Saturday, August 04, 2007

My First Job: Babysitting

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?

What I'm Reading: HONK IF YOU HATE ME, Deborah Halverson


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, Spring, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009


stephhale said...

That's funny, Tina. I definitely did some time as a babysitter too. I just had a girl email me the other day that she got in trouble for reading my book while on the babysitting job! :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

And you RETAINED those youthful looks, Tina! Though I don't think anyone will mistake you for 12 anymore! hahahahaha!

My first "serious" job was also babysitting. The summer I was 15 I babysat every day for a friend of my Mom who was a nurse with 3 children ages 7, 4 and 3. The highlight of my day was when the two little ones took naps and the 7 year old went outside to play. Then I hit the couch and pulled out my library book. I read "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" for the first time that summer.

Oh, and I got to buy all my own school clothes with my money, which also meant I bought what *I* wanted, not my Mom. I thought I was sooo mature. :-)


TinaFerraro said...

Oh, Steph, too cute about the babysitter girl!

And thanks for the compliment about my youthful looks, Aunty Cindy! Yeah, no one even guesses that that first babysitting story actually happened in the 1950's. :)

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Yes, I baby sat, but it wasn't very fun for me! It was a short job!

Anonymous said...

I babysat too, but what really stands out in my mind was my first "real" job in the outiside world when I turned 16. I worked at Travel Town at Griffith Park, selling peanuts and Cracker Jacks and organizing the birthday parties in the trains. But I had failed the math test they had given me (my Dad pulled a few strings and I still got the job) and I was completely terrified that first day of work because my boss (twenty-something, blonde and worldly) scared me to death!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Kelly. While I went on to do a lot of babysitting, I didn't really like it until I was taking care of my own kids!

And Janie, I can't believe you worked at Travel Town! I didn't know that! As a mother of two boys, I put in my fair share of hours there in the '90's...