Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hiring a baby sitter or how Law & Order ruined that for me too

We left our baby with a stranger for the first time last night.

I found her through the dreaded Park Slope Parents Board. I hadn't been back on that message board since the big blow up between sane and crazy parents in Park Slope regarding topics such as vaccines, helmets for sledding down park hills (lame), and my favorite, how dodgeball should be outlawed. BUT, we needed a baby sitter and we couldn't keep asking our friends to do it, so I sucked it up and posted a search for baby sitter recommendations.

I got a few "my nanny might want to pick up an extra job" recs. Don't ask me why, I know it is totally irrational, but the word nanny freaks me out and makes me uncomfortable. I have to get over it since I am going back to work part time soon and we'll need help a few hours a week and it will probably be a nanny, but congers up images of the women I see pushing other peoples babies, talking on cell phones, ignoring the kids and parents who have no interest in their own children's lives. I KNOW! Don't freak out. I know that is not the case in like 99% of situations, but I did say it was irrational, so don't come after me. At least I am not so crazy that I think my kid should wear a helmet to sled down a 5 foot hill.

Ok, back to the story. I got one rec from a woman who has used a college student that happened to be back on Christmas break looking for some work. She went on and on about her and this was exactly what Stefan and I felt comfortable with. College Student. This is a familiar type of person.

So I reached out to her and we spoke on the phone getting to know each other. In retrospect, this was a call in which I probably should have been more "parental" with a list of questions and a request for blood work, but we just chatted about her experience and about our daughter. Two highlights from this call are when she paused and asked, "Is this your first child?""Yes." "Wow, you guys are really relaxed." (I have no idea what I was saying about Katy Belle or what we expected to illicit this response.) A little while later I was asking her how much she was (which cracks me up when I phrase it that way) and followed it up with, "Is there anything you'll need in the house? Food, a six pack of beer?" Again, another pause. "You guys are REALLY relaxed."

HA HA HA HA HA. Yikes! Don't worry, she knew I wasn't serious and I had a good sense from her that she wasn't going to come over and get wasted and leave our baby in the fridge. I think I actually said that to her right be fore we left, "Don't worry, you'll be fine as long as you don't leave our baby in the fridge."

Our instincts were good. She was lovely and gentle and the quintessential arts major from a liberal arts college whose mascot is the "Sage Hen." I had typed up a Team Katy Belle instruction sheet and we ran around like crazy parents for a few minutes over explaining everything and then we left.

It turns out I am not one of those Moms who has crazy separation anxiety. I guess it comes from knowing I am going to see my baby again, in roughly 4 hours...or I am some sort of monster. Maybe a little of column A and a little of column B. Mwa ha ha.

Stefan and I had a nice time out and we even got a text from the sitter saying that Katy Belle was a wonderful baby and was sound asleep. Who knows if that was true (the sleep part) but it made us feel good.

We got home and hooray, the baby sitter wasn't a serial killer and she hadn't made off with our baby and she hadn't drunk all our beer (her loss) and she had even eaten all but a small scoop of my ice cream. Good for you sitter! Katy Belle was awake, but happy and fed and changed.

Sadly, this woman is going back to college in a few weeks, oh and I keep having a hard time saying she is in college because I think I am still in college and certainly not 35 or a "mom" or anything.

Bottom line....not all baby sitters are organ harvesters or Michael Myers magnets. Of course, I haven't checked my jewelry yet.

xoxo, Biz



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