I just dropped off Carlie for her first off-site non-family babysitting job. She is babysitting a five-year-old boy, five blocks from our house, 7:00 til 10:30 or 11'ish.
She is armed with The American Girl's Guide To Babysitting, a copy of The Prepared Babysitter's Checklist, a Scooby Doo DVD, several books, her babysitter business cards, a cell phone and much enthusiasm.
This is the same child that will not stay home alone in her own house at night and who could not sleep this summer after having read one too many Nancy Drew books from the library. Yet the babysitting? She's totally up for that, no hesitation, no frazzled nerves, no scaredy-cat-ed-ness.
Though she did tell me to (a) stay awake (b) keep my cell phone in my pocket and (c) turn the ringtone on LOUD. You know, just in case.
Because I'm going to want a record of this at some point in the future, here are the text messages received from Carlie during her babysitting stint.
6:45 p.m. - she reported for duty
7 p.m. - parents left to go to dinner
7:46 - we r having a great time
8:20 - hes in bed and i read him 2 books and he brushed his teeth i am going to read now xoxoxo to you
8:35 - im board
8:37 - but i just found out he is still awak
Me to Carlie, sensing potential trouble: Is he being difficult or just not falling asleep yet?
8:40 - littel bit of both i found him reading in the dark and i told him it was ok but you need to go to bed know and i am going to go check on him in 10min
8:45 - i just went to chek on him and i think he's almost there
8:57 - im so bord and so hungrey but i realy dont want to wake him up
Me to Carlie, because, hello? why would you wake him up? Like to ask him where the food is or what? Why don't you QUIETLY go into the kitchen and see if there is anything to munch on in the fridge
9:00 - nop i all ready cheked andd im not shur if i can have any thing
Note, she is babysitting at the home of a dear friend of mine, who I am pretty sure would allow the child to eat something
9:31 - im sleepy r u still awak
9:33 - im so sleepy but its not good to sleep when ur babysitting right?
9:35 - and that snak i found was not to filling so im going to eat when i get home if thats ok with u
10:01 - help i pressed a button and its supper loud i need help
And then the phone rang, and it was Carlie in a panic, because she pressed a button on the TV remote, which turned on the stereo, which is piped throughout the house on a speaker system. So I went down to the house, pressed the "off" button on the remote, and left.
And 10 minutes later, the family came home.
Now Carlie is home, $20 the richer, and quite proud of her babysitting self.