Paper Moon

There was a time, as a suddenly single mother of four boys, I came to discover that I needed a game plan that would require some magic on my part. You see, after a period of time of being single, I realized that I wanted to go out with some co-workers or even go on a date. Yet, I needed a babysitter.  My calls would start off like this, “Hi, do you think you can watch my boys Friday night?” There would be a moment of silence followed by my own echoed “hello?” I found people needed that extra minute of time to quickly think of an excuse. Their next question would be, “all four????”  And then, “I guess if you can’t find anyone else, then call me.”

I needed to change my game plan a bit. I had to figure out how to “convince” rather than “ask.” So I thought about it, and decided that the problem was that I was asking the wrong age group.  My elders were tired of kids and were enjoying their empty nests.  My married friends were reluctant (and a little resentful) of enabling my newfound “singlehood,” and my family was too busy being… a family.

One day, my six-year-old son and I were standing in line at Taco Bell, behind a beautiful sixteen-year-old girl. My son was staring up at her and unbeknownst to me blurted out, “Wow! You are hot! Can you give my mom your phone number and babysit me and my brothers?”  I stood there speechless and started to apologize, but she was already handing me her phone number and schedule.  I gave him the evil eye and then realized that he was so proud of himself.  Hmmm, we may have been on to something.   He and I might be the next Moses and Addie from Paper Moon.  I told him, “Next time DON’T mention you have brothers.”

These younger girls were great, although easily manipulated by my sweet and innocent boys. Ha! These girls also lacked the experience with discipline.  I had one call me and say, “Your boys are all on the roof and will not come down, what should I do?”  I had another nervously laugh and tell me the boys had tied her to a chair and ran down to their friends and accidently forgot her.  Then there was the time when I crawled in at midnight and found the babysitter and boys laying on the floor playing Super Mario Bros and my youngest was sitting on her back cornrowing her hair.  I think they even asked if she could move in with us.

Needless to say, I went through a ton of babysitters and to this day, I still run into these girls. Each one says, “Hi, remember me?  I was your babysitter.  As I start to work up my apology, they are already expressing their babysitting story with my boys and how it was an adventure they will never forget.  To all you babysitters, thank you!  For you I Blog… for you… I find humor!!