Saturday, January 8, 2011

Teenagers Are Known To Be Super Reliable, Right?

Clearly Blogger hates me.  Or Blogspot.  Whichever.  Apparently they both end up in the same place.  I sign on to blogger but my url shows blogspot.  Whatevs.  My point is that it keeps not letting me log on, and I'm very frustrated about it.  Oh well I'm on now so yet again I have a late post but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  I tried to get on in time.  No luck.  But I'm on now so here goes.

Not much to report today in the Best Life Living area, but I did make some small steps...

I'm kind of nervous about babysitters.  Aren't most moms?  I mean seriously, other than my mom, there have only been a handful of people that have ever stayed with my kids, and finding a teenager for afternoon, evening, and weekend backup is something that has always scared me quite a bit. 

I had one in the city where I used to live, a daughter of a friend of mine, and she was great and the girls loved her.  But she got her license and a job and we moved farther away and it just didn't really work out after that. 

I tried another daughter or another friend who has practically enough babysitting experience to have raised a 3 year old from birth.  She was very sweet, but she turned down my next few requests, (why??? I try and tell myself she was always truly busy and it had nothing to do with the screams from my then 3 month old son who didn't want anyone in the world to hold him other than me and my mom... funny, as I type that, I realize that 11 months later not much has changed on that front... but I digress) and then she moved to another state for college.

On the suggestion of my best friend I tried another.  This one was going to be pretty regular-- a few hours each week and a couple Saturdays a month, mostly just for the baby.  She was a very nice girl.  But she never spoke.  I tried and tried to get her to talk.  I tried to check in on the baby and could barely get 2 words out of her on the phone.  Then there were about 3 times in a row where the baby was inside the makeshift play area (one of those hexagonal gate thingies that we set up in living room) and she was sitting outside the gate texting.  Don't get me wrong, I don't spend every waking hour engaging my children, but I started to wonder if she ever got inside the gate with him.  One day she had all 3 kids.  The girls, who LOVE babysitters, were of course excited she was here.  But later when I asked my older daughter what she played with them she said, "she told us she couldn't play with us because she had to watch Brody."  Except I had never actually seen evidence of her actually "watching" Brody.  Just texting.  I hate confrontation but since we were talking about my kids, I tried to plan how I would approach this with her, especially knowing I probably wouldn't get too many words back, but as luck would have it right around that time my work schedule changed and I didn't need her anymore.  Problem solved.  LOL

So it's been several months and I've been very gun-shy about finding a new teenager.  But it's clear I need one.  My mom can't fill in every single time I need a sitter (which she's been doing for quite some time, and as much as I promise myself every week not to ask her for extra on top of what's already scheduled, I always end up adding an average of 2-3 more requests on her).  Plus, she's leaving for Florida next week for 3 weeks.  It's time to bite the bullet.  It's even more important now because not only would I have needed extra help anyway, but I'm on the crutches which pretty much prohibits me from carrying the baby around and begs the need for extra help anyway.

So I put some feelers out and I got a name.  And as it turns out, she's literally my next door neighbor.  I've met her parents a few times, and they are super nice, but we've never really forged a relationship.  Probably because they seem to be a pretty good couple and I'm currently one half of a not very good couple and not only do I not have much extra time to make friends because I don't get much help with the kids or the house but I also am generally embarrassed to let anyone in on how sucky a relationship I'm actually in.  They told me they had 2 babysitting aged daughters but I've never met the daughters or obviously asked for their services.  I thought it would probably be a great match, given that they live right next door to me, but again... gun-shy.

OK so I'm the queen of tangents, I know.  So I was given the number for my neighbor's cell yesterday but couldn't bring myself to make the call.  This morning though I decided it was time to buck up and make the call.  I did, and I got voice mail.  I was kind of happy to be able to leave a message because I was still a little nervous, but as the day went on I started thinking, this is a really good idea, this could really work out great, I'm really glad I made the call.

I told myself, I'm sure this girl is very sweet and the girls are for sure going to love her and Brody will... learn to tolerate her, I'm sure of it. 

AND, I thought, there could be an added bonus in this.  I could get a great new friend out of it!  I started imagining having drinks on each other's porches with my neighbor.  My neighbor popping in to stay with the baby for 5 minutes while I run one of the girls to cheerleading or baton or wherever.  Finally getting a workout buddy and hitting the gym seriously with my neighbor while her daughter stays with the kids.  Commiserating with my neighbor about what a sucky life mine has turned into until we decide to open a home based business together and she fixes me up with some amazingly sweet, gorgeous, rich, family oriented man that works with her husband. 

Yeah.  I'm a sad case.  There's no denying it.  I decided I should probably stop thinking about ways to stalk the mom and just be hopeful that the daughter will work out as a great babysitter.

I have a lot of great friends, don't get me wrong.  But they are all as busy as I am with everything that goes on in their lives, and they are all ensconced in a nice happy relationship so they don't have time to deal with my unhappy relationship or pinch in to help out with my basic single mom-ness.  So I sometimes do daydream about finding the perfect friend.  But I won't burden my neighbor with stalking her into being this person. Not yet anyway.  :)

Seriously though, I do see these single moms on tv or read about them in magazines who have all of these friends that are like a super support system for them.  They help with babysitting, errand running, and all sorts of other things that are keys to success for a single mom.  I want one of these friends, I really do.  I don't begrudge my friends for not having the time to be that friend to me... they all have a ton of kids themselves, but I would love to find a friend like this.  Although I do wonder if they only exist on tv. 

My neighbor got back to me this evening and we had a great conversation.  She and her daughter are coming over tomorrow to meet my kids and discuss some ways that the daughter can help.  I'm very excited about it.  And my neighbor and I did really have a great conversation.  I have to add that she mentioned a couple of times how much she's wanted to get to know her neighbors and make new friends in town... I swear I'm not going to start stalking her, but I do have some hope that maybe she might make a good new friend.  And we can never have too many friends, right?

So tomorrow we'll see how things pan out with the new possible babysitter, but I have to say, my hopes are high that this is going to turn out to be a good thing for me and the kids.  If the kids like her, and if she's willing to spend time with them and not just text the whole time she's here, I'll be so thrilled to have someone so close by that can come through in a pinch for me.  And if Brody lets her hold him, she's hired.

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