I was in 7th grade, and I’d been eagerly anticipating for this for a couple years: my first babysitting job. I thought it would be great fun to be the one in charge (for once), to stay out and up late, and have no restrictions on my TV watching. All that, and I’d get paid, too. Woo-hoo!
I imagined myself with taking on regular clients, the cash rolling in…which would continue until I segued into dating, and then, whoa--what a chaotic (read: totally fun) life I’d lead! Just like the teen books I’d been reading.
Then the big night came. It was a friend-of-a-friend referral, and I walked to the house. I knocked, the mother came to the door, and took one look at me and panicked. “How old are you?” She made no bones about not being happy to leave a 12 year old (who looked 10) with her baby. She put the little guy to bed and told me not to go near him, then added I couldn’t watch TV or use the phone, in case I woke him.
They left for the night, then returned less than two hours later--the woman taking the stairs two at a time make sure her son was still breathing…
I walked home with two dollars in my pocket, depressed. And I remember thinking, “Wow, will dating be this bad, too?” (Answer: yes AND no…depended on the guy…but very few of them went into a full panic when they met me at the door.)
Any other babysitters or former babysitters out there?
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