So tonight was a big night for Murray and me. Tonight for the first time, we got a real babysitter instead of just using Murray's parents. We have done this out in Maryland twice, but my parents arranged all of that. This time it was totally us.
We chose Miss Precocious, who is basically family. She is eleven and lives relatively close to us. She is also a very smart, very cool girl.
The whole experience was revelatory. Like, whoa, I'm totally on the other side of this now. I now know what it's like to be the parent instead of the babysitter. These were my insights as I prepared for our sitter today:
1) Parents are not super old. When you're the babysitter, they seem really really old. But now that I'm the grownup, I realize how young (and beautiful!) we really are! We are not old. And we are really cool. I promise.
2) Parents are going out and doing interesting, not boring things. A party with other grownups? Fun! A meeting with local artists and creatives? Fun! And the people we are hanging out with are not old! (Okay, I think my main revelation of the evening was that I'm not old.)
3) I really wanted to be the cool house. I wanted to have good entertainment and good food. As a babysitter, I NEVER opened the cupboards in the kitchen, even if I was told to help myself. Now I realize that the parents really meant it when they said, "Make yourself at home!" So I hope our babysitter made herself at home... Even if she didn't eat any of the delicious chocolate cookies I left out for her.
4) The parent is more worried about their own kids' behavior than the babysitter's behavior. At least that was the case with me. What if Gulliver poops?? Oh no! What if he poops?? (Gulliver kicks and squirms during poopy diaper changes, and it is a very difficult job to change that diaper!)
I left a long list of written instructions because I know I would have liked something to refer back to. And I left a Gulliver dictionary to help her decipher his language.
All in all I think it was a successful night (but I didn't get to talk to her, since Murray made it home before me and drive her home).
-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.