Monday, November 3, 2008

My Brain Is Going to Explode from Being a Good Citizen and a Babysitter

It's almost ten at night, and I've spent hours and hours looking at candidates. Not the national ones - no, the 25 other ones that I have to vote on. I didn't realize there were so many offices being voted on. It's like all those dreams I've had where I find out that I have to take a final for a class I didn't know I was enrolled in. Of course in the dream I've never attended any lectures, and haven't the faintest clue what the test is even talking about. As an official two month resident of Ohio, I've spent all night long trying to determine the history, background, platforms, voting history, etc, etc, for over fifty candidates.

Did I mention that I also have to get up at 5:45 tomorrow morning, and that I woke up at 5:00 this morning, because I got a babysitting job for a family in my ward part time, and for this week at least it starts early? And that I worked 10 1/2 hours today? While I'm hallucinating at the computer, let me also tell you about the heart stopping moment I had today when I got locked out of the house while two children, Elisheva (thankfully napping) and Elliot, an 18 month year old were inside, and Lydia and Isabella (3) and I were outside. That was fun. Especially because Elliot has a feed tube, and he got distatched from it the second after I became locked out (they have a sun room, and I went out into it to sweep up some dirt Lydia and Isabella had dropped on the floor, when Elliot shut the door behind me, and I hadn't known it was locked because the knob still turned from the inside.) I watched his formula start pooling on the wood floor as visions of expensive lockspmiths and irate parents who fired me on the first day floated through my head. After running all around the house looking for loose windows or screens and praying fervently for help, I ended up knocking on neighbor's doors until one came out and let me use her phone and phonebook.

I realized at this point that I didn't actually know who to call - I don't have any local phone numbers memorized (next step in life; memorize the Mother's cell phone number). I looked up a member of the ward, Marci, who lives the next street over, and thankfully her number was listed, and she's a stay at home mom, and she answered the phone (she almost didn't because there have been so many political calls today). I was on the verge of tears at this point, and she calmly helped me by giving me Michelle's (The mom's) phone number, and then she volunteered to come over for moral support.

I then called Michelle, who thankfully answered the phone, although she's an airline stewardess, and so isn't always available. She wasn't upset at me at all, and instead sympathized; she had once been locked out at had to call the police department to get back in. She told me of a hidden key, and with her help on the phone I found it, and got back inside. Where I have never been so happy to be in my life. I think the essence of true despair is looking through a door into a house you're locked out from with two unsupervised children that you're responsible for and who are too young to help you get back in, not to mention be left alone at all.

Marci still came over, and after being locked out for about 20 minutes I still appreciated the moral support, even after being back inside. And otherwise the first day went well. Besides the potty accident Isabella had. And the teething diarhea of Elliot. And the fact that he cried a lot because he doesn't know me. And Isabella and Lydia's sharing issues.....

Okay, so it was like the first day of most jobs; kind of frantic and crazy, because you're just getting settled in. On the plus side, I only work part time (a couple to three days a week), which I find I need so I can re-energize at home. And when I finally do have four kids of my own it'll be old news on how to manage a home with that many (the secret is pretending you know what you're doing, and maybe eventually you'll convince even yourself). And I really like the children I'm watching.

I think that the childcare workers of the word deserve a medal, because it's all underpaid. I don't think you could pay childcare workers enough, because it's like being a mom, only for other kids, and you can't quantify being a surrogate care giver with the love and the diapers and the despair (when you think Elliot pulled his tube feed out) and the joy (when he didn't). Okay, you can quantify the diapers - there were many. I for one know that one reason being a Mom is such a great job is that you can't think to yourself; I'm getting paid this much for what I do. It's all from the heart. And babysitting is from the heart too, because for what babysitters make, if it were about the money, I'd dump my kids in babysitting and get a "real" job. But I love keeping my girls with me. And I love having only a part time job.

Okay, must go and look for obscure websites for the remaining candidates.


  1. I did some midnight candidate looking too. It was mildly embarrassing until I figured out that only one of the local positions was contested. Go figure.

    Good luck with your babysitting. I hope you got out all of your bad vibes on your first day.

  2. Thank goodness there was an extra key!

    Samuel and I got locked out of our cabin on our honeymoon. It was dark and we were in our swimsuits (using the jacuzzi) and the cabin was in the middle of nowhere. Luckily we had left the kitchen window open, and so we took off the screen and Samuel hoisted me through. Whew!