Friday, August 29, 2008

adventures in babysitting

Well, I have finally entered the world of hiring a babysitter. Yes, it is long past time - sheesh, Katie is 2.5 yrs old already! We are totally spoiled, and we know it and totally appreciate it.

Since Oma and Opa live 30 minutes away, we have until this point gone out when they were available to watch the kids. This spoiling includes the occasional sleepover as well - which most times have been used to work on remodeling projects, as opposed to sleeping in or jetting off to exotic locations, but yes, we are spoiled and we know it.

Thursday we went to the dinner theater WITH my parents, necessitating the actual hiring of a teenager for the evening.

I was a horrible babysitter in my day. I skipped pages while reading bed time stories so that they would end sooner. I put the kids to bed as quickly as possible. I was NOT interested in playing with the kids - just making my (on a good night) whopping $1 an hour. My goal was to get the kids in bed as quickly/painlessly as possible so I could study or watch TV. And I HATED the places that didn't have anything good to nosh on. I didn't mind watching the kid across the street so much because he was an only child, and his mom would actually pay for me to take him to the movies from time to time. Free movie AND $1/hour! What a deal!

My cousin Ralin was an awesome babysitter. I went with her once on one of our family trips to Utah, and I was amazed. She played with the kids. She even seemed to like them! When the kids were in bed, then she REALLY got to work - the kitchen was cleaner than when we came! The house was spotless when she was finished. This was a whole new concept for me.

I, now being on the other side, want a teenager in my neighborhood like my cousin! I understand that I'm asking a lot here. In the negative column: two small fry, both in diapers, so they both have to actually be watched AND entertained and changed on occasion. On the positive side: early bed times, easily distracted, WAY easy to skip pages with if necessary. :) Also on the plus side, we have lots of ice cream, candy and Izze laying around. Should cover even a sitter as bad as I was.

Now, what does one pay for such service these days? I don't have a clue. I went with $5/hour. This for two kids who had already been fed, who were changed right before we left, and who went to bed 2 hours after we left. For the next 3 hours the gal got to hang out. She was not Ralin, but the house was still standing when we got home. Hopefully the pot was sweet enough that she'll be willing to come back.


Serena Cherry said...

Good for you guys! We haven't gotten very many babysitters at all even though Lane is almost 4! But our babysitter that we did occasionally get finally graduated HS and now is in Idaho, so we are shopping for a new one. We tried one last night, and Lane was still up at 11 when we got home. Oh, I miss our old one!!!

Jenifuz said...

Finding a good babysitter is so hard! Trav's parents are now an hour away and we would still rather drop the kids off at their house for a while and go on a date then. Oh and it's such a pain to figure out how much to pay them. I think $5/hr is a good deal.

Disco Mom said...

Believe it or not we pay $10/hr for the same deal. And after paying $17/hr in New York it feels like a steal. Of course as you can imagine this keeps us from going out much. But again, compared to life in New York, it feels like all the time!