We’ve had the same babysitter for a year now. I’ll call her “Kara.” We found Kara online at a reputable babysitter-finding website. She was a college student studying speech-language pathology and in her final year of undergrad. BTW, we’ve found speech path students/workers make effing awesome babysitters, having used 3 at this point. We both found Kara to be intelligent, warm, friendly, and wonderful with Curly. We put her on our schedule twice a month, and it’s been like that ever since. At first, we put Curly to bed and she would just come and hang out, do her homework and watch movies. As time passed, we decided it would be good for Curly to learn to go to bed for someone else, so we’d keep him up a little later and hand the routine to her. At first he had major separation anxiety, but it’s gotten much less over time…sometimes to the point where he doesn’t care if we leave. Kara has said he’s one of the easiest kids to put to bed, so yay.
We’ve always known Kara to be close to her family. She still lives with them, and she was a little late in getting to our house once because her mother “insisted she finish dinner first.” That kind of made us wonder…just how strict are her parents? And how “close” do they want to keep her? She went to school 15 minutes away. Then she graduated and we found out for her first real job, she works alongside her mother. Nutella and I began to get concerned. Why wouldn’t her parents send their fledgling out of the nest? She still lives with them, even though she has a full-time job and is a college graduate. Ok, ok, not strange in this day and age, we know that….terrible economy, too. But our imaginations were getting overactive.
When she babysat, did they trust where she was going? Did they count the money she made when she got home to make sure she was where she said she was? She is ALWAYS available when we need her…is this because she’s not allowed to have a life? The one time she couldn’t babysit, it was Spring Break, but she wasn’t on vacation with her friends, she was with her family. It kind of made Nutella and I cringe…didn’t she ever get away?
This past Saturday, Kara babysat, and about 20 minutes later, I got a text on my phone asking if it would be ok if her boyfriend came over and she understands if it’s not ok. Nutella and I were disappointed. We’re not ok with having the boyfriend over, especially never having met him. We wrote back sorry, it wasn’t ok that evening and decided to talk to her about it when we got home. Then our brains went wild. Was she allowed to date? Did she have to hide him from her parents? Could she not see him normally? How could we arrange for Romeo and Juliet to see each other, but not IN our house? We were as much concerned for her as we were not wanting to deal with this issue in the first place.
We got home and sat down with her. First we asked, do you get to see him often? Are your parents really strict? And to that she laughed and said no…no…it wasn’t like that. She figured we would say no, and in our situation, she would probably say no, too…she just thought she’d ask since he was at home bored. When she left, Nutella and I both shook our heads at each other like, what are we doing creating this horrible family life for her? lol. She’s probably happily close with her parents and everything is fine. We obviously need to stop creating a false fantasy life for our babysitter.