March 4, 2018

teenagers making $ and experiencing their own babysitting weirdness

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. 

This is a toddler boy laundry simulation. 
Mini doesn't have a phone yet
 (not till high school, which is right
around the corner).  She couldn't take a picture
 of the towering piles she sorted. 
I assembled these piles out of the
clothes the families I sit for store
 at my house.  The other family is
constantly updating the sizes and seasonal
wardrobe pieces.  Geraldine had to
be prompted more than once to leave
clothes here.  The first year I babysat I ended up
 buying a backup outfit for Theo because
she gave me nothing.  
This winter break, Geraldine texted one morning that she hurt her back and wondered if any of my kids would be able to come over and give her a hand with the kids.  Mini went.  She came home busting at the seams to tell me about her experience.  When a neighbor called and invited Geraldine's  kids over, Geraldine asked Mini to walk them to the neighbor's house.  When Mini returned, Geraldine made herself a sandwich and sat at the kitchen table and asked Mini to sweep the kitchen.  She gave her a few more jobs before she suggested that Mini go back to the neighbor's house and offer to be helpful there. 

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. 


C. Kennedy said...

I think you and your kids need to pass up anymore 'babysitting' opportunities with this family. Fool me once....

Ernie said...

I am exploring options to NOT babysit for her next school year. This is only the tip of the ice burg. They don't like their kid to nap, but he can't keep his eyes open. They prefer to put him in bed early. I think they like lots of 'me time.' The stories are endless. This is my 3rd school year with them. We don't have similar parenting styles AT ALL. The boys are very good for me, but parental craziness makes me nuts.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

This woman sounds a little crazy. If she wants a babysitter/cleaner then she should advertise it as such AND pay extra!

Ernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernie said...

Exactly. She is a little crazy. I am just about done with my 3rd year of babysitting for her and I am hoping to replace them in my babysitting lineup in the fall. Working with her does lead to lots and lots of entertaining stories, but I am becoming more and more frustrated. My fear is that I end up babysitting for unruly kids who bite or something. The funny thing is: Geraldine's kids are well behaved for me, but the parents are annoying, lazy, and nuts.