Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Think I'm in Love

That title could lead in to a discourse about so many things -- Ben and Jerry's Fossil Fuel ice cream, or a detailed post singing the virtues and pitfalls of ice cream in general (can you say "tight pants"?).

That's not where I'm going today. The object of my affection is a fifteen-year-old girl. There's a seventeen-year-old boy who I'm pretty keen* on as well.

She lives two doors down. I was aware that there were teen girls down there, but their house is way off the street down a long driveway, so I never had the chance to meet her. When I found out that she is friends with Amanda's friend's big sister, and was highly recommended by that friend's mother, I decided to make my move.

Why all my interest in teenagers? Why, babysitting of course! Carrie babysat last night so that I could go to our marathon pre-class training session for BSF. When she arrived at 4:00 pm (walking herself over -- major plus), I asked her how much she charged. She told me $6.00 an hour. This impressed me, because I find that many youngsters will either give me a ridiculously low rate (as when I asked the seventeen-year-old boy next door how much he might charge to mow the lawn, and he told me $10!). I told her that I was planning to pay her $7.00, and I did. To me it's an extra dollar. To her it's a premium rate which will hopefully gain my family and me first place on her calendar.

When Terry came home from work, Kyle whined and cried and said he didn't want her to ever leave. I asked Amanda if she was a good babysitter, and she said, "The best!" She can walk here from her house, she is pleased with my pay scale, and the kids love her. Oh yeah, did I mention that when I got home, I saw that she had hand-washed the dishes that I hadn't had a chance to put in the dishwasher, because Amanda had just unloaded it? That's love.

The seventeen-year-old boy of whom I also spoke so fondly, is my one-hour each week babysitter for Kyle when Amanda and I go to BSF on Monday nights. That enables us to leave when we need to and for Terry not to have to rush home. Ethan lives next door, and he's charming. He is also the resident dog sitter. A few times when we've had busy weekends, we've employed him to mow the lawn. Since we were on vacation last weekend and out of town this past weekend, I asked if he might like to do it. When we came home, it was still long and unmowed, but this morning I noticed that he had been at work yesterday afternoon.

So, my bank account took a hit yesterday, but I take heart in knowing that I am supporting the industrious youth of my neighborhood who can come alongside and help me when needed.


*After completing Jane Austen, I began
Wife in the North
, which does not take place in Alaska as I originally thought, but in the North of England. So you may notice a bit of a British affection. My apologies.


Corinne said...

Bravo! What a find, and in your own neighborhood. Amazing.

Carrie said...

That is fantastic! I never understood why it was so important to find and keep a good babysitter until I had kids myself.

They are real treasures, that's for sure! Congrats on your find.

Dianne said...

When i used to babysit, it never occurred to me NOT to wash the dishes and straighten up. Apparently that's not SOP today. So good for you for finding someone who goes the extra mile!

Katrina said...

Oh that's wonderful! I do *not* have a nice neighborhood girl babysitter and I wish I did. The 2 girls from the neighborhood that I've had contact with seem very surly. I'll have to keep looking. So glad you have good options handy!

Org Junkie said...

So ideal, I'm still looking myself...sigh.

Anonymous said...

Just wait until your kids are older...then you can just leave them at home! Steve and I actually can go have dinner and not have to pay a soul! (but it doesn't make Hannah very happy)