Monday, October 20, 2008

Foolish but yet Cool Babysitter

I know it has been suggested by Leora and Childish to have boundaries with emotinal attachment from the mothers of the kids I babysit. But yet it can be hard when they are your neighbor. You end up interacting with them much more, and it’s less of a professional relationship, it becomes more casual.

So one of the mothers invites my family over to her Succah for dessert. We were chatting and eating fruit. At one point in the conversation someone mentions how the fruits wet your appetite and that’s why they are usually served in the beginning of the meal. Then all of a sudden it clicked in my brain and I said “o, I finally get why those are called appetizers” I seriously never knew that the root word was appetite and never made the connection before. So then a family member comments to the mother “Don’t worry she only says such things around you”. Seems like I have a habit of sounding foolish in front of her. So then of course they got into the discussion of the other time when I didn’t know which was Sadam Hussein and which was Osama Bin Laden. I then assured her that now I know the difference, thanks to a commenter in Frum Skeptic’s blog who had pointed out that Osama sounds like Obama, so he’s the one that’s alive. I of course didn’t mention that I got that hint through a blog.

Then the other night I was babysitting by her house, the kids were sleeping. She called me over at 9:00, she wasn’t ready right away, so as she was putting on her sheitel and we were talking. She shows me her tights that she was wearing, they had like black vertical stripes all around. She said she was in love with them and had paid $18 for them! That sounded like a lot of money to me for a pair of tights. She said she saw a pair of tights in the store that she really loved but they were $36 so she didn’t get them, I never knew it can get that expensive. But if mothers are willing to indulge so much on a pair of tights then for sure they should be able to spend some money on their children, (something I plan on writing a post about). Then ends up being her and her husband were talking to me for a half hour. Then the mother says “I think we will just stay here because it’s so cool to talk to ‘the babysitter’”. So they finally end up leaving at 9:50.

As they were putting on their coats, the husband asked me if I would want him to bring me a coat that he can get from work, just like the one he and his wife were wearing. I asked if it would be free, and I forgot what he said in response, some joke. So then he said seriously he can get me the coat. I said perhaps my brothers will want it, so then he said that he didn’t ask them, he’s asking me if I want it. I already had a coat, so I would have said no. But then I remembered advice I once heard about accepting offers. That if they offer, then you should accept. That advice was told concerning one of the people I was babysitting offering to pick me up from my house or if I would walk the few blocks over. Since I was already running late, cause I had totally forgotten about having to babysit, I felt guilty, so I told them I would walk over. So then a family member said I should have accepted the ride. So having that advice in mind, I decided to just say “ok you can get me one”. We’ll see if he actually does or doesn’t. 

I hadn’t thought they would be gone so long, so I had just brought a long my cell to listen to some shiurim at Kol Halashon. I listened for a while, to a great one by my previous seminary teacher, she has 46 shiurim there and so far I listened to 2 and a half of the 3rd. Then my battery dies out on me at around 10:30. So I then had nothing to do. I know they offered that I can watch TV if I want, but I just didn’t feel up to that. So for a while I just sat there doing nothing, I was afraid of falling asleep laying down on the couch. So I went through some of their Mishpacha magazines. I saw an ad for a Jewish book that I would want to check out, a book called the code of Jewish conduct, about how to act with interpersonal relationships, bein adom lichavairo stuff. Then I found a cute chabad magazine and was reading that. Then time eventually went by, and at 1:00 they came home!


  1. Good for you, got a coat for your time. O your neighbors are flaky.

  2. Nothing wrong with getting emotionally attatched to the people you babysit for. Its awesome. I really like the mom of the kid I used to babysit for. Now my sis and I occassionaly babysit for her, and our families are close. If my parents leave the country over shabbos, or w/e, I get invited for meals. Its great. And their kid is like my favorite mushy in the world. :).

    I never realized the appetizer thing either. thats really cool. :)

    I haven't paid $18 for a pair of tights- yet. But I have paid $8. lol. And I've seen $45. I am considering on buying a $14 pair though. Soooo cute. its like criss/cross. :)

  3. sometimes you cant tell what people mean. its not foolish it just happens.

  4. 18$!!!!!!! ??????????

    And yes, nothing wrong in getting along nicely with your clients!

  5. Update: so I got the coat from the person, he gave an XL which I obviously can't use, but they also gave 2 tote bags, perhaps they may come in handy.

    Childish: what does flaky mean?

    FrumSkeptic: yea, it does sound great. lol, I have a family like that, the one with baby #12 on the way, their home is like my second home!

    so it isn't that obvious, and yea it's cool :-)

    wow, I didn't know they go up to 45! I just hope they don't get runs in them, cause then it would be a big waste. But criss cross sounds nice and I suppose 14 isn't so bad. Enjoy those if you get them!

    and Your welcome!

    MikeInMidwood: That's true.

    Ricki'sMom: right, that is a lot!
    yea, it could be good.

  6. flaky=eccentric

    btw, thanks for the link.

  7. The best part of working with children is falling in love with the cute ones. So, yes, you should feel free to connect to the kids emotionally.

  8. Nothing like a misquote. Boundaries, you should set boundaries. You can become emotionally attached, but you don't want to get hurt. Look up boundaries.

  9. Leora: sorry for the misquote, I had forgotten about the boundaries part. Now I fixed it.

  10. As regards questions on my posts:
    1. Yes, that is a key on the bookshelf
    2. Yes, Ricki does get tired at times with my teaching her... but I try to have enough varied ways of teaching, and enough fun encentives, that it goes.

  11. hmm, i never realized that about appetizers either

    "But if mothers are willing to indulge so much on a pair of tights then for sure they should be able to spend some money on their children"

    or give the babysitter a raise

    re. the coat: i don't like to accept favors/presents because then i feel like i owe them something. (for example, the next time they call you last minute and you are really busy might you now feel guilty and stop what you need to do to babysit?)

    and the accepting the coat is not the same as accepting the ride, because the latter was to facilitate you doing your job.

    שבוע טוב

  12. RickisMom: that's good that you try to make it fun for her.

    Lion Of Zion: So it's not common knowledge after all.

    I didn't even think about the raise part.

    Interesting, about the favors. I didn't think of it that way. I thought of it more that it was just an extra thing, they didn't loose out anything by giving it, and it's not like I really wanted it, so there was no gain or loss on any side. Although, after the fact when I was telling my father, he told me that the neighbor is very sarcastic and perhaps he didn't really mean to offer it. But I don't think he was joking, cause I had asked him first to make sure. But if he was joking then it's funny how I made a fool of myself again!

    Anyways, I don't think I'll feel guilty from it, cause if you see in the next post, when she asks me to babysit while she gets dressed, I didn't go.

    But you're right, that makes sense, that they are 2 separate things. Cause the ride is for the job, while the coat has nothing to do with anything.

  13. I'm wondering why he gets free coats from work. What kind of job does he have?

  14. Mother In Israel: he worked in some financing kinda position, with hedge funds maybe. He got all the coats and stuff because the company was closing down and being taken over by another one, so they didn't need it anymore.


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