I opted to point out to Geraldine that her method of hiring a babysitter was not the acceptable approach. She was SURPRISED. I wanted to bang my head against the wall.
She insisted on using Mini. Before I describe how the job went, I feel it is necessary to supply you with some more 'Geraldine' background. My kids have babysat for Geraldine in the past a handful of times. Each incident ends up having an interesting story to accompany it.
Last winter break (over a year ago), Geraldine arrived to pick her kids up and asked if Laddie was able to babysit on Saturday night. Laddie thought he was driving to Michigan to see a high school buddy who returned to college early. He had just requested permission for this little adventure. Coach and I were not on board. At all. Hello icy, snowy conditions driving from Chicago to Michigan. We suggested he hang with friends who were still in town.
While Lad dragged his feet on accepting the sitting job, Tank offered his services. Geraldine was still standing in the kitchen. She informed Tank that she was really hoping for a driving babysitter.
The next day when Lad realized we weren't budging on his road trip plan, he accepted the sitting job with Geraldine. She had made it clear to Lad that the kids would most likely be sleeping the entire time.
The morning after Lad babysat, I asked him if he was paid like the college kid, driving-variety babysitter that Geraldine had requested. She pays my younger kids a low rate, which I completely approve. They aren't as experienced and they are happy to make a little cash as they work their way up the babysitting ladder.
Lad said he WAS paid $10/hour. I was relieved that she recognized that a college kid deserved a higher pay grade. The wave of relief hadn't really set in when he shared with me that he had also vacuumed their house.
I almost fell over. What would prompt him to vacuum their home? Did the kids spill fish food or shred something Styrofoam?
'Geraldine told me that since they knew the kids would be sleeping the entire time, they thought I could do a few chores for them. She told me to sweep the kitchen and vacuum the house (it is a small townhouse, but still). She expected me to put all of the kids' toys away before I vacuumed.' I was floored.
Coach and I used to run around and try to put the house in order BEFORE the sitter arrived. Our only sitter expectations included caring for the children (regardless of whether or not they were sleeping) and cleaning up after a meal or playtime that occurred while we were out.
Mini is 13. She didn't feel comfortable hanging out in a stranger's house asking how she could help. It was bazaar. She just collected the kids and brought them home.
Last night Mini said everything went fine. She chuckled and added, 'So . . . I wasn't asked to sweep the kitchen or vacuum. Instead Geraldine asked me to sort the biggest pile of kids' laundry I have ever seen. It was annoying because I had to look at the tag of every item to check the size because I don't know whose clothes are whose. (Theo is 3T and Carter is 2T, so their wardrobe pieces aren't drastically different in size) It took forever. The piles were so high they were practically falling over.'
Mini even brought homework with her, but Geraldine didn't pick up on that obvious 'clue'. Mini was happy to make some dough. I honestly think she enjoys adding another encounter to the Geraldine collection.