A good babysitter is hard to come by. Once you find one, you turn into this crazy possessive stalkerish boyfriend. You become very secretive and vague when talking to friends. Did you guys get a sitter for Saturday night? Um, yeah we did. Oh really who? Oh no one you know, just a friend of the family. What's her name? You know, I'm not really sure. Can I get her number sometime? Oh she doesn't have a phone or else I totally would.
After we had our first baby, getting a sitter was never an issue. People were calling us to see if they could babysit. Everyone wanted a piece of this kid. It was awesome. Little did we know, just 12 months later when we had our second, that would all come to a crashing halt. No one wants two babies. No. One. No grandparent. No Godparent. No aunt. No uncle. No single friend. No high school girl. No. One. We very quickly realized we needed to find a professional and we needed to open our wallets...wide. And by professional I mean a responsible college-aged girl who could drive and didn't have a curfew. We have very high standards.
We were very lucky to find Betty. She fit the bill. Not only could she handle two babies, we would also come home to a clean house. No dishes in the sink. Kids asleep in their own beds. It was amazing. And when two babies quickly turned into three, then four babies, Betty was there every step of the way. We could go out whenever we wanted and didn't have to worry about a thing. Just when we thought we had this, we were blindsided. Looking back, we should have seen this coming, but we were too busy enjoying the high life. Betty was having a baby of her own. She was no longer a college student at our beck and call, she was a college grad with her own responsibilities. What do you mean you're having your own baby? Who the hell is going to watch ours?
So there we were. No one to watch our kids. Sure we could find someone new, but there was only one Betty. Our kids knew Betty. They loved Betty. They didn't want someone who wasn't Betty. We tried to replace her, but to no avail. Betty was not replaceable.
Anyway, our kids were getting older now. It wasn't so imperative to have the best of the best. Any warm body would do. So my cousin Shelly and I decide to start swapping our kids. We'll take yours whenever you need us and you can take our when we need you. We'll save a ton of money and knowing our kids are with family was reassuring, sort of. Our kids are all besties and loved the idea more than we did. It was perfect. What could possibly go wrong?
Just ask my youngest. He wasn't quite two when we started the exchanges. Too young to appreciate that there would be two adults for seven children aged 2-8. And this was actually an overnighter. Shelly and Quint not only bought us a night at a hotel downtown, they were also going to watch our kids. It was amazing. The greatest thing that had ever happened to us really. When we asked what time we could drop them off, they said 2 o'clock. We were there at ten to two. We aren't usually so prompt getting four kids out the door, but we're not usually dropping our kids off anywhere. For twenty-four hours.
Off we went. Not a care in the world. My plan was to have a nice dinner and then go back to the hotel room by 9pm so that I could really enjoy my first night ever of actual sleep. Best laid plans. We ended up partying like we were rock stars and got even less sleep than I normally do. Before you know it, we're on our way back home to get the kids. It was good to see them. I felt like I had to say that. Upon our return, I immediately notice my youngest is missing part of his front tooth. Front and center, I saw it from across the room. When I said ever-so-calmly, "Oh my God, did my baby chip his tooth? I leave him for the first time ever with people I know and trust and this is what happens. What the hell is going on here? Come here, baby. Let mommy hold you. What did these monsters do to you?"
That's when it got good. Shelly seemed as shocked as I was. She puts on a good show. She said, what? what are you talking about? oh I don't know is it? What do you mean, you don't know? Look! Then there was an awkward pause, lots of ums, lots of eyes on the floor, then eyes on the ceiling. Then full on denial. Are you sure it wasn't like that when he got here? Yes, I'm sure! Turns out Quint saw the whole thing happen. The little guy just fell and didn't get his arms out in time. And Quint had the piece of tooth in his pocket, in hopes he could plant it at our house when we weren't looking. I did appreciate the fact that they were hoping we wouldn't notice until we got home and would assume it happened on our watch. I would have done the same thing.
Turns out we should have just paid a sitter because after we received the bill from the dentist, a specialist, mind you, it would have been cheaper. Waaaay cheaper. But I did get a video at the dentist office of my poor little guy withering in pain as they repaired his tooth. Couldn't wait to show it to Shelly and Quint. And keep as a reminder, just in case I drop the ball while watching their kids next time.
*Some names have been changed so the people I'm talking about don't know I'm talking about them.