Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lessons in Babysitting

    I try my best not to fight my kids’ battles for them. I give them advice when I think they need it and I let it go. Once they decide to take my advice all is good with the world but the minute they do not take my advice and something goes wrong, they have to hear me bitch for a little while then I let it go again. But I still do not fight their battles for them.

   Last month some neighbors (2 sisters in their mid twenties) asked my daughter D.D. to babysit for them. I already told her I didn’t want her babysitting anymore because 9 times out of 10 they ask her to watch their kids, tell her a time and then while she is sitting up half the night waiting for them they never call or come over to cancel.

   She didn’t take my advice and she tells them sure she’ll watch the kids while they go to the movies. She is paid pretty well. $5 an hour per kid. There are 2 kids. They tell her they can give her $10 up front but can’t pay her the rest until the 1st of the following month… It was June 3rd, which meant they weren’t paying her until July 1st. My kid says ok. I was not thrilled with this arrangement.

   My theory is if you don’t have the money to pay your sitter you obviously don’t need to go out. So my kid watches their kids for a little over 2 ½ hours. All is well life goes on.

   My daughter went to the store today (July 1st) and mentioned she had run into one of the sisters there at the ATM. I casually mentioned to my daughter that today was the 1st and asked “since she was there at the ATM did you get your money?” She told me she didn’t even ask about it.

   That’s when I told her well maybe she should go over there and politely ask if they had her money. I mean after all it has been a month. D.D. seemed to be dragging her feet and really didn’t want to. I know my kid. She doesn’t like confrontation. But hey she needs to grow up some time.

   Eventually she made her way over there and came back without her money. The older sister was the one with the money and she was asleep. D.D. was told by the younger sister to come back at 7:30pm. Around 8pm she went back over there and came back… with no money. She was told they hadn’t left the house yet so no one had any cash on them.

   Now my first thought was ummm weren’t you just at the store standing at the ATM earlier today??? Anyway they told her they would be over later in the evening to pay her. As mama bear I want to do what I can when I feel my kids are being wronged but again I have to sit back at times and let them do for themselves.

   9pm rolls around and the younger sister comes over hands D.D. some money and hurries out the door. As my daughter unfolds the money in her hand it’s a $5 bill. Now in my mind she didn’t watch them for a full 3 hours so the minimum she should have gotten was $25 but she came out with $15 in total.

   Again, I must let my kids fight their own battles as well as choose them. And this is one my child is choosing not to fight. She rather just not mention the rest of the money they owe her and act like it never happened. The parent in me wants my child to learn and grow from this. The young girl in me that used to be taken advantage of all of the time feels for her and wants to go over there and talk shit until they give her the rest of her money but that wouldn’t be very grown up of me nor set a good example.

   As a mom I could talk to them and let them know “hey you shorted my kid.” But as I said she has to learn on her own. D.D. did say she wishes she had listened to me in the first place so I guess it’s a lesson learned.
Score 1 for mom.

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