Sunday, November 09, 2008

I thank you, and my liver thanks you

Last night we hired a sitter. This is a crazy concept in our household, because we are incredibly cheap people who believe money should be spent wisely on things like booze and plastic surgery, not frittered away on babysitters. Luckily for us, Brian's parents live nearby and cheerfully watch our children free of charge almost any time we need them to, and as far as we know they don't even molest or abuse them--not that those would be deal breakers at the low price of "free."

But last night they were off watching some boring football game in Austin, and because there is no bartender in my house to make martinis for me, we were forced to actually open our wallets and hire a sitter so that we could go to a bar. Actually, we wanted to attend a surprise 30th birthday party for a friend of ours at a bar in downtown Fort Worth, which meant we couldn't use our standard Plan B.

Plan A, of course, is using the free babysitting services of Brian's parents. Plan B is hiring a random, reasonably-responsible 16-year old to come to our house after the kids have gone to bed at 8, and get paid to watch TV and see that the house doesn't burn down until we get home--which means, of course, that we can't go out til 8ish--usually not a problem. Plan C, used last night for the first time, involves a little more thinking, since it requires finding someone to come to the house when the kids are still awake so that we can get to our destination at a certain time.

Jake, the 3-year-old, is an agreeable and easy child who would be fine with literally anyone coming over to play with him for an hour and then put him to bed. 16-month-old Chase, on the other hand, is the wild card in any situation. She sometimes likes a person upon meeting them for the first time, hovering at knee-level and grinning maniacally at them until they pick her up. Other times she will lay eyes on a new person and run immediately to throw her arms around my legs, casting furtive glances over her shoulder every few seconds to make sure they're not pulling a baby-chopping axe out of their back pocket and leaping at her. Other times she likes a person well enough while I'm in the room, but as soon as I step out she begins screeching like a badger caught in a trap, stopping only upon my return. I'm not sure what makes her so different from the agreeable Jake, but I can only assume my husband's DNA is somehow to blame.

We picked someone Chase knows and loves, the chick who runs the kid's club at my gym. Chase spends a couple of hours a day with her three times a week when I teach there, so she's totally used to her, and we love her as well. She showed up at 7, as requested, and allowed Jake to drag her from room to room for thirty minutes as he performed the very important task of showing her every single thing in our house. "This is the wivving room!" "This is the dime-ing room!" "This is Cow!" "We have three TVs [pronounced "tee-dees"]--one in the bedwoom, one in the wivving room, one in the pway room!" The kind of stuff that little kids find fascinating, and that make most adults want to wrench little kids' necks. Chase followed behind happily.

We left with only about half an hour or so til bedtime, went to our soiree, drank and ate and socialized with grownups, which is not something we're used to--but it was nice. Not once did any of them demand that we do a "puzzo" with them, or burst into frustrated tears at their inability to put on a discarded pair of our shoes, nor did any of them try to put their hands in the toilet or eat something found in the trash. So it was an unusual but enjoyable evening.
We got home at around 10:30 to find Chase still awake; in a good enough mood, but exhausted. The sitter had tried several times to put her to bed after reading a book in the rocking chair, but Chase stood in her crib and wailed hysterically each time til the sitter was forced to finally give up and just let her stay awake. Naturally, when I took her into her room and sat with her in the rocking chair for a minute, then put her into her crib, she rolled peacefully over onto her belly, hiked her diapered butt into the air and went to sleep willingly. Why couldn't she have done that for the sitter? My guess is she was trying to appear so completely unable to function without my presence that I would be touched by her sweet neediness and vow to give in to her every whim from now until the end of my life. However, the child overestimates me. In truth, my reaction will be the opposite: I've got to get rid of this kid now before her neediness further cuts into my drinking time.
Who wants her? Leave your name here, and I will consider all applicants before finally sending her to whichever one of you is closest, to cut down on shipping costs. Hurry, because there's a party I want to go to next Saturday.

15 comments:

Mighty Dyckerson said...

YOU PREGNANT BABBLER! Why didn't you call me?? I would've babysat those little bastards for you. Hell, I'd even teach little Joke how to play poker and smoke cigars - no extra charge.

Now can I have that 16-year-old's phone number?

drowninginlaundry said...

I would take her from you but in exchange you would have to take my soon to be newborn off my hands until she sleeps through the night - since my kids don't fucking sleep until they are 18 months old.

I also live in fear of hiring a babysitter some day - thankfully both Grandmas are only 5 minutes away. Also somedays 5 minutes away can be quite annoying.

Your hubby? Looks YOUNG and so sweet, like younger then mine which is sad since mine still looks like the little kid from the Jerry McGuire movie.

Neptunebaby said...

Well, you know.. I'd love to have her. She adorable. But I have three kids and one on the way so I don't think it would work out unless you want to build a new wing onto my house. ;)

Shaken Mama said...

We've just taken to dropping Chebbles off in Nebraska.

Krissyface said...

I find it hard to believe that with all that drinking and debauchery going on with those 'adults' you were hanging around with, not one of them put their hands into the toilet.

Doesn't sound like much of a party to me.

kristie said...

who needs a sitter!? just do like the nice lady that lives down the street from my parents... put them to bed early that night. and once you can hear them snoring, sneak out of the house ever so quietly. THEY'LL NEVER KNOW! and IT'S FREE!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

It's so hard to find a good sitter these days. My kids are going to be babysat by Chuck E. Cheese.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever consider just placing them in the trunk of your car with a couple crackers and a glow worm? I mean, how bad could it be? Tell them it's a camping trip or something.

Tiggerlane said...

Uh...she doesn't really talk yet, right? And doesn't own an iPod? And doesn't want $200 to go to the mall this weekend?

I'll trade my teenage daughter...please?

Steph. said...

Dang. You guys look young in that shot. I thought you were an old fart like me! Glad you got out and the kids didn't burn down the house or steal your liquor and leave town or anything.

And, your kid? Puh-leez. Your stuck with that one...

Ben said...

Heh, boring football game; try Hockey since you guys do have a team in case you don't know. Granted they're last in their division, but their goons should keep your attention with the on-ice antics.

Cheers

Effortlessly Average said...

"...she will lay eyes on [me]... and run immediately... casting furtive glances over her shoulder every few seconds to make sure they're not pulling a baby-chopping axe out of their back pocket and leaping at her."

Well, you just described what I see whenever I arrive to pick up a blind date.

Oops A Baby said...

I'm pretty much the best babysitter in the whole entire world. Sooo......yeeeahh.

karen! said...

Very entertaining! I haven't been reading for a while, but I may be back now.
-karen.
(my word verification is switte)

Chris said...

hahahahaha love it
Chris Hennessy