Friday, 13 November 2009

Bloody babysitter

I am cross. I am enraged, incensed, infuriated, livid and not in the least bit happy.

Ok, so it's not actually that bad because I hardly ever get that cross about anything. But if I did...if I was that sort of person, then I would be furious.

But I'm not.

I'm just mildly annoyed really.

Let me explain.

I'm going out tomorrow night.

Brief interlude here as I do a 'whoop whoop', quickly followed a lap of victory around the house.

So a friend is having a birthday party.

It starts at 7pm.

Children are invited.

Except, d'you know what? I quite fancy leaving mine at home. It may sound strange, but sometimes, just sometimes I want to be Emily. I want to stand and talk to people without being called Mummy in adult company. And I want to eat something, anything, without first having to offer it to a child. And I want to have a conversation without having to look over someone's shoulder in case Edie is falling down a flight of stairs or opening front doors or drawing on walls. And I want to take a big, deep breath and know if I hear a child whining, for once it won't be my own. And I want to dance on the table holding a bottle of vodka without fear of embarrassing my children. Ok, maybe not the last one, but hey, you never know!

Anyway, that's my little fantasy. And besides, hubby is around...and as you know, he's never around. So guess what? We've decided to go to the party together and book a babysitter.

Yay. Pause for another air punch.

Except here's the rub.

Claire from up the road can't do it because, well, she's a teenager and I think she may have a life. Kate from nursery can't do it because, erm, she has 'other plans'. Jae from nursery can't do it because she's already babysitting.

But it's all ok. Lucy from nursery can do it.

Phew. That's settled then. I think I may even have spent all day yesterday boasting (to all those who would listen) that we had secured a babysitter and we were going out.

Rookie mistake.

Because this evening Lucy texted me.

'Is it ok if I bring my other half?'

Erm, no not really. You've never actually babysat for us before. I can hardly even remember what you look like because you're from the girl's old nursery and it has been a while, and we have never met your 'other half'. Now, I'm not particularly thrilled at the prospect of paying you £6 per hour to sit and canoodle (or heaven forbid even more) on the sofa with your boyfriend. I mean, seriously, what happens when 5-year-old child wakes up wanting a glass of water only to discover babies aren't made by eating brocoli and rolling dice.

But of course I didn't say that. I thought a quick 'Sorry, but hubby not keen on the idea because we don't know your other half. But we won't be back late so I'm sure you'll have time to see him afterwards. Hope that ok.', would suffice.

Apparently not. Because this is what I received back.

'Im not sure then coz its nice 2 ave company'.

Well maybe if she hadn't written a fucking illiterate text message I might not have become so bloody angry.

'No problem, Lucy', I wrote, 'We'll find someone else. Hope you have a lovely evening with your boyfriend'.

That's me angry you see.

Except, now I can't find anyone else....

Damn it. Damn Lucy and the horse she rode in on.

I will go to the ball....

Now tell me something. Was I wrong? Should I have allowed Lucy to bring her boyfriend? Tell me I was right or I may have to cry...


  1. i agree that its wrong of her to have her boyfriend there but then on the other hand she has done the right thing in asking and could easily have had him there but gone behind your back.

    Hope you managed to find a new baby sitter

  2. You were right. She is there to look after your children.
    When I used to babysit I just watched tv or studied.
    I hope you find someone else and have a lovely time at the party.

  3. Right. Absolutely right. My mother never worried about who the babysitter brought but she really should have. If you are doing a job you are doing a job, not socialising.

  4. Without a doubt you were right. She shouldn't have asked in the first place or agreed for that matter.

    I wouldn't want her totally unknown to me boyfriend babysitting. I don't think I'd want then babysitting together even if I did know them both.

    I hope you find someone to babysit so you can dance on the table (then post the evidence ;)).

  5. No, you're not wrong. If you don't know him, of course it's not OK. She may well just want some company, and not to canoodle or whatever, but you need to know someone and trust them before you invite them into your home to be alone(ish) with your children.

    But poor you. Hope you can find someone! I'd come and babysit for you if I could, sweetie. And my sister is a fab babysitter, with CRB and everything - if only we lived round the corner.

  6. No you didnt do wrong that is incredibly rude -as SnafflesMummy said - at least she did ask to give you the opportunity to say no

  7. I'd have done exactly the same as you. I think she's being unreasonable, you don't know him and she's expecting you to allow him into your home with your children while you're not there. Does she expect the nursery to allow him to come to work with her because it's nice 2 ave company? Oo it's making me quite cross now, I'd offer to babysit if I lived near! £6 is quite cheap btw, we have to pay £8!

  8. I am sorry honey but you were...


    I babysat lots when I was a student and never on earth I would have dared asking to bring a boyfriend. NO WAY!

    What is wrong with biscuits and a dvd if she feels a bit lonely!

    OK now the mission is get a babysitter... Damn... Good luck I am sending lots of positive thoughts!

    ... God you were so right... I would have been so infuriated...


  9. You were TOTALLY right. And whilst it may be a bit more expensive, have you thought of calling an agency if all else fails? (We've used them successfully in the past when in dire need...)

  10. No, you don't know the boyfriend, he could be anyone!!! You were absolutely right but I really hope you can find someone else so that you do get to go out.

    Mel xxx

  11. I would have done EXACTLY what you did. Hope you found another sitter!

  12. Oh dear! Well at least she asked, albeit a bit late in the day. I've just asked Lilly, phoned actually, I know, but it is 4 flights of stairs! if she could babysit for you tomorrow night...but unfortunately I woke her up! So she was a little sleepy/shell shocked and couldn't remember if she had anything planned 'Mummy, can I talk to you about it in the morning?' I can ask her again in the morning if you like? Of course the girls haven't met her so it might not be ideal for you. She has babysat once or maybe twice before. Or failing that honey, I will come and babysit for you (mind you the girls have never met me either! but I'm not that scary) I'm only down the road, and trust me I won't be canoodling! But can I please watch X-factor?? Seriously, let me know, here or FB. Much love xx

  13. I am in total agreement with you - I'd have never let her bring the boyfriend round. You don't know him and at the very least, she might have been too "occupied" with him to pay adequate attention to the kids!

  14. Haha I like your passive aggressive reply. And for the record I would have done the same. I was in a bind a few weeks ago with very important dinner plans nearly ruined and I sent an email to everyone I could think of begging and pleading to babysit or recommend someone they trusted. And it worked. Hope you can find someone else.

  15. Totally right. You get paid to babysit (£6 an hour! Sheesh, I need to get me some babysitting action to supplement my income, I pay the baby sitter here a night on our internet, she's thrilled!). You wouldn't ask to bring your boyfriend to a waitressing job, or nursery job, or any form of job.

    Besides, it is your house, you don't know him and I've NEVER heard of anyone else wanting to bring a boyfriend with them. So right.

    Have you thought about forming a baby sitting circle with other friends? Cheaper too.

  16. Totally right! I wouldn't want her unknown bf in the house either. Hope you find someone xx

  17. You did absolutely the right thing. I would have done exactly the same. When you go with your gut feeling you are normally doing the right thing. Only once has my regular babysitter brought her boyfriend. I allowed it because I knew her well enough to know she would still do the job properly and I knew it was a one-off. Of course you can't leave your child with someone you don't know or trust. Would be quite wrong to do so.

  18. Sorry to leave an anonymous comment as we do know each other through blogging, but as you will see I have my reasons.

    You absolutely did the right thing. You don't know this boyfriend.

    When I was 11 I was indecently assaulted by my boyfriend's babysitter. I told my mum when she got home and this man was sent prison (after we restrained my dad who wanted to kill him).

    I'm not saying this would happen, but you can't be too careful with your children. x

  19. That should have read babysitter's boyfriend!

  20. Totally right. When I used to babysit as a teenager I used to go with a friend (because it can be a bit boring and lonely), but never a boyfriend. And to be honest, the text message would have done it for me, too.

  21. I agree, you did the right thing. I hope you get a baby sitter and have a great night x

  22. Definitely did the right thing. One babysitter years ago asked if her boyfriend could come over as he was visiting from out of town. We knew her very well, she was about 24 and very responsible, AND he stayed so he could meet us etc,, but that would have been the only situation I'd have done that.
    Teenage babysitters are very casual about their commitments sometimes. Even my own has to be chivvied to return phone calls when I know some poor parent is sitting around waiting to hear from her. I would kill her if she ever let someone down like this though. (just joking of course.)

  23. You definitely did the right thing - you don't know this boyfriend and if she can't cope with an evening on her own babysitting, she's probably not mature enough to babysit anyway!

  24. I think it's good she asked.... when I was younger and babysat, i would not have always depending on who it was but I would not have got busy on the sofa either!!!!!

    You did the right thing....

  25. What a load of shit but that's teenage girls for you i suppose! You totally did the right thing and i love the passive-aggressive text you sent lol, hope you found another sitter x

  26. Tell me about finding a babysitter. I have gone through an ad on gumtree, about 100 applications and more than 10 interviews. And no, boyfriends or pets not allowed. Hope you found someone and got the dancing on the table stage.
    xx MM

  27. Did you go out in the end?

    Award for you at little chum!

    Love RMxx

  28. Did you make it out? You absolutely did the right thing by the way. Shit, £6 an hour? Is that the going rate? Good job I have no social life...

    Listen, I just popped in really to thank you enormously for being there during my recent blog melt-down. I was in a pretty dark place and your support genuinely made a difference to me. Thank you x

  29. Bang out of order - You did the right thing. Hope you got out and swung that bottle of vodka.

    Love Lydiaxx

  30. Oh - just have to know if you ever got another sitter? I'm sure you did the right thing.

  31. Snaffles - Yes you're so right - she could have gone behind my back and I would never have known, but I do think if she asked whether her boyfriend could come she should have been prepared for the answer to go either way.

    Val - Ooh you've changed your name (kind of)!! Where's magnumlady gone??! Anyway, yes, I used to do loads of babysitting when I was younger and I either did my homework or watched tv. It was always pretty easy money and being on my own was just part of earning the money.

    Kat - Oh dear - I hope something horrible didn't happen :-(. But yes - when I spoke to my Mother about it she initially thought I had over-reacted in a huge way as she had always let boyfriends of babysitters come over. Luckily we were always fine, but, yes, I think you totally have to be cautious.

    Insomniac - Ha ha - I didn't get to dance on the table in the end (pretty close possibly) - but I did post a yummy chorizo in red wine recipe...hope that will do as evidence!! But yes, I think the fact that she asked on her first ever time put me right off. I think it was disrespectful to even ask...

    Tasha - Yeah it kind of makes me sound like a prude saying no to her boyfriend - but it was only because (a) she'd never babysat for us before and (b) we'd never met him either. I've said yes to babysitters boyfriends before but only because I've known the babysitters and trusted them not to do anything silly. But yes, we did find a babysitter thanks honey - and I would love you to live round the corner too :-)) xxx

  32. You should use the Sitters Agency. They are completely trustworthy and you can build up a relationship with a sitter. Couldn't recommend them highly enough. They are circa £6 an hour but to be fair that is only just above the minimum wage so I don't think you can really complain.

  33. Elaine - Yep, you're right - and definitely she was right to ask rather than going behind my back (which she could have done, I admit), but if that had been me - especially on my first babysitting job for someone I would have wanted to create a good impression, so I would never even have dreamt of asking, and definitely not be so rude as to then turn down the job having originally agreed to do it...

    Emily O - So funny - I could feel you getting crosser as you wrote the comment! Love it - that's exactly how I felt as well. And yes - I don't expect the nursery would have agreed for her boyfriend to come along whilst she did her job. Silly moo she was...And yes, apparently it's £6 - although I think some people only pay £5!! Must be us cheapskates down in the South!!

    Peggy - Oh I do so love your comment!! I know - I personally think it was outrageous that she even asked...especially since it would have been her first time here. I also did tons of babysitting when I was younger and I only ever asked to bring a boyfriend once - and that was after I'd babysat for that one particular family for years and had been to their birthday parties, etc. Anyway, it all turned out ok - and I'm glad she never babysat for us..!

    Potty - Yep, it was totally something that I was considering. My brother and his wife have used an agency lots of times. I kind of wanted the children to know the babysitter first just in case they woke up and got upset cos someone strange was int heir house - but I guess you can still build up a relationship with someone from an agency (we just never go out that often to warrant it)! I think, yes in an emergency I would have done it...but if you read the updated post you'll see that I had an amazing offer from someone!!

    Shabby - Thanks lovely. Yep, we totally managed to find someone thanks - read updated post! Unbelievable story!! And thanks for the support xx

  34. ModernMom - Thanks for the support sweetie - yes I did wonder (for a milisecond) if I'd overreacted!!! But judging by all the comments I don't think I did!

    Brighton Mum - Well we all know what happened don't we?? You're an angel. Thank you so so much xxx

    Rita - Thanks honey - I know - I think it was even the fact that she dared to ask that annoyed me. I would never have dreamt of asking - especially not at the first time of babysitting for someone. Bloody cheek!

    Lady Mama - Yep, these things have a way of working themselves out. Just see my latest post!! And yes - the reply - I had to stop myself writing 'well that's a shame because we pay £10 an hour' - of course we don't, but I wanted her to regret pulling out!!

    BiB - I know - you're so right - I don't think the nursery would have agreed for her to bring him along for company!! Bloomin' cheek! And yes - £6 an hour, although some people pay £5 and Emily O above say they pay £8!!! It's a nice little earner I think...unless of course you're stupid enough to ask to bring your boyfriend along!! But yes, babysitting circles - definitely a good idea and much cheaper too, but it's a difficult thing for me because hubby is always away and I could never guarantee being around when someone needed me - would hate to let someone down at the last moment because hubby had to leave for a job.

  35. Liz (VP) - Thanks for the support honey - I now - would have been totally different if I'd met him (and liked him - obviously)!!!

    Rosie - Yep you're so right - I've also said yes to a babysitter bringing her boyfriend before but that was because I knew her well and she'd babysat for us lots and I knew she cared about the kiddies. The fact that Lucy had never babysat for us before made me feel that it was disrespectful even to ask!

    Anonymous - Oh darling I'm so sorry. How totally, totally hideous for you - but thank you for being so brave and leaving a comment here - yes it absolutely makes me realise that I did do the right thing to say no to her boyfriend - you just never know what people are like. Hugs to you xxx

    Liz (LwK) - yep, the text message kind of enraged me a little!! But it was just the total disrespect that she'd asked in the first place. Like I've said to some other commenters - I've said yes to a babysitter's boyfriend before but that's because I knew her well and she'd babysat for us a great many times. To ask on the first occasion is just wrong. Glad she didn't come!

    New Mummy - Thanks love - yep, it was totally sorted - see updated post - and we had a really good time too. Some things are meant to be!

  36. Expat - Yep - totally - we've said yes to a babysitter bringing her boyfriend before but that's because, like you say, we knew her well and she'd babysat lots of times before, so we knew she'd do a good job, boyfriend or no boyfriend. And yes, silly girl she is - she'll learn one day!!!

    Nappy Valley - Yep, you're so right. I mean, for crying out loud - how hard is it to sit and watch TV for a few hours on your own?? I would pay someone to allow me to do that!! Silly girl...

    Then There Were Three - Yep, you're right - it was good to have asked (and not just gone ahead and invited him over behind our backs), but I do think if she asked she had to be prepared for the answer to go either way. But I'm pleased it worked out the way it did because she's turned out to be a horrible person anyway. Would much rather have someone looking after my children who actually cared about them.

    WoB - Hee hee - Thanks love. Yeah I was tempted to add to the text - something along the lines of - 'well that's a shame because we pay £10 an hour'!! But I thought that was possibly a little too bitter and twisted!

    Met Mum - Oh sweetie - you poor thing. Sounds hideous. A couple of people here have suggested agencies - I know my brother and his wife have used them successfully and so have lots of other people. But it is a complete pain in the bum when you don't have any family around at all to help - even just once in a blue moon! I hope you find someone :-) xxx

  37. RM - Ooh thanks lovely lady - will be right over to pick it up. Mwah xxx And yes - we made it out in the end!!!!! Yay for good friends and the blogosphere...

    MtJaM - That is truly so very lovely of you to pop over. And I'm so glad that all the comments you received helped you - I can't imagine how hard it must be for you, but you will always have my support xxx

    Lydia - Hello darling - haven't seen you for ages. Hope you're doing well. And yes - we did get out - see updated post. No bottles of vodka, but chorizo in red wine and a sore head!

    Catharine - Well I would say check out my latest post for the update - but I know you've done that already - so thanks lovely lady! Am running way behind on responding to comments. My head hurt too much to do it yesterday!!!

    Anonymous - No you're right - I have considered using Sitters - in fact my brother and sister in law in London use them a lot. It's just that up til now we haven't needed them because there's always been someone we trusted who was local. But yes, this incident may make me reconsider. Thanks for the tip.

  38. I would have done exactly the same thing. We have a great babysitter and I did once say her bloke could come over just before we got back (late at night) because they were going out afterwards. In the end, we got back early so we never saw him. I would feel very uncomfortable if he came along every time.

  39. Mwa - Yep you're right - I have said yes to a babysitter bringing a boyfriend before but only because we knew her well and totally trusted her. This one had never babysat for us before so I think it was out of order for her to even ask!!

  40. Late to the party here but... mama f***ing mia, is she on drugs? Holy cow. Good restraint on your part though.

    Now, have you heard of We use them and they are brilliant in a pinch... not cheap but arse-savingly dependable. Sadly they are not paying me for this plug either...

    Glad you had a good night out of it in the end and reconnected with Brighton Mum!

  41. Sparx - I know - what an imbecile - but glad I found out before rather than later, so I'm glad it happened...And yes, I have heard of - my brother uses them and has only good things to say and a couple of people above suggested them too. I had it in the back of my mind to call them, but when I woke up in the morning and got the message from Karen I felt she was a much better option!