Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sitting on my kid

I think one of the biggest disconnects between people who are parents and people who aren't is the babysitter.

Prior to Lotus whenever I saw a kid in a place the child shouldn't* be the thought ran through my head. "Why on earth can't they get a sitter?"

Now that I am a parent--whoo boy. Getting a sitter is hard as hell.

 First, there is Lotus' objection to being left with people she doesn't know. Once upon a time her mother did that and didn't come back so she is understandably worried.

Second, The cost.
When I was a babysitter I had a formative experience. One of my families (and the one I was a usual sitter for) paid me minimum wage when others paid me far less. The family stated that they believed that watching their kid was important and they should pay at least minimum wage for it. That means it is $15 per hour--which is expensive.

Third, finding someone I like and Lotus likes.
That's been the issue.
I haven't found that person. I don't really know how to look for her/him. I know I need to.

Fourth. The part of me that doesn't want to.
I am lucky as hell. I enjoy my kid. I work full-time now and don't see Lotus until I get home. I love playing with her, cooking with her, just being with her. She is fun to be around. There isn't a whole lot I want to do without her.

For those who read--how have you managed the babysitter question?

*By shouldn't be I mean the following (Please note this is for toddlers and younger as I have a three year old)
Movies with an R rating are not the place for Toddlers or below.  I remember leaving the movie Matrix 2 because someone brought their infant and toddlers who were screaming and likely scared as hell. 
Restaurants where there is a tasting menu that costs three figures or more. I do not mean diners and family restaurants.  Kids are, and should always be welcome there. Even places like Union Square Cafe or like establishments are fine if you know your kid and the kid likes things.  But places like Per Se? Why would you spend that much?


  1. I'm usually less distressed by toddlers in R-rated movies than by older kids in movies. The worst was when I saw "Arlington Road" - I was 30, it was an afternoon showing, and I was freaked out. The 8-year-old in front of me totally freaked out, Dad took her out into the hall to yell at her and then brought her back in. I didn't wonder, "Why didn't they get a sitter?" I wondered "Does this qualify as child abuse?" (I was also aware, even before any of my friends had kids, that it's not always easy - or possible - to get a sitter.)

  2. The twins are 11, and they have still never been left with a babysitter. For all the reasons you listed above from the expense to a lack of comfort. But I also think that bringing the kids with us to things has turned them into kids who know how to comport themselves in the adult world so that adults don't get annoyed. Maybe they would have had these personalities anyway, but I think a big reason they are the way they are is that we have always told them that they have just as much a right to participate in life as adults, but that they cannot negatively affect the people around them, within reason. Within reason is the caveat that I give because kids ARE kids, and they behave like kids. And just as it wouldn't okay to tell an elderly person that they are no longer welcome in a public space because they speak too loudly due to hearing loss or chew with food falling out of their mouth because their teeth don't work, it is not okay to tell a child who is crying because that is their only way to communicate that they cannot cry in a space just because people are annoyed by crying. A place where sound and hearing something is part of the activity, sure. But crying in a food store? Doesn't bother me.