4.29.2006

The Sitter (Cue Hitchcockian Music)

So I know I'm new to this whole babysitter thing and all, but I do have fairly good instincts. And when the sitter shows up smelling like pipe smoke (a smell that Nate and I had to work very hard to convince ourselves wasn't alcohol)--a little weird, right?

When she introduces herself by shaking your hand and saying, "peace and blessings," all while sporting a Bush = Hitler illustration onto her messenger satchel--a little weird right?

(And hey, you all know how I feel about Bush. But I can assure you I wouldn't show up at a new job sporting a two-foot long cartoon rendering of him side by side with the fuhrer.)

And when she talks about her children, and then you ask her how old her children are and she says, "well they're not really my children but when you take care of them like I do they're your children" but then later tells you that she does have children--a little weird, right?

And when she doesn't stop telling you how nice everything is, and how nice your furniture is, and how nice your art is, and how nice it would be if she had the money for such nice things--a little weird, right?

And when she calls your cell phone a mere half hour into your SigOth's big thirtieth birthday celebration for a non-emergency; actually a query as to where some teething biscuits might be long after the baby was supposed to be sleeping--a little weird, right? Oh, and she didn't ask because the baby was fussy or teething or anything, but because, "well I just thought it would be nice for her to have one. I mean, babies like that stuff. Hey, I'd like one myself right now if you have one."

And when you get home and ask what time the baby went to sleep and she can't quite remember but "maybe 10...no, 9:30...no wait, somewhere near 9. Or 9:30" and you ask why, because after all, you told her to put the baby to sleep around 8 and she answers, "yeah, I tried but she just wanted to hang with me. So we hung for a while."--a little weird, right?

I mean, just a little?

Oy. This mothering thing is going to be the end of me.


56 Comments:

Anonymous madge said...

W.E.I.R.D. No question.

Maybe Nate could chum up with some of the nannies in the park and get some numbers of other, slightly less bizarro, sitters.

4/29/06, 6:43 PM  
Blogger kfk said...

Bizarre, indeed. I'm sure you won't be needing her services ever again. Did you check the baby immediately and the contents of your "nice" house?

4/29/06, 7:03 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I've never had a sitter. Not because I am philosophically opposed to sitters, but because I know I would worry so much as to make the evening completely unenjoyable. It simply would not be worth the going hourly rate or the cost of a meal I couldn't eat and a movie I couldn't watch. I'm well aware that this is compltely irrational.

You, however, are not irrational. You are perceptive. Weird indeed.

4/29/06, 7:19 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

LOL. Did she eat the teething biscuits? 'Cause that's just plainass WEIRD.

4/29/06, 7:29 PM  
Blogger chichimama said...

Tres bizzare. Find a new sitter...

If you are on the Westside by any chance, try Barnard Babysitting. Barnard College students. We had fabulous luck with them. And when we moved to the east side we were still able to get great sitters as long as we paid cab fare back to campus....

Also, we had good luck asking the doorman if you are in a doorman building. He knew all the nannies who worked in the building and hooked us up with the good ones....

4/29/06, 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Duuuude. What's wrong with that? Teething biscuits are the shit.

4/29/06, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I used to down the Arrowroots like there was no tomorrow. And maybe Thalia had the munchies?

But yeah, I might hesitate, until I got drunk enough to forget...

4/29/06, 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

Shit like this is why we never went out for years and years.

4/29/06, 9:00 PM  
Blogger stefanierj said...

Good Lord. When people ask me why one should find a relgious institution to affiliate with, THIS is why. Old people=awesome babysitters. We made two of the sweetest grandparent-age folks in our congregation into godparents and BAM!! Best. Babysitters. Ever. And they will only let us pay them in gift certificates and framed photos of my offspring.

Why am I moving again? Oh wait, because there will be a bumper crop of sweet, wholesome young Mormon women slavering to babysit my kid. Hey, snap!! Isn't Nate an ex-Mo? Tell him to hit up his local ward-dude or whatev and ask if there are any nice young lasses to help you out. I may have some theological problems with the LDS church, but dude, no sex and drinkng and drugs sounds JUST FINE to me when it's my babysitter I'm talkin' about! :)

4/29/06, 9:10 PM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

C'mon. You've got to let us in on where the heck you found her?!?!?!

4/29/06, 9:31 PM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

Ooh...and HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE!!!

4/29/06, 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

Glad you guys got out. I didn't know your mom liked teething biscuits and pipes?

LMAO.

Sorry Nancy. I love you!

4/29/06, 10:01 PM  
Anonymous roo said...

Dude! That babysitter is far out!

Eeg. Not the sort of report I'd want to hear, from the woman I'd entrusted with my child.

Well, on to the next?

4/29/06, 10:43 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Steph - I'm going to have to consider this. The best thing about Mormon babysitters? If they're 25 years old, they already have like 10 years experience as mothers!

4/29/06, 10:54 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I'll go along with the religious babysitter thing. The husband and I are not particularly god fearing, but we used to have a very sweet, bible school graduate as our nanny. She was AWESOME. And I don't think she proselytized to the little tykes too much of the time.

4/29/06, 11:03 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

LMAO re: 10 yrs experience. :)
Also, holy shit! Freaky babysitter from hell! I am a paranoid freak about my kids, so just about the only outings we as a couple ever got were when the grandma was in town.

4/29/06, 11:42 PM  
Anonymous blackbeltmama said...

This is exactly why I only leave my girls with family. I think I watch entirely too much dateline about babysitters. Definitely a weirdo.

4/29/06, 11:42 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Ohyeah - and even then I was a wreck until we got home.

4/29/06, 11:42 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I'm not sure if Old People = awesome babysitters. The worst experience with a babysitter I ever had was a 70-something woman some friends hired for their wedding. The woman was really nice, but her understanding of children was all circa 1960. The saving factor was that she had two 19 year-old helpers with her who knew it probably wasn't a good idea to leave a six-month-old infant alone in the middle of a bed to sleep. I'm not the nervous type, but I ended up checking in a few times during the evening.

Although I do think hangin' with the baby (perhaps smoking a doobie) is a little out of hand ... now if they were just drinking brewskies ...

4/29/06, 11:44 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

After all the crap I did when I babysat for people - looking through their drawers, stealing their pot, feeding their kids rat poison (kay I made that one up), I will never, ever hire a babysitter under any circumstances. Which is to say that I'll probably wait a couple months.

4/30/06, 12:21 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

There's one sitter who inspires confidence. NOT! I'm afraid I would have been jumping across the room to strangle her by the end of the evening.

4/30/06, 12:35 AM  
Blogger one smarmy mama said...

uhm....WEIRD.

Just weird.

4/30/06, 1:17 AM  
Anonymous j said...

More than weird.

Never call that sitter again.

4/30/06, 1:29 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Very weird. And not in a good way. I would not call her again. But I would call the locksmith to have the locks changed.

We have a very sweet Eastern European woman who takes care of my husband's aging aunt in the mornings and helps out at our house a few days a week. It has been wonderful so far. She is young, has a young child of her own, and knows what it means to leave your baby with a sitter. The only downside is that she extremely attractive, which my husband has mentioned to many of his friends on several occasions. Naturally, I try to schedule her for when my husband is not around.

4/30/06, 3:46 AM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

Oy is right. Maybe you should not call her next time.

4/30/06, 7:47 AM  
Anonymous neva said...

uh. yeah. i'd definitely say that was a littl... ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? aieeee! majorly fuckingly weird! weird i tell you, WEIRD! do you not know some nice folks who'd dote on thalia for an hour or two (or three)? heck, i'm just in stamford, bring her out here--i'll watch her for ya, for free! (seriously, i'd do that).

on the other hand... at least you and nate got to go out... and i'm sure that, you had a wonderful time. a wonderful time for the whole minute or two you were able to not worry about your pot smoking/bush hating (not a bad thing, but still...)/biscuit eating/scoping out your nice stuff/keeping thalia up 'til all hours of the night baby-sitter. (seriously, next time, call me.)

4/30/06, 8:29 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

Hmmm, weird indeed.

I just interviewed a lady to be the full time nanny for baby george in september for when I go back to work.

In the interview she was holding him, and he was bouncing on her legs, and I swear to god- I am not exaggarating- she dropped him and he fell to the ground. Dropped him! I was sitting right there with her. But wait- it gets worse: THEN while he is crying on the ground, she picks him up quickly and said to him "Why did you go and jump right out of my arms like that, BAD BOY!!!"

I was SOoooooooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOooooooooo
Outta there.

Agh.

4/30/06, 8:58 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

that *is* a bit weird. i think i would enlist other services next time, but don't let it put you off a sitter in general. i will say that bedtime nearly always ends up being different with a sitter--it's the trade off. the other night the hubs and i got back, and my son was happily ensconced with "cassey" on the couch, watching Aladdin. It was 12:30am. And he was disturbingly chipper and sugared up. But he slept til 9:30am!!!! SCORE!!!

4/30/06, 9:17 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

oh, and chichimama's suggestion of using Barnard students--definitely a good idea. I use nice, clean, polite undergraduate women too, and I love them. and those Barnard chicks--they'se smart and dilligent n' shit.

4/30/06, 9:22 AM  
Blogger Tara's World said...

The best sitters I have ever had were high schoolers.. even more perfect? Highschoolers who are in band.

4/30/06, 9:32 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Wow! I'm not sure what to say about that woman. I try to stick with family or with college kids (whose family I know). Good luck finding a better one next time!

PS Did she have the munchies for the teething biscuit?

4/30/06, 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

If you had a nice evening - got home and Thalia was asleep and safe - I'd say SUCCESS. If she creeps you out, don't hire her again. I always hated hiring babysitters, but if you don't do it, you'll be sorry (I was). :-)

4/30/06, 9:57 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

I have pretty high standards for sitters, myself. Being that I was a former nanny, I keep telling myself, "I have to find a sitter who is at least as good as I was as a nanny."

I am still looking . . . and it's not like I was Disney's Mary Poppins, or anything . . .

I DID try to get those kids in bed as soon as humanly possible, though (which was still usually after their bedtimes, btw, because most kids really do have a hard time falling asleep for random, sitters and even for their regular part-time nanny if they're not used to her being around for bedtime). The sooner I got those babies in bed, the sooner I could watch cable TV and munch popcorn all by myself until the parents came home. And get paid for it. How sweet is that?

It's too bad I don't live in New York-- we could totally do a babysitting exchange. And if you sent Thalia over in that one pair of jeans I promise I'd even wash 'em for you ;)

4/30/06, 10:37 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

"random," ???

I blame child-assisted typing for all my typos ;)

4/30/06, 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Tess's Mom said...

I'm thinking I wouldn't be calling her back again. hmmmm, yeah, probably not.

4/30/06, 10:48 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

oh boy. too funny! I like to expose my kids to a diversity of people, but I think I'd say once is enough for this sitter :)

4/30/06, 10:56 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

I'm just assuming here...you won't be calling her back...
There are good sitters out there. I found mine through the local university. Alot of the child development majors put their names on babysitting lists. Maybe you can find someone with some brains!
Good luck.

4/30/06, 11:44 AM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

Let's first start off with the fact that when you first start using sitters, It is a lot like dating,
you pretty much know in the first five minutes whether or not it's going to work out.
My guess is even though Thalia was still breathing when you got home- This did not work out! questions , especially on both your parts say RED FLAGS!!! If we lived near each other I have babysitters for kids but since we don't..my suggestion would be to contact the college on some names of kids who are trying to become pediatricians, teachers etc...Even the high schools will tell you which kids are possibilities. Do you have any teacher friends.
There is nothing better in life then finding that great sitter...but always have a follow up. You know those young ones get boyfriends! Also...The absolute best way to determine a great sitter (student) is to have her come over when your there and observe her with Thalia while you do what you do! then she can see how you and Nate do things as well.

4/30/06, 11:53 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh yeah... Definately weird. But hey, if she is took good care of Thalia, it was just one night. Now you can forget about the experience, find someone new, and move on!

4/30/06, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

by the way, hiring high school and/or college students is an excellent idea (that's what we did when our kids were young...). the only problem? the nerdy, straight A student who makes a world class sitter NEVER wants to give up her academic career and live with you and be your nanny until your kids turn 30. she just doesn't. go figure. ours went off to study in england, then rutgers--where she worked for awhile before going back to study in paris--and is now working on her doctorate. needless-to-say, i'm very disappointed in her! (hee hee) : P

4/30/06, 1:14 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

I too think that I'd be on the hunt for someone a little less out there. She's on her way to outerspace.

4/30/06, 1:28 PM  
Blogger PI said...

And you actually left your child with her?

4/30/06, 2:12 PM  
Anonymous lildb said...

found you on citymama's blog. there's a lotta pressure to perform here in the comments section, assuming that I'm going to live up to my status as the 42nd shard of brilliance, and I'm not sure that I have it in me, but I promise to try. on second thought, I'll leave the brilliant part to you, which you've taken on admirably. and hilariously. regarding your sitter; this is exactly why I have yet to use one, or even to consider it as an option. because people that are not in one's immediate family are weird. thanks for putting it so succintly, mom101.

4/30/06, 2:20 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

pi: I know you don't know me, and all you have is my word and a few months of blog posts to go on, but I assure you I'm not a total dipshit.

This was a flakey woman at worst. She was not stoned or drunk. She is a full-time nanny referred through a reputable service. She loved the baby and the baby loved her. She was just...weird. Very weird. If I had any concerns about her competence or abilities I would not have left my child with her.

Can I punctuate that last part with the word, "duh" or is that going too far?

As for the rest of you, thanks for the suggestions! We're lucky enough to have very willing grandparents in town who would gladly pay us to babysit Thalia any night of the week. But when it's Nate's birthday, well, we were all just out together celebrating. And happy to have done so.

Jaelith - the job is yours if you want it. Say the word.

4/30/06, 3:10 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

This is why my children usually stay with family. They'll stay with other people, but they don't, usually.

BTW, where'd you find that chick? Remind me not to call her.

4/30/06, 4:48 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Eeep. And this is why I'm scared to even look for a babysitter that I don't already know very, very well. I certainly hope you're never using her again.

4/30/06, 4:54 PM  
Blogger Refinnej said...

Definitely weird. Venturing into Twilight Zone territory, I'd say.

Aside from one babysitting "incident" that resulted in my never calling the offending sitter again, we've been lucky. Friends with older kids = almost unending gold mine of sitters.

4/30/06, 5:40 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

Yeah, it's all a little weird.

I'm with you on the babysitting. It is so hard to find people we trust to watch our son, too.

4/30/06, 7:42 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

Am I the only one who had trouble getting past the awesomeness of the word "Hitchcockian?" God damn, I need to figure out how to ingratiate that into my conversations. I guess I must chalk that one up to my love of the "k" sound.

4/30/06, 7:52 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Ha Binky. And here I was, worried it would sound like porn.

4/30/06, 8:28 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

so, is it safe to assume you won't be using her again? sounds a little creepy...

4/30/06, 8:42 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I shall lurk no more forever... :)!

Ummm, weird would be a good word. Rather PC, IMHO, but yeah, I think weird would be a good start!!!

4/30/06, 8:49 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

I love the weird babysitter post! We have had several... one with a weird teeth problem, one with crazy jail-bird/born-again Christian boyfriend, one who had the weirdest friends imaginable etc...
Everyone of them...were great babysitters... JUST BlOODY WIERD!
I'm on your page babe...
Peace!
Bet her armpits and legs were hairy too!

4/30/06, 10:29 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Um...yeah.

Our babysitters come from the stable of caregivers at our day care/pre-school. Not only do they see our girls every day, but I've worked with most of them. I'm a picky-picky mama.

5/1/06, 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Girl,
that is way weird. I recomend you call one of those agencies that have nannies. They do sitters as well as temp nannies. Then you know they have been um.. checked for crazieness??? This is what we do anyways. They can generally find you someone, even on short notice.

5/2/06, 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Jem said...

weird, but teething biscuits are really good.

5/25/07, 3:38 AM  

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