Who Watches Your Kids When You Go out?

I babysat a three-year-old and 6-year-old when I was 12. They lived around the corner from my house. I would order pizza, do crafts and bathe the kids. I made sure the doors were locked. I was 12. Do you find this odd?

… I do. I would never leave JD with a 12-year-old, no offense to the people who left me with their kids. The only people I trust with JD are my immediate family, close friends, a few neighbors from my building and 2 twenty-something, young women who are post college grads. One is babysitting JD tonight. I’ve known her family since I was 14. I trust her completely. JD loves his babysitters (especially the girls, because face it—babysitters are fun and make forts!) and I always make a point to have cool, new things for them to do, too. Today at Target, I picked up some Crayola products: Model Magic Presto Dots and Color Explosion Metallic. I hand these off just as I leave in my little black dress and heels. This is great because it distracts JD and he also doesn’t watch TV until bedtime, or harass his sitter to make a fort out of my couch cushions.

I always make sure my freezer is stocked with ice cream or fro yo pops and I like to bathe JD prior to the sitter coming. If at all possible I feed him dinner, too. Tonight, I will. Not because I don’t trust the sitter, just because it makes me feel better that he’s clean, fed and in jammies and all the sitter really has to do is art, monitor teeth brushing and read to JD before bedtime.

I also leave my dad’s number on the counter because he’s the closet family member to my condo and I am going to be about forty minutes away this evening eating tapas. The 911 asthma meds and instructions are also left out. By the time my sitter arrives she’ll have 2.5 hours of “JD time” before he gets tucked in (pretty good gig, if you ask me). Even so, I wouldn’t leave JD with a 12-year-old for 2.5 hours. If I was home, I would consider a 12-year-old as a mother’s helper.

Tell me, how old are your sitters? Who do trust with your lil ones? XO 

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