To the babysitters of the world, you know you can't pass up the opportunity to finally unleash the secrets of what we ask ourselves when we are responsible for the little ones. Let’s face it; asking the 1-year-old won’t do us any good. On the other hand, deciding whether or not to call the parents/guardians of the children for simple answers happens to be one of those internal struggles we always try to avoid but never do. Here’s a list of what goes through our minds every single time we babysit.
1. What’s the deal with the doorbell?
This question actually has many uncertainties involved. Let’s play the scene out. You just got out of your car after debating whether or not you should park on the street or in the driveway.
You take an unusually long amount of time within the car fiddling for your keys and making sure all of your windows are rolled up (although, it is winter and they were all up to begin with). These efforts all purposely pursued in order to preserve the last final seconds of freedom until you must face the doorbell debacle: "I think I have the right house. Yep, definitely have the right house. Alright, do I ring the doorbell? Should I just walk into the house? Actually, maybe I shouldn’t because we aren’t that close. Then again, she did give me her cell phone number so that’s like the key to the house, right? OK, I am just going to ring the doorbell. I really hope this is the right house."
2. When exactly are the parents leaving?You’ve been playing with the children for about 45 minutes now but the parents haven’t left yet, which isn’t a problem…until the questions unfold. "Did I get the right time? Was I early? I think they might have told me 6 pm. Let me check my phone. No, don’t check the phone. Not while they are still here."Try not to make any noticeable signs of misunderstanding. "Wait, do I play with their children or do I let their Dad (who for some reason is always ready first) play with them? Does this count as babysitting? I think I messed up the time.”
3. Do I remember the directions the parents just told me?
You participate in this discussion while playing with the children. Naturally, you missed a few instructions. You panic slightly. The real panic doesn’t set in until that one particular instruction was vital to remember. “Wait, how long do I heat this bottle for and what the heck am I adding to it…?” Ironically enough, you never seem to forget the time you’re told to put the children to bed.
4. How do they have this much energy?
For this question, your lungs are burning and your creative ideas are slowly dying. You start to reflect upon how at this age, you should’ve signed up for the currently unachievable half marathon.
5. So we doing baby powder for this diaper or Desitin…or both?
This is when those directions could have been handy. You pray the both of them won’t give the baby a diaper rash.
6. Did Mommy or Daddy say you could eat this?
This is a question for the children who can answer it. On the other
hand, 99 percent of the time their “Yes” is a straight out lie. Let’s be
real…you let them eat whatever it is anyway.
7. What would I do if they choked or something like right now?
We all hope you have this one covered.
8. Do you think they’d mind if I ate their food?
You debate back and forth on if you should eat that granola bar from the pantry. You’re probably starving, the parents did say you are welcome to whatever you want, but you still decide to leave the granola bar. Why? Still not sure. Something about taking food seems wrong.
9. Do I leave the room now?
Without fail, the child wants you to stay in his/her bedroom until mom and dad come home. To you, you’re sneaking out of there as soon as the precious angel falls asleep. As you lay on the floor awaiting the child’s passage into dreamland, you pull out your phone and wait…and wait…wait some more…scroll…wait again…text…wait for the social media page to reload…think about eating again…self-reflect…wait…wait…then, the beautiful sound of deep breathing/minor snoring resounds.
This is the moment you make no sudden movements or noises. “Is the child asleep? I think so. Wait, no, are they really asleep like really asleep? Do I leave now? I don’t know. Maybe I should wait for like five more minutes. Then again, I think I hear snoring. I’m pretty sure that’s snoring. Okay, I will leave now but very slowly!”
10. So should I go home or...?
This is probably the most awkward part of the entire night. So you are standing there definitely listening to the parents talk about their night out on the town, but do you slowly walk to the door while listening? “Is it too soon? Maybe I should just slowly put my shoes on right now so we all get the hint. Let me throw my jacket on too. Alright, I am going to lean toward the door now and…oh wait, still talking, OK.”
Of course, you’ve been babysitting for so long that you don’t even need to worry. You totally have this covered. Also, we know exactly what to do when all else fails-- we give a call to the parents...our parents!