Remember how when you used to babysit as a preteen or a teenager, you’d pray to God that the mom would be the one to chit chat with you at the end of the night instead of the dad? And didn’t it totally blow chunks to get stuck with a creepy middle-aged man yapping on and on and on about the damn weather? And did you not absolutely dread having the dad offer to walk or, heaven forbid, DRIVE you home? Yeah, me too, and upon recent reflection, I realize that I have become a total freaking hypocrite in my own adult years, since I usually make my husband do all the talking to the babysitter when we return home from an evening out. (Not that I’m calling my husband a creepy, middle-aged man or anything….)
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t WANT to talk to the sitter — cause we all know how much I love to shoot the shit. It’s just that I don’t particularly want the teenage offspring of all our neighbors to know that Mrs. Nucking Futs has been throwing back the vino. I can’t help it, but I get paranoid that my words are gonna come out all slurred and that I’ll end up looking like a lush, whether I’ve had one glass of wine or 50. (What? You don’t drink wine when you get the chance to escape YOUR children for an evening?!) I’ve even been known to come right in the front door and march straight up the front staircase without so much as saying even one word. The poor sitters are then left to force themselves to smile and laugh at all the smart ass jokes my hubby tries to crack with them.
I also prefer that I not be the one to write the check to compensate the sitter, since my late-night math skills are not what they used to be. I’m quite certain that I’ve overpaid on more than one occasion. (Perhaps this is why the girls in our hood like to babysit for us???) I REALLY outdid myself the other night, though, when I made the check out to a girl who wasn’t even sitting for us. Yep, my stupidity/tipsyness was on full display, and I didn’t even realize my mistake until my neighbor across the street called me out on it two days later.
I was carrying in groceries from the car when I heard someone say, “You must’ve REALLY had fun at the Blackhawks game the other night!!!” Turns out that my dumb ass had written the check to this woman’s daughter who wasn’t even the one who’d babysat for us on the night in question! And God only knows how much I paid this girl for services that I hadn’t even rendered! (In my defense though, we had gone to the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals with some clients from my husband’s work who kept shoving beers in our hands left and right. And I couldn’t very well offend them by declining their generous offers, now could I?! So I guess you could say I was pretty “pucking” loopy by the time we got home from the game. Clearly, I had no business doing multiplication at that point.)
Needless to say, it’s probably best for my husband to be the one to do the final wrap-up with the sitters from now on. I can totally understand now why so many of the families I babysat for back in the day did this. Looking back, it all makes perfect sense to me. The bottom line? Don’t drink and talk to sitters.