What do you think this is, France or something? *Updated*

11.23.08 | commentary | 21 Comments

Despite early encouraging signs about the availability and eagerness of teenage babysitters out here in Seagull Fountain, we have yet to secure a minder for the coveted Friday night date slot. Today in church the Young Women (12-18 years old) sang that testimony song, and boy! did they look pure and wholesome and ready to spend four hours straight playing dress-up with my mermaids.

Tonight I talked to a nineteen-year-old girl who was playing the piano for a church function. She said her almost-sixteen-year-old sister loves to babysit and wants to make money. Then she said that she too would be happy to babysit, as long as it’s a week that her work schedule is light enough. Not this past week, for example, when her job at Olive Garden (which she loves) had her working 42 hours. 42 HOURS.

I asked if she was going to school full-time? And she is not. At all. She ran out of money and doesn’t want to take out loans, so now she’s working to save up enough money to return to school.

She is unmarried, un-child-hindered, healthy, fit, cute, living at home with supportive parents, and she thinks that working 42 hours a week is too heavy a schedule to allow for an evening of babysitting once a week. Even though she likes babysitting and is desperate for money to continue her education.


Dick says not to worry: we’ll sign our girls up at the workhouse as soon as they discover boys.

Maybe I shouldn’t have complained every week when mom made us do our Saturday chores. Without those formative experiences, I might get fatigued over the breakfast dishes.


I’m right here, right? (I mean, of course I know I’m right, but, you agree, right? 42 HOURS. Healthy. Young. Not In School.) Dick says I can’t talk about it anymore tonight. He’s afraid the kids will think I’m yelling at him. I’m not.


I really gotta stop posting so late at night. I realized after reading a few comments that I didn’t include two pertinent facts (and I promise I’m not making them up — I know it probably seems like that because they support my position, but you’re just going to have to trust me that I learned this about her last night as well): A) she and her family just moved here from CA a month ago, so I’m guessing she doesn’t have tons of old friends she just has to hang out with and b) She’s not interested in dating, because she has a “fiance” (date set, no ring) in California.

This added to the rest makes it kind of incomprehensible to me — because I think she should be pursuing an education with everything she’s got. And, when she mentioned her schedule, she said nothing about always working nights or weekends, her only (stated) objection was the number of hours. Quite possibly she has seen my kids at church and has no desire to babysit them. I wouldn’t blame her for that, because half the time I don’t want to babysit them. But I hope she has so more get up and go for the rest of her life, is all I’m saying. (I mean, I think babysitting should be like her third job, after a second part-time job. But that is just hard-working (All this TYPING) me.

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