Saturday, November 29, 2008

“How To Lose A Babysitter in 10 days”

In other words, how to get fired from babysitting in 10 days. Thank you Child Ish Behavior and Frum Punk for the inspiration. So the last attempt to say good bye was unsuccessful and I figured it would be fun to write up a post on how to get fired from babysitting. I also have to thank the kid I was babysitting tonight for giving me some more inspiration, she asked me to read her an Amelia Bedelia book. Then I thought to myself, that’s perfect, I’ll use Amelia Bedelia tactics, I’m sure those are fire worthy.

Tonight I went babysitting by a different family and when I told her that Tuesday will be the last time I will be babysitting for her for ever, and for everyone. She had a bit of a better reaction. She said “o, because you have finals coming up?, I totally understand”. So I said “yea, I have to concentrate on school work more”. So then she said “what about our motzei shabboses?”, So I said, “sorry, no more”. So then she said “After you finish this semester will you be able to?” So I said, “As of now no, but we’ll see”. So she was much more accepting of me finishing babysitting (Thanks Jessica for the word choice, and Thanks Frum Punk), but she still had a sad face and still tried to grasp any bit she could. She was really nice about it, not at all like the other.

Day 1

  • Don’t change the babies diaper.
  • Let the kids eat all the junk food
  • invite friends over and have a party with loud music
  • let the kid stay up till the parents come home

Day 2

  • Let the kids color and paint the wall
  • let them play outside without their coats on
  • bring them to a neighbors house without telling the parents, so that they come home to any empty house

Day 3

  • Go to sleep and let the kids run around wild
  • let the kids go in the parent room and put on “dress up” clothes
  • try on the mothers jewelry

Day 4

  • Let the kids use black markers and scribble up their homework sheets
  • Talk on the phone the whole time while ignoring the kids
  • make prank calls by calling every contact listed on the emergency contact list

Day 5

  • say “yeah, right, whatever” to any instructions the mother gives
  • come late to the babysitting job
  • let the children watch TV the whole time
  • Let the kids use the computer and print out pictures using up all the ink and paper
Day 6 - Frum Punk
  • Driving lessons.
  • The roof: Your slanty playground!
  • Learning to cook.
  • How to cut up mommies clothes into even better clothes!
Day 7 - Lion Of Zion
  • raid the alcohol cabinet
  • let the kids drink the alcohol with you
  • teach the kids bad words
  • hit on the husband
  • hit on the wife
Day 8
  • leave the kids alone, and go out with friends - Mike In Midwood
  • threaten the kids if they don't go to bed - Muse
  • Read the Communist Manifesto to the kids as bedtime reading - Katie
Day 9
  • after the kids are sleeping, and the lights are off, taking a flashlight and hold it under your chin and make boogeyman noises at the top of your lungs!! - DavenedByDeKoisel
  • If there's a kid you don't like, then pinch them all the time - Tr8erGirl

Ok, now this is harder than I thought, I can’t come up with another 5 days worth of bad stuff to do. But if you have ideas, you can comment, and I will put it up with credit to your name. I had the idea to use Amelia Bedelia tactics, but I can’t seem to think of any, so any ideas would be appreciated.

Remember, this is all in humor, no babysitter should be doing these stuff.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good Bye Babysitter!

Well almost Good Bye. I had decided that it has come to a point where I can no longer babysit. I have to spend more time studying, since school is a top priority right now. So tonight I went babysitting, planning on telling the mother that it’s the last night. So she tells me that she will be home for sure before 11. Then It turns 11 and they are not home, finally 11:30 they come home. Normally I wouldn’t mind if they come home that time, but if you say you’re going to be back earlier, then the minutes seem to pass by slower.

Anyways, after 2 hours of babysitting, they come home and the father gives me a 20, and asks if that’s good. So I tell him I owe him 4 dollars. Then I break the news, I said, but I can’t babysit anymore. So they turn to me and their like “why not?”. I said “I have to concentrate on school work”. So then the wife is like “You can’t do this to us, you have to come once a week, we need you”. I’m thinking to myself "EXCUSE ME!”. The kids are sleeping anyways, I’m not doing anything, why do they need ME to come to watch their sleepy kids, why can’t they just get anybody? There has to be another babysitter they can start hiring.

I hadn’t wanted to say anymore than that, but since I saw they weren’t giving in, I said “But really, I’m starting to fail my classes, I need to study more”. So the father says “what are you studying” I said “accounting”. So he said “I could help you with that”. I said “But that’s not the problem, I just need the time to study”. So then he’s like “The house is quiet here, you can study all you want”. Some people just don’t get it. I know they really need their nights out, considering their partnership marriage. But why does it have to be at my expense? Why can’t they just get someone else? whey are they desperate to keep me?

So then they ask, “Is it just us that you won’t babysit by? what about the A’s B’s C’s and D’s?” I said “I’m stopping altogether, not them either”. “Their like no, you’ll have to make time, we need you once a week”. Such audacity, I can’t believe it.

I had decided earlier already that I’m going to stop babysitting altogether because of this family, she makes it impossible for me to say “no” and I just can’t take it, so I figured if I say that I’m stopping altogether then maybe she would take it better, but apparently not.

Anyways, I’m almost up to my blogversary, so I’m going to keep the blog going a bit longer, till I reach my 100th post, which will also be the same time as my birthday, and the end of this semester, so lots of good stuff coming up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Babysitter’s Monetary Policy

The magic word that everyone understands and loves – Money. We all know money can’t buy you everything, but yet we value it’s importance for what it can buy. We all need money to survive, and to live a comfortable life. However, many people are so enthralled with the concept of having money that they want more and more money to save up, just to say they have x amount of money. Then there are some that will do anything to be rich, they will marry a rich guy to live a luxurious lifestyle of shopping therapy.

Any form of collection are things that make children happy but seem to be insensible expenses. In my days it was Hi beary stationary. It has then gone to crazy bones, and now I hear it’s napkins. Some will view these collections as a waste of money, after all if you look at the item for it’s physical worth, it doesn’t seem to be as high as the price it costs. But yet because it’s a collection it costs more. Children gain so much pleasure from collecting items. They get a sense of accomplishment from the more they collect. Parents can use this to their advantage by letting the child get their collectors items as a reward. The children obviously value it, so they will agree to the reward system. It also teaches the child how to be responsible, to not loose what they have collected, and to trade it wisely. Come to think of it, collections teach them bartering skills, and financial skills.

My view on how to go shopping, is to buy what you need and that’s it. I feel it’s a waste of time and effort to go from store to store to save the .10 or .15 you will save. If you need something you buy it at the store your at. Also, I don’t see sales as a way of saving money, but rather wasting money. Unless you need the item then it’s a great thing that it’s on sale. But if you don’t need the item and you happen to see the sale sign and decide to stock up on it, you have to evaluate your action. Look at the item again, see if it will actually be used or not, and then decide if it’s worth it. It could be that it will just sit in your fridge for days and no one will touch it. The kids may be used to a different product, and they will be left hungry if you buy the sale item they don’t like, and don’t buy the item you know they have liked in the past.

I think children should be aware that things they buy cost money, but I don’t think they should be taught too much on financial skills. There is no reason why a child should be left with guilt to buy something they need, because they are afraid it cost too much money. At the same time, you don’t want to cause your children to become money hungry. If your always talking about saving money, and how you shouldn’t spend money. Then the children will expect money by their birthday presents and will want more money than what they are given, and won’t ever be happy. Both cases will cause unhappy children. So you have to know the right balance to make children aware that things cost money, but not to lead them on to either extreme of being money hungry or self conscience about asking for things they need.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adopted Children

There is an elderly couple who got married late and were therefore unable to have children, so they adopted. At first I hadn’t even known the children were adopted. They had a little 3 year old at that time when I first knew them, and I thought it was their natural child. Then a year later they adopted a 2 year old, and everyone was telling her congratulations on your new baby. I was thinking to myself “wow, that’s fast”. When I realized that it was an adopted child. They adopted them from some country far out. The second one was from Guatemala I think.

I’ve babysat by them a few times and noticed some differences. For one, since they are their children by choice they treat them much better, and are much better parents towards them. Sort of reminds me of BT’s when they become frum. Because they had felt something was missing they decided to take action and do something about it to better their life. So they obviously see the children as a gift and treat them well. Also, there’s a certain familiarity you naturally have with your own children that would cause you to get annoyed with them and not appreciate them. When it’s adopted children you respect them more.

So last night I was babysitting there, and right away I was looking at all the kids arts and crafts hanging up on the walls and the toys on the floor, and the toys in the bathtub. It seemed strange for it to be in a house of an old couple, but yet it made the house look so much more inviting, warm and friendly. The other times I had babysat there the kids were sleeping, so I would just do my school work. This time however, the kids were in bed, but up.

So the 4 year old comes out of bed and starts taking books out of his bookshelf and using them to build a house. I thought he was pretty smart in how he built it, perhaps a future builder. He barely talked, kept saying the word “book”. I helped him out a little and he was open to my ideas, so I bonded a little with him. Then after he had used all his books, I asked him if he wants to show me his room. (I always say that to get the kids to go to sleep, it’s the first step). So we go in his room and he continues being busy with his books, so I ask him if he wants me to read him a book. So after going through a bunch of books, he picks one for me to read. It was a version of “The Three Little Pigs”. It was a bit different and put more emphasis on the wolf and the 3rd pig, but the beginning was the same. So when I read the parts where the pig would answer “no, no, no, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” and the wolf would answer “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow you house in”. He would look at me and start laughing. So I was glad that he enjoyed the book. So then after I read the story he put away his books and went to bed. I told him I’m proud that he was a good boy, and he smiled.

Then the 2 year old started screaming and crying. The father had told me that he was teething so he was going to see the dentist the next morning. The father said that if the kid starts to cry then I should take him out of his crib and hold him on the chair and he will stop crying. So for a while I just patted the kids back in circular motions to see if it will calm him down before I take him out. It worked for a little bit, but then he started crying again, I asked him if wanted to come out, and he stood up. So I took him out of the crib and held him, then I sat down on the chair with him on my lap. I was so surprised that he just sat there not crying or making a sound. I’ve never seen a kid like that, that just sits still waiting for you to say or do something. Then the kid eventually fell asleep on me like that, so then I transferred him to the crib.

Meanwhile, the father had been calling and left messages. I hadn’t gone down to the phone since I was busy with the kid. Then when I went down I saw 9 new messages, I’m like wow, that’s a lot. So here is where parents of adopted children are different. They are very protective of their kids. So he wanted to make sure everything was ok with them, so on the next time he called I picked up and told him that the kids were now asleep. I noticed they didn’t have caller ID, and I think their the only ones I know that still don’t have caller ID, I see it as such a necessity because I’m used to it. Anyways, back to how he’s protective of his kids, before he left he told me that the younger kid likes to put his blanket on top of his head, so after he falls asleep I should go up and lower the blanket.

What’s also interesting, is that even though the 2 kids aren’t siblings the older one treats the younger one like his brother, he will help him out and be patient with him. But so far I haven’t seen them fighting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“Partners” in Marriage

To me marriage is seen as a partnership between husband and wife. Where both husband and wife are equal, and none plays “Mommy” or “Daddy” to the other. But yet by one family I babysit by, it continues to surprise me how the wife is always bossing the husband around and treating him inferiorly. If one would rule over the other I would expect it to be the husband. For some reason I feel it’s more acceptable for the husband to boss the wife around, than the other way around.

The first time I discovered such a case where the wife rules the husband made me feel bad for the husband. They were both going out and the wife had a hard time zipping up her boots. So she orders her husband to get down on the floor and zip up her boots. When he couldn’t do it because her foot was obviously too big for the boots. She yelled at him “just do it”. So he painstakingly tried zipping it up, and he finally got it up. I thought perhaps she was just in a mood or worked up for some reason. But then it seemed to happen again and again.

The wife bought a cozy coup car for her little girl and asked her husband to build it. He was following the instructions and putting it to together. He seemed to be working very hard on it. I commented asking if the instructions were hard to figure out, since he had mixed up parts a few times. So then his wife said “No, it’s not hard a 3 year old could do it”. That made me feel bad for the husband again, that he got embarrassed in such a way. So I told him that I’m sure it was confusing instructions.

Then last night I was babysitting by them again, and the husbands mother had been hit by a car and was in the hospital. So they were going to visit her. The wife had made vegetable soup that she was bringing a long with her. So she put it in a bag and told her husband to hold it. When he took the bag by the handles, she said “no, from the bottom”. So he holds it from the bottom. Then she asked me to taste some of the soup, I said “no, thanks, I don’t want to taste it”. So then she asks her husband to taste the soup. So she holds a spoon out to him and he tastes it. So then she said “how was it?” and he said “it’s fine”. So then she said “You’re supposed to say it’s great, that it’s better than your mothers soup”. So then the husband said “lets please not talk about my mother right now”. So then he said “let’s get going”, then she said “You’re supposed to say thanks for making the food and for coming”. So then he said “you know that already” and she said “You just want to go so you can get home already to go to sleep”. The wife had told me a bunch of times that she doesn’t get along well with her in laws, and that her kids never see them. Anyways, I thought it was insensitive of her to talk about his mother that way, when she was in the hospital and he was worried about her.

But then I’m thinking perhaps it’s just her personality to be like that. She called me up yesterday morning asking me to come over and babysit while she brings her son to school since there was no bus transportation. I had just woken up. So she says to me “You can come over in your pj’s”. I’m thinking to myself, does she actually think that I would come over in my pj’s? I was thinking that she just says that as if to make herself feel better for calling me last minute.

Beforehand, we had arranged that I was going to babysit there last night, so she said she was going to call me when she wants me to come over exactly. So then when she calls and asks me if I can come over, I said ok and that I was coming. Then I go over to her house and I find her not dressed yet. Ended up being I had to wait a half hour with them till they were ready to leave, so I was wondering why she had called me over so soon. She had been wearing a shell, and at first I felt that it wasn’t tznius, that I shouldn’t look. So I stayed in the living room while she was in the kitchen. But then she called me over into the kitchen to ask me to taste some of the soup. Then I realized perhaps she was serious about me coming over in Pj’s, that she thought it was perfectly ok.

So then she orders her husband to go get her sweater. So he takes one from the chair and gives it to her, and she says “no, not that one, the one upstairs”. So he goes upstairs and gets her sweater and brings it down to her. Now I don’t understand why she couldn’t just get her sweater herself, why does she make her husband into her servant?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Scary Dogs

I’ll start with a little background. When I was in 7th grade I was coming home from the library, when I reach a corner that had a dog on the porch. The dog was loose, and as soon as I saw it I did the “smart” thing and ran. Of course the dog started running after me. So I was running across a 6 way highway with the dog chasing me at my skirt. It was so close and I was petrified. Running away from the dog became more important than saving my life. I literally didn’t see the cars coming, all I saw was the dog. As I was in middle of the highway, a car stopped and blocked the path of the dog. The driver offered me a ride, but since it was a stranger, I declined. But thankfully for that stopped car the dog turned back around and went back to it’s house. I finished running across the street, and made a complete circle to get to my block, and refused to pass by that house again.

That story obviously didn’t start my fear of dogs, but it was a big factor in my continuation of fearing dogs. The next incident was even more traumatizing since it involved me being responsible for other children, and led to me questioning my capabilities as a future mother.

I’ve been trying really hard ever since to get over this fear. I would judge a dog based on the vibe it gave me, if it was truly a scary dog, and required crossing the street. If there were other people with me, I would let them be my guard and actually walk past the dog. I would think of myself as so grown up for actually walking next to a dog. But I still hadn’t come over my fear, and wouldn’t take chances with certain dogs that I knew would run around and bark. So every day when I come home and pass by this one dog in a gate, I would go out of my way not to be next to it.

Today, however, as I was going to vote, I was with my brothers, I saw the dog there, it seemed to be lying down and it was quiet, so I figured it can’t hurt to walk by the gate. So I walked by it, I saw my brother turn around to look at me to make sure I was okay, and I gave him the sign that it was okay. Then when we got to the end of the gate, all of a sudden I heard barking. It was such a surprise, that I jumped up grabbed my brothers arm and yelled “Omg, Mommy!”. I knew it was okay, but yet I was so startled, that without thinking I reacted like that, as if it was a natural instinct. I used to react by saying “Hashem!” but somehow over the years, I guess it changed to “Mommy”.