Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A well-deserved break.

I believe the person most relieved and excited about the little 'maternity leave' of the next two months is our babysitter. And bless her heart, she should be. She's not really a babysitter per se, as she is only 11. She's my 'mother's helper', and assists with my girls while I teach my weekly piano lessons. And by "assists", I really mean endures the psychological warfare waged by the eldest, the emotional mayhem of the middle, and the physical tedium of wrestling the youngest as she attempts to claw her way into the piano room shrieking for me to hold her.

11 year-old babysitter comes from a family of six, I figured she can handle it. 

And handle it she does.

But not without stories.

Within the first couple of weeks, she informed me that she didn't think she could return to babysit.


Because Lily had 'politely' informed her that:

"I'm sorry, you're just not my type."



 {The girls love the drama of a huge wind-storm outside. Running, jumping, squealing in the power of it all.}

After much begging, pleading, and groveling I convinced her that as shocking as it may seem: Lily really doesn't call the shots around here. Even an eleven year-old could sense my delusion. Really Mrs. Haack? You sure about that? 

Lily has done her best to run off every babysitter in town. And although this babysitter comes from a family of six girls, they are a rare breed of perfection and serenity. A large functional unit of cooperation and kind words. This disturbing world is all very new to her. Through intensive training and lots of coaching most sitters  eventually realize the strategy of our jungle: don't show fear. They can smell fear.

Miraculously, I've managed to maintain an arsenal of about three babysitters despite Lily's antics and brutal initiation phase. I once received a call from Kate, a now beloved but first very much tortured babysitter.

"Um, hi Rachel...I'm really really sorry but I had to call you. Lily ran away and London and Ellie are sleeping and I'm not sure if you want me to run down the street and get her and leave the two girls in the house or....."

Oh dear. A neighbor bailed us out on that one.

"Hi Nathan, would you be so kind as to go outside and find Lily hiding behind whatever bush she has selected to make her home and threaten her with whatever you feel most comfortable with: time-outs, extinction, the ceremonial burning of her Strawberry Shortcake collection? Thanks so much."

Last week, as we dropped off our babysitter and bid her adieu for the next couple of months, I asked for the usual breakdown of daily infractions I would need to address with the girls.

She paused in momentary concern and then continued:

"Well, Lily kept insisting that she wasn't a child of God.

That God doesn't love her.

I kept telling her He does."

Babysitter was clearly troubled. Genuinely worried.

I raised an eyebrow, rolled my oh you gotta be kidding me eyes and looked in the rear view mirror of our car back at Lily.

Really ?


Lily was listening from the back. I squinted my eyes knowingly at her as she bit the inner parts of her cheeks, trying not to laugh as she looked out the window...all the while pretending not to hear a thing.
Her smirk said it all, 

Mom, it's just too easy. I can't help myself.

Oh sweet babysitter, I wouldn't worry your pretty little head about that. I think this child is more than aware and confident in the love of God. In fact, I think a few lessons pertaining to the His wrath are in order.

Still, I couldn't keep from laughing as I filled Tyler in later that evening. Where does this kid come up with this stuff?! 

And maybe, just maybe, therein lies my biggest challenge with my children. I love their crazies a little too much. If anything, the drama they create makes for an entertaining life and plenty of bedside laughter from their parents.

Entertaining but expensive

Our babysitters deserve a big raise.

1 comment:

amo said...

"I love their crazies a little too much." lol. Gotta love the crazy.
Sending you good vibes as the minutes tick by, closer and closer to the big baby reveal..........