to sleep and she never heard anything from him.
She did, however, hear from our dogs. Apparently, they just sat there staring at her all night long. She said Big Molly just stared with her head cocked to one side, tongue hanging out, like a dope. Lucy stared at her all night and about every five minutes would bark. Just once. Nice, Lucy. Way to get our money’s worth out of her.
When we got back from dinner, she stayed for a few minutes and chit-chatted.
We gossiped about the other parents in the daycare. And I found out about which teachers were fighting and which were the funny ones and why one of them always parked her car a couple blocks away. (she likes the exercise. freak.) It was really great! After polling my Facebook and Twitter followers, I decided on paying $12/hour and so for a 2 hour dinner I gave her $30 and called it a night. Money well spent in my book because I got to enjoy my dinner with my sweet husband.
So, all in all, the babysitting experience was eventful, but positive. And she’s coming back again in a couple weeks, too! I love second dates. They are so much easier than the first.