My younger sister is at the age where she’s beginning to build her babysitting career. In helping her form a marketing strategy – hey, gotta put those business classes to good use – I began to reminisce on my own golden age of babysitting.
Those were the days. A few hours playing hide and seek with more or less well-behaved children, and you would walk away with cold, hard cash. No taxes, no strings attached, it was all. yours. Not to mention the perks of the job after the kids went to sleep: endless channels on the television and good snacks.
Does anyone else miss those days? As a senior soon to graduate into the real world, I find myself mourning those times even more. I didn’t even fully appreciate how good I had it! Uncle Sam didn’t take half my pay and living at home meant I had no expenses. I could spend my earnings on whatever my heart desired with nary a care in the world. Besides, I knew I’d just make another $100 cash the next weekend. What did it matter if I blew it all shopping with friends?
Sure, changing dirty diapers wasn’t the most glamorous job and explaining to a worried mother that her son fell at the park was a situation to be handled with the utmost care. It’s true that in high school I spent many a Saturday night cleaning up toys and doing a mountain of someone else’s dishes after putting the kids to sleep. There is little more exacerbating than having a child patter down the stairs after you’ve tucked them in three times already and you’re finally sitting down to relax and watch a good movie.
I liked it though. To this day, kids seem to enjoy me and I always have a good time with them. The great thing about babysitting is that you get to have fun with your charges and then you get to give them back. No matter how poorly they behave, there is an end in sight, because they’re not your children! Besides that comforting thought, you know there will be a glorious check with your name on it in just a few hours. These two truths can get you through even the most challenging of tantrums.
Perhaps that’s why I’m still hesitant at the thought of having my own children: I’d get frustrated with them and think,
Well at least their parents will be home by 11pm and then I’ll be free!
or Where’s my cash for the day?
Except not. Ah well, maybe I’ll mature one day. If I do, let’s pray my future children never read this.
If anyone would like to hire me to hang out with their children and eat their snacks, my services are available immediately.