11 September 2008


Twice in my formative years I babysat children. The first time was the summer before third grade. My bff's family was going out for the afternoon and they needed someone to watch their baby/toddler. He was asleep when I got there. After about twenty minutes I got bored. So I went in to see what he was doing. The little bugger woke up! Then proceeded to scream uncontrollably for the next two and a half hours until his Mom came home.
When I was in high school I needed a summer job. I answered an ad in the paper for a babysitter. A pilot and nurse needed someone to watch their three boys of various ages, the oldest being around ten. I was not the best babysitter. I played with the younger ones and ate goober grape sandwiches (don't know why but I had never had them before or since and this is what I remember...) while the eldest generally went off with his friends. Not even two weeks in (may have been the first week come to think of it) the middle kid came in and told me that the eldest and his buddies had found a pot hole in the road and were digging up the asphault. I went down, scattered the boys, and took the eldest and put him in his room for the day. I never went back. Their choice- not mine. But I was not at all disappointed. I then got a job cleaning hotel rooms which was a MUCH better fit!
Yesterday I had a much more successful day babysitting. She didn't scream the whole time (at least not out loud!), and there was no troublemaking or funny business. I actually wouldn't have called it babysitting. My mother-in-law is the one who called it that.
When we were over visiting my in-laws this weekend we heard that my f-i-l's old work buddies, who get together every month at the same restaurant (and have for like twenty years!), were meeting this week. My f-i-l had not been in over two years! So while Art and his Dad were off at the market to get some things for dinner I suggested to Mom that I come over that day to be with her while Dad was at the lunch. She perked right up, and said that was a great idea! You see, Dad has been a big mother hen about Mom. He really won't leave her alone at all. While it is an incredible devotion and one can't fault him for his dedication they do still need some autonomy. I thought they may both feel more comfortable if I was there.
She called again Tuesday night to firm up plans. Dad was leaving at ten and she had her physical therapist coming in the afternoon. I said I would try to get there by ten thirty.
Of course, we had torrential rains on Tuesday with thunder and lightening and a power outage so I woke up late Tuesday and scrambled to get all the cats and birds taken care of, check e-mail really quick, do a few last minute biz odds and ends then head out the door! I didn't have time to make coffee so I stopped by Dunkin Donuts for some joe and I got to their house at 10:34 which is a close miss, but still counts.
Mom was just reading the paper. I came in and we talked, I made tea for her and a second round of coffee for me. We played some cribbage and then we had some delicious meatballs that her bil made for lunch. It was during lunch that I found out that Dad would NOT have gone to lunch if I was not going to be able to come over! Wow! No pressure there!
Just as we were finishing up the visiting nurse stopped by to get Mom's vitals, then her physical therapist showed up. After her 45 minute workout she was a little tuckered out so she rested for about an hour.
Dad got home during that time. He had a big smile on his face! He ran in and checked on Mom and told her about his lunch. Then they came out and we chatted for a while longer. It is really great that these guys still get together after all of these years! It is even better that my fil got to go catch up with them. Mom joked about and thanked me for babysitting her. My pleasure, and I hope I did well enough that they ask me back!


Renna said...

I'm still chuckling over you and the screaming baby. I was much the same way about kids when I was one, though I did babysit some during high school. I only did it because I needed the money, though.

What a sweet story of love between your in-laws, the way he cares so tenderly for her and was anxious to share his outing with her when he got home. It was sweet of you to give them that day, too.

C said...

Awww! What a great post, Shannon! Such a sweet story about your MIL and FIL too.

EXSENO said...

I love kids they are so adorable, but I hate to admit this but I hate to babysit someone Else's kids.

does that make me a bad person? Anyway I think one reason why I hate it so much is that I wear myself out trying to please them and make them happy so that their mom will be please. But 90% of the time the ones that I have been asked to babysit are spoiled little monsters. So trying to keep them calm and happy is a big chore.

badsara said...

it sounds to me like you are ready to spread your babysittin' wings and FLY, FLY girl!

so when can i pen you in to watch our lovely children???

ha ha ha
love ~bad sara

Shannon said...

I do think it is very sweet how my fil dotes on my mil. I am also pretty sure I can handle babysitting anyone over the age of 70.
I am not sure about anyone under say the age of 25- unless you don't like them much and want to teach them a lesson by sending them to mean ol' Shannon's house for the afternoon. I can force feed them (tried to make my neice eat eggs once- ended up wearing them- GAG!), I don't do loud noises even though I am REALLY good at making little ones cry, and I definitely don't do liquids of any kind! Sadly that goes for the older crowd too!
So thanks for the offer Sara ;) but I will be the first to say I am not trustworthy or patient enough and I know you love those little girls much more than that!

Farm Chick Paula said...

Awww how sweet!!!
I'm glad you finally found a babysitting job where they might ask you back!! LOL