Friday, October 22, 2010

Time for a Babysitter!

We've lived here seven months, and the only times Chris and I have been out together on our own have been when we've had family visiting or when he has taken a few minutes away from work while the kids are in school. It's time to call a babysitter. This seems like one of the biggest obstacles we've faced since we moved here. But it probably wouldn't if we had different kids.

Correction: if we had different "kid". Janelle, I'm sure, will be thrilled to have a babysitter come. A new person to entertain! Connor, on the other hand, is a completely different story. When he was little he loved babysitters. When we lived in Kingston, having a babysitter was a rare treat. He loved it! In Fredericton, we very rarely had babysitters, since we had Nana and Grammie Haines close by, but when we did, it really wasn't a problem. Until he turned eight years old, and suddenly something in him snapped. He was terrified of having a babysitter. We'd had a bad experience with a sitter a couple of years earlier, when one of our neighbour girls had a boyfriend over and then lied to us about it. Connor was old enough to tell us the real story, and the "history" on our internet filled in the blanks. But this didn't seem to affect Connor negatively at the time. We just never invited that sitter back. Two years later, however, he seemed to develop a real phobia of having a babysitter. We would have people over to babysit whom Connor knew well, our next door neighbour or my friend's daughter, but it didn't seem to matter. Everytime it became a drawn out tearfest, that was quite embarrassing, and discouraged me from ever going anywhere again. In the end, we just kind of avoided the situation and only had Chris's mom or stepmother babysit from then on. But then we moved.

It's time to call a babysitter. I went to our church community group for the first time on Monday night, alone, because one of us had to stay home with the kids. The point of this group is really for both of us to go, so we can get to know people in our community. It is our opportunity to make some grown up friends. We decided that for the first week I would go alone, and while I was there I would see if I could get some recommendations of sitters in the area. It worked! I got the names of four highly recommended girls, all within a one km radius of our house. I decided I'd call one right away and see if she could sit for us next week. But I've been procrastinating. I chose the one I want to call. Jordyn. She lives right around the corner from us and was the top of everyone's list. She's 14, and has three younger siblings. She seems perfect! But I haven't called yet.

Yesterday was our school's Grand Opening Ceremony, so I attended to see Janelle's choir sing "This School is Your School". I sat with my neighbour, who happened to arrive at the same time as I did (late, as usual). I noticed the hostess of our community group sitting across the gym from me, with a woman who looked quite familiar, probably from school field trips or parents committee meetings. After the ceremony was over, this woman came over to talk to my neighbour, and she introduced us and told me she lives just around the corner. We chatted for a few minutes and she mentioned her oldest daughter, Jordyn. Hold on, I thought. Is this too much of a coincidence? I asked her last name, and sure enough, she is my future babysitter's mother. I told her that I'd just been given Jordyn's name as a possible sitter, and that I'd be calling soon. We continued to talk for several minutes, about our kids and the church, which she also attends. Before I left I said, "Well, tell Jordyn I'll be calling!" How cool is that?

So now I have to call. And I have to deal with Connor. We've already warned him many times that this is going to happen. Hopefully he'll take it like a 10-year-old! Or maybe he'll just beg me to wait until next year when he can babysit Janelle on his own. Tempting... But I don't think I can wait that long for an evening with grown ups. Time to bite the bullet. Wish me luck!

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