Awkward Babysitting Moments…
Time Travel Tuesday
Make no mistake, babysitting is a real job, with real job hazards. One of my worst memories from my babysitting career was the dreaded drive home. Usually the parents would return home well past the time they’d indicated. If they said they’d be home at 11:30 p.m. I would count on them being home by 1:00 am.
Please understand that back in the day, we did NOT have cable TV. We had 5 channels, if we were lucky. Weekend babysitting meant that you’d be watching, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, and Bob Newhart and the news, which was way over my simple 14 year-old head. After the news, the TV went to a testing pattern. Good times. It took all my strength to stay awake.
Not to digress, but one time I became so delirious with sleep that I actually crawled into the parent’s bed. I’m talking, into the sheets, fluffed the pillow, etc. I may have even partially undressed, I don’t remember all the details of this particular trauma, but I do know that when they arrived home they were shocked to find me sprawled out in their bed. Imagine, Mama bear and Papa bear returning home to find Goldilocks in their bed. Horror of horrors!!! I don’t think I ever babysat for them again. At least I didn’t break their ugly chair.
If I was awake when the parents returned, I would routinely be questioned as to how the night went. Did they really think I taught their kids how to speak fluent French or teach them how to paint like Rembrandt? “We ate the gross frozen pizza you left for us, played ‘Operation’ and ‘Ker-Plunk,’ even though there were pieces missing, and then I yelled at them to go to bed.” Okay, so that’s what I was thinking on the inside. Outwardly, I’d just smile, nod and tell them what they wanted to hear. (Any kid that begged to stay up late was met with my best 14 year-old stern expression and something along the lines of, “No way, Jose.” Sometimes I’d have to threaten to tell their parents. Hey, don’t judge. At age 14, you do what ya gotta do. I hadn’t developed my full arsenal of fun babysitter tricks at that point.)
The parents, often in their drunkenness, would try to combine their funds to pay me. It was a good night when they were really looped or didn’t have the correct amount. I’d just smile and try to convey, non-verbally, what a stellar babysitter I was. It usually worked, and I’d get a nice wad of cash, and by, “nice wad of cash” I mean, $10.00. But let me tell you, there isn’t enough monetary compensation for the ride home with Mr. Whiskey breath, swerving on the road and asking you inappropriate questions while forgetting where your house is. I never wore my seat belt much EXCEPT on those occasions.
Getting out of the car and walking into the safety and comfort of my own home was the best feeling. Ahhh…. (This is the good memory part of the story.) Cue: Dorothy with Aunty Em. There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home….
Hahaha this was so good! Being a babysitter myself, I can ONLY relate to this. “How do you think it went? I raped your children then juggled a set of steak knives.” Perfect response. So glad it’s not just me who feels this way.
Luckily, now that I have a car, the second I walk out of the door, I sprint to my vehicle.
Thanks! Yeah, so much more I could write. Like the parents who kept playboys, Penthouse and triple X magazines on the coffee table. Babysitting, who knew it was such an adventure? (I guess Elizabeth Shue did since she made that movie…!)Lol!
“How do you think it went? I raped your children then juggled a set of steak knives.” AHAHAHAHA!!!
The worst one for me was an English couple who had lived in Africa for years. He was an engineer or something. They were very colonial, and, she often sighed in longing for her house sla, um, servants, she’d left behind, thus, causing her to have to do all of those huge house jobs, like dusting, for herself. They had two children, complete with upper middle class British names (sorry English readers!) and a hyphenated last name. The daughter was nuts. Certifiably insane. She hated her brother with a cold rage. So, my babysitting was to keep her from trying to lock him outside (he was 9 months old) without anyone knowing or smother him in his sleep. They didn’t have a TV, and, paying me anything beyond the $1 an hour I charged was inconceivable.
(I quit watching them after the little girl was caught sitting on the curb, waiting for cars to come along on the street. Why? Because she’d set her brother down in the middle of said street with a few toys. This was not on my shift. I figured if she did that when her parents were around, no telling what she’d do when I was. More than likely juggle steak knives over his head).
That is amazing and disturbing. Never underestimate the power of centuries of inbreeding can have.
So funny! doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago, some strange memory from a distant place? When I think about the stuff we got exposed to at such a tender age I have to laugh and marvel that we ended up so relatively normal.
a terrific tale and great visuals–you are quickly setting the barre very high for all your other blogging pals (and i mean ‘barre’ as in ballet, not as a misspelled word)–good job and happy thoughts to you!
Thanks, Jones! A very kind compliment indeed.
Perfectly put “AgrippingLife” and Adair – babysitting is a JOB. I still can’t believe that in the day the dads always drove us girl babysitters home. Now, when my daughter babysits, and she babysits a lot, it’s always the mom driving her home and she tells my daughter her personal problems. Now, my daughter does not ever want to (1) get married and (2) have children. Hummmmm
That can be equally as bad. A mother who uses her babysitter for a counseling session. Ugh! Elizabeth should charge extra for that. At least you don’t have to worry that she’ll end up in a ditch somewhere with a drunken dad!
I’ve never babysat. Who would trust me with a living human? I did used to dog sit a lot though. You slipping into the bed reminded me of how my dad stayed over one time while I was house sitting (he lived about an hour away) and he slept in their bed. He’s a chain smoker so their whole room smelt like smoke. They insisted that I had a party there when really I was hanging out with my lame dad. The mother in the family is now a dominatrix. Thought I’d throw that in there to make this all worth reading.
For me, this is officially the best comment I’ve read all day on all blogs. I salute you, sir!
And a great dominatrix at that.
I would trust my kids with you. Definitely. You’re too neurotic to be delinquent. If anything, I think you’d be a little OCD. You’d probably keep things neat and tidy. I bet you were more nervous than your dad, right? haha! Just admit it ; )
I base my conclusion simply on the fact that you detest knuckle hair. That’s all I needed to know. haha! You can babysit for Lily whenever your schedule permits.
“How do you think it went? I raped your children then juggled a set of steak knives.” – That is the single best thing I’ve read all day. I’d love it if you actually said that at some point!
I’d hate to babysit. I can’t stand children, my cousin brings her children round whenever she damn well pleases and they seem to have gotten into the habit of sitting in my room and annoying me. Pulling everything off my desk and the shelves. Asking me to put Family Guy on, “You’re 6, you’re definitely too young for Family Guy.”
But because I can’t be bothered to argue I put on Family Guy and then get pestered with questions, “Why did he do that? What’s he doing? What did he do that for?”
The day after Christmas was the worst. Definitely hung over, they all came round and didn’t leave until 11:30pm. Did I get paid for it? Did I balls. Never going to have children of my own.
Hahaha! Sounds like total torture! Six year olds can be so annoying with all the questions. Even when you’re a parent and you’re supposed to be kind and patient it takes all your strength not to give them the death stare. “For the love of of all that is holy, please stop asking questions!!!”
I know you hate children now, understandable given your experience, but one day when the right girl comes along you’ll change your mind. Then, after their born, you’ll change it back again! hahaha!
One’s six the other is two and she kept screaming, oh the screaming. No, definitely no children lol
I’ve literally just watched Say Anything and I must say it was pretty ace. When she gave him that pen trying to break up with him, what a cow! Then Fraiser’s dads pinching money from old people! Cusacks playing music outside her window, you’d definitely get shot if you did that these days.
The music was classic cheesey 80s too!
Awesome film thanks for recommendation.
I’m glad you liked it. It’s sort of unexpected. There’re a lot of memorable scenes that stick with you. I like when he holds the music up to her window, very romantic. I also like that scene at the dinner table when Lloyd Dobbler is nervous in front of her dad and is getting grilled. So awkward. yeah, it’s 80’s cheese but classic. Not a bad story. Sometimes you’ll see someone wearing an “I love Lloyd Dobbler” tee shirt! Haha!
Yeah, that age is pretty rough if they’re not your own kids. I sympathize.
If the kid had a games console it would be fine because then I would just play games with them. Show the snotty little turd how to play Street Fighter 2 like a real man.
Mind you, if the parents came home at 1am to find us both still up playing Halo they might be a bit annoyed.
haha!Street Fighter 2! I wish I had that luxury!
I can totally imagine you as a babysitter. Lots of excitement, I’m sure. Babysitters have it made, nowadays. They barely have to have any contact with the kids because their off playing computer and video games. When I babysat all they had were some old books and board games with missing pieces. We had to use our imagination, which was WAY TOO MUCH WORK.
You might have guessed already that I don’t babysit, for everyone’s health. Mental and physical :).
It’s a good money maker, and you get to be your own boss and make your own hours, but if you aren’t into kids then ABSOLUTELY stay away! Hahaha!
Glad those days are over and now all that remains is a memory for me to laugh at!
Where is the ‘Thumbs Up’ button?
Reblogged this on A Gripping Life and commented:
I Pulled this up from my archives. In other words, I was feeling lazy today and took the easy way out. Enjoy!
soooo I m glad you were “lazy” and reblogged this Slice O’ Grippy. You really crawled into their bed? haaa
enjoyed the view into your archives..
I really did that! Can you imagine how embarrassing that was for me? I’ve always been an early riser — after midnight I couldn’t be held responsible for my delirium. I guess I should have told the parents that first, huh?
(I would have died..so yes I can imagine– as for the no cable.. didn’t you ever have boys sneak over when you were babysitting? haaa there is the cure for the no cable)
Well, I hadn’t come into my own at that point. I was not exactly on any guy’s ‘hot girls’ list. haha! That would have cured me, though, you’re right about that.
(me neither braces glasses…la dorkette… but never seemed to stop the goofy boys haaa)
(and ps.. i was not “putting out” haaaa)
Good to know, Audra. I was starting to have my suspicions. haha! (not really!)
“How do you think it went? I raped your children then juggled a set of steak knives.” – Still the best thing I’ve read this year.
haha! I changed it around a bit. I’m always editing. You wrote such a nice post for both Lillington and Tim. When is your birthday, pray tell?
I noticed, I prefer the original line though 😛 My birthdays August 3rd, it’s already passed haha.
PETE!!! You should have said something! Well, happy late birthday. Mine is July 26 so we’re actually pretty close. Both Leos. No wonder I think you’re so great. 🙂
I’m pretty sure I blogged about it, but that was when you weren’t getting my posts haha, Leo is definitely the best star sign to have.
LOL Lisa! I’m so glad you reblogged this. I completely missed it the first time. Oh how I remember those awkward drives home! Ah! And I was horribly shy. Well the whole babysitting experience was just awful even if it did pay a whopping 50 cents an hour. I remember one time I was babysitting a one year old during the daytiem and I decided to take him out for a walk. I put the baby in the stroller at the top of a half flight of stairs, left for some reason and came back and the baby was at the bottom of the stairs. No crying or anything, up right thank god! He must have had a heck of a ride though! LOL!
Ahaaaa!!!!!! LOL! Linda that is hysterical!!! Why do those things make me laugh so much? It’s amazing we didn’t accidentally burn people’s houses down or kill their children. And all that responsibility for .50 cents an hour! haha! No wonder we were awful, they weren’t paying us enough! haha!
Surprisingly, despite my not being a fan of small children, I enjoyed babysitting.
especially after the kids went to bed and I could just read my book, checking on them every chapter or two.
Most of the time, it was nice, easy cash…
I agree with you, for the most part, it was easy cash. Not so easy when there were more than three kids and you were expected to fix dinner, clean and play with them. Oy!! I grew up a little earlier than you so I got paid .75 cents an hour. I wasn’t exactly rolling in it. haha!
And for what it’s worth, you would’ve been a great babysitter. 🙂
I was babysitting in the 70s, pervy dads and scary movie commercials on the only 5 channel tv set. I’m with you sister!
hahaha! Pervy dads for sure! The 70’s, not an ideal time for babysitting! LOL!
I loved this post! I babysat for a family with five kids and got paid 50 cents an hour, 75 cents after midnight. I babysat for another family who, instead of driving me home, let me walk home, sending their Doberman along to protect me. Oy! When I had six young kids, we paid a buck and hour per kid. That was twenty years ago, and she deserved every dime of it!
Haha! The Doberman escort cracks me up! Sheesh… The things we did for a lousy 50 cents! At least we can look back and laugh. My daughter babysits for a wealthy family in British Columbia and she makes a bundle! It’s like she’s in a babysitter’s union! LOL! Who knew babysitting could be so lucrative?
Not me—not back then, anyway! 😉
I am so glad you reblogged this from back in the day. So funny, Lisa! You totally took me back to my old babysitting days. I pretty much hated every.single.second I ever spent with other peoples’s kids. I never knew what I was doing putting them to bed or feeding them. It is so true though that it’s different with your own kids though.
Isn’t it funny that with your own kids it’s totally different. I babysat ALL THE TIME. I had some kids that I liked, which meant that they were relatively independent, and some kids that I hated, whiny, needy, non-compliant kids that always pushed my buttons. I was just happy when I could get them fed and into bed by a decent hour. It makes me laugh how much responsibility parents gave to little 14 year old girls. Haha! Can you imagine leaving Miss C with a dopey teenager? NOT IN A MILLION YEARS! Lol!
Ah good times good times when televisions shut down after midnight. Remember those huge floor models with the fat remote controls — hehehehe! I’ve never had a babysitting gig. I don’t think I would’ve been good at it. I’m too nervous.
When I would be babysitting and the TV turned off at midnight, giving me the test pattern, I’d get really scared. That’s when you’d hear the house creak. Spooky. I hated babysitting but I needed that money to buy Gum and Seventeen Magazine and Maybelline eye makeup. LOL!
This is hilarious and brings up so many memories! I remember I used to babysit for our doctor up the street. He didn’t have bedside manner let alone neighbor side manner! He had the personality of an old leather shoe.
I remember he used to have this coin purse instead of a wallet and he would make sure the $1 dollar bills were not stuck to each other. My friend used to babysit for them too and he would do the same thing with her. God forbit that the good doctor gave us one extra dollar dahling! lol. We used to mimic him till we almost wet our pants laughing so hard!
Ahahaha! That’s too funny. I can also remember parents who were extra careful not to over-pay me, the person that they entrusted the lives of their children to. Oh brother! What kind of cheapo people did we babysit for? Kids our age had no way to process the personalities of these dads. It made me never want to get married and have kids. That’s for sure! haha!
It seems that some parents expected the children not only to be clean, fed, in bed and asleep by the time they made their drunken way home, but ready to write a doctoral thesis as well!
Ahaha! Yes, that’s very true. I think it’s a lot to expect of any 14 year-old for .50 cents and hour, don’t you? 🙂
Quite impossibly much!
I babysat twice – that’s all it took for me to realize it was not a job for me. On the second round (same family) I had to spend the entire time cleaning up kid fecal matter from all over the room and the kid b/c the father told the (still learning to be potty trained kid) – “DON’T LEAVE THIS ROOM UNTIL YOUR NAP IS FINISHED!” – the kid didn’t but that didn’t stop him from having an explosive storm o’warm all over the place.
Holy crap! And I do mean, h o l y c r a p. That’s so vile. What kind of adult makes a kid clean up a mess like that? Seriously? That’s revolting. haha! I hope they paid you handsomely, Ruta. But I’ve a hunch, they didn’t. LOL!
Of course NOT – but it was a lesson well learned!
OH…..you’ve brought back the memories.
The ride home was the WORST.
I always kept my hand on the door handle. I guess I was prepared for anything!!! In the back of my mind…I was thinking about how to stop, drop, and roll out of a moving car. YIKES!
My faves? When the husband and wife FOUGHT about how much money to give me….IN FRONT OF ME!
Thanks for the memories!!!
hahaha! YES!! The hand on the door handle. Me too!
There are so many crazy memories associated with babysitting. I could probably do a part 2. LOL!
Fighting over the money in front of the babysitter – classic. Isn’t it funny how we all have that same memory? haha!
Thanks for your funny comment, Lis!
I can completely relate to this post only I fell asleep on the child’s floor (mostly because they said they would continue screaming if I left the room). I babysat through most of my junior high/high school and summers home from college years. This post brought back many awkward, yet funny, babysitting memories! 🙂
I think I fell asleep on the floor next to a few cribs and beds in my day, too. hahaha!
Yeah, I started when I was pretty young and worked right through, to college summers. I’d like to believe that by the age of 19 and 20, we were pretty good with kids. My arsenal was fully developed by that point. Sometimes I’d even take on more than one family if the parents wanted to go play golf, etc. That’s when I was making the big bucks. haha! It’s funny how so many of us relate to these babysitting memories. Good stuff. At least we can laugh at it now. 🙂
Don’t you think all that babysitting was good prep for becoming a parent? I do.
Hmm, perhaps we are twins separated at birth after all? Identical experience, and wrote a similar story for my writing group… should have thought to share it here! Always one of those “drats!” moments when other bloggers post the stories you plan to post, or should have! Nice work Lisa. 🙂
How funny! We think our experiences are so unique only to find out through blogging that we have so much in common, including bad babysitting memories! haha!
Haha I can totally relate to this. I have two daughters of my own and it’s a nightmare trying to get them to sleep. I’m glad I just found a babysitter at http://www.localcares.com. I feel bad for our babysitter at times…
Thanks, Sarah! I have to admit, I was laughing when I wrote this? I was pretty goofy as a kid. I can’t believe families trusted me with their most precious children!! Haha! having your own kids babysit, brings all the memories flooding back.
Thanks for the great comment.