Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Adventures in babysitting

On the weekend, we attended the MacBarrs' 5th Annual Bocce Tourney. We have attended this tournament twice before: once with Liam in tow, and once with Mallory.

The problem is that it is difficult to swing a bocce ball with a babe in arms. So this time around, we got a babysitter. That's right folks: a real, live, paid babysitter - nary a grandparent to be found. It only took us a little over 4 years, but we finally did it.Of course, it helped that our next door neighbour, Ashley, proudly came over to me a couple of months ago to show off her new Red Cross Babysitting certificate of completion. She is just the cutest little thing ever, and it does me a world of good to know that her parents are right next door should she need them. Could she come over at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon? I asked. She asked if she could come at 1 instead, so we could go over the household routines first. I knew then that this was the start of a beautiful relationship.

She came in guns-ablazing, saying all the right things and making me ever more thankful that we picked the right neighbours. She had movies for the kids to watch. She wanted to take them to the park. She wanted to know where the fire extinguisher is. (Huh? Do we have a fire extinguisher? Oh, yeah, we do.) She wanted to know which rooms were off limits to the kids. (Bwahahaha!... I only wish!) She inquired about allergies. She was sweet and polite and packed so much responsibility into her little body. So off we went, without a care in the world. My cell phone was in my pocket, of course, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't be using it. We had agreed that she would stay with the kids for the afternoon and that I would pick them up at dinner time and take them back to the Barrs' to eat, and when I walked into the house, Mallory began to shriek and ran and hid in her bed, with the sheet pulled over her head. That's her ever-so-friendly way of welcoming me home. Then she proceeded to sob as Ashley packed up her things and left. I think the kids found a new best friend that day, and there will never be any complaint when we say we have hired a babysitter.I'm glad this worked out so well, because kids really do cramp your style when you are trying to enjoy an adult get-together. None of the other guests had brought their kids along, since they are mostly in the 10+ age bracket and don't even need sitters anymore. Next up: Ashley feeds our cat, waters our plants and collects our newspapers while we go on vacation. She's like our new little Girl Friday. And I am so glad that we have found her.