Friday, July 28, 2006

So you think you can babysit

This morning I watched the daughter of a friend of mine. She is pregnant with number two and had an OB appointment. She watched Evan a lot when I was pregnant with Harry so I am returning the favor. I am even going to be the designated child watcher when she goes into labor.

We had an interesting discussion on which of the girls in our ward make acceptable babysitters. She had not had to use one yet because she had been trading babysitting for piano lessons with another mother. The night that my friend needs a sitter is back to school night so the other mother is not available. Now she has to take the plunge into securing the services of a teenager.

My criteria is that the girl (and I am saying girls because I don't have a high opinion of the boys in the ward so I would never hire one) is at least 14. The younger girls would do in a pinch but I try and avoid them because they are pretty giggly and flighty. I just don't have the feeling that much common sense is in those heads.

I have to like the girl. If I can't have a decent conversation with the girl then there is no way she is watching my children. I prefer literary girls but as there are not many of those in my ward I have to settle for her being able to have intelligent conversation. To me that is a sign that there is something going on in that teenager brain. I have been there I know how it is.

Sadly my last babysitter ended up aging out of rotation. Once the girls turn 16 they have a tendency to get jobs and lives. They are not available any more. I was really bummed about loosing my last babysitter because she was very literary, we even had the same taste in books. She actually reminded me a bit of me when I was that age. I guess that is what I am really looking for in a babysitter is a teenage version of me.

There is actually one girl in my ward that just about throws herself at my feet begging me to let her babysit. I have never used her because she is too eager. There is just something creepy about her obsession with my kids. I had toyed with the idea of hiring her older brother because he is the only boy that has even shown a passing interest in children but I didn't want to hurt this girl's feelings. My poor friend in her desperation is considering using this girl. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. At least she will not have to worry about scaring the girl off with the lack of TV or computer. This girl loves kids so much that I am sure that babysitting will be entertainment enough.


Gina said...

I have actually never had someone outside of my family watch Mr. Personality, but it is easier for me since all of them live around here.

I have broken out in hives thinking about having to get someone I don't really know to watch him.

But, if the kids are in your ward, that is a bit of a different story. You at least know their parents and such. Hopefully, this girl will work out for both of you!

Awesome Mom said...

You are right that knowing the parents of the kids makes a big difference. I would never just pick a random teenager off the street to watch my kids. I am in the Young Woman program so I see these girls twice a week and I have gotten to know them very well. Most of the time I don't even use a girl becuase I need babysitting in the mornings so I trade off time with another mother which is much nicer and less stressful.

happy mommy said...

I get a little weirded out by those overly gushy hopeful babysitters, myself. You are probably right about sterring clear of her.
I like your criteria for hiring someone. Especially the being able to talk to her.
It's too bad you don't live in my ward, the girls here are EXTREMELY literary--but it is mostly SCI FI so I didn't have much to talk about with them. ;)

txmommy said...

I have served in YW for many years, until very recently, and one of the big perks is knowing which girls make good baby-sitters and which don't. I am VERY picky. Fortunantly for me I now have built in teenagers and they do most of the baby-sitting in our family. I pay them handsomely, I think it's only fair because they could be out sitting for someone else and making money.