Never underestimate the powers of a girl whose night out in NYC has been cruely ripped from her grasp. I checked in with a friend on the way to the city, and she relayed the bad news: stomach flu had felled our babysitter. I shook my fist and cursed the darkness, then picked up my cell phone and started flipping through names—who would know a babysitter? Karen, friend and sitter extraordinaire, is getting married in two weeks…I tried anyway. She (rightly) mocked me, but at least we got to chat. Debi wasn’t home. I tried Keara at her office, and an unfamiliar voice answered.
“Oh—did I call her at home by mistake?”
“Yes, but that’s ok. I’ll tell her you called.”
“No, wait—are you the babysitter?”
The rest, as they say, is history. Assuming all goes well, we’ll have two hours to prowl the bookstores, have a drink, and whatnot before meeting Kath at Fleur de Sel.
Do I feel guilty about dumping my kids off on a stranger? Well, other than the fact that after four days of being barfed on by one and nagged and clung to over the misery of losing my attention from the other, I’d have left them with the neighbor’s Labrador retriever, ok, a bit. No concern at all over Dionne the pinch-hitter—Keara’s checking-out powers are more than good enough for me. That takes care of my usual reluctance to just get a babysitter from a hotel. But when Sam was a baby I found it hard, if not impossible, to leave him somewhere where he felt uncomfortable, and I’ve found that’s pretty much melted away. He’s not shy. He LIKES most babysitters, and I try to leave something fun for them to do (we’ll probably pick up a treat in a toystore for tonight). Lily is at the uncomfortable, I don’t’ know what’s going on stage—but she has Sam, and that makes a huge difference. It’s kind of an unexpected bonus—one area where two is actually easier than one. I saw a woman at the museum the other day with what looked like three kids under five, saying “What a good idea. I never think about having a play date!” and her companion replied “Well, they ARE a playdate.”

Postscript: the babysitting went far better than I deserved. A good time was had by all. I may reconsider those random hotel babysitters in the future.

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645 Responses to “You”

  1. JK says:

    No one can call you not resourceful. 🙂

  2. Tish says:

    I am SO jealous of you. Babysitters are difficult for me to find and keep. I tried to have one flunked out of her senior year of school, but no such luck. The little vixen had to go and make a 4.0. Damn it to hell! That’s a little grandmother phrase, go ahead and use it at your will.

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