Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm a Big Show-off!

When I was a teenager I got paid a buck an hour for babysitting. One kid or six kids it didn't matter. That's just what we got paid in Blaine, Minnesota in the 80's and I didn't mind a bit. I was just happy to have a little spending money.

Now I have a daughter who is just entering the realm of babysitterdom and I'm quickly realizing that babysitting is a little more lucrative than in the olden days. She's twelve and two weeks old and often comes home having made as much in one hour as I'd made after a whole day of babysitting six bratty kids in a house without a TV (of course I'm not bitter after all these years).

Granted I happen to know that Cami is very responsible and totally loves children,
but I'm feeling just a tad bit guilty for those hefty wages. Is that normal? What is the going rate these days anyway? Should I just smile at her bulging wallet then garner her wages to pay us back for her outrageous orthodontic bills?

And while I'm on the subject can I just brag a little bit about how glad I am to have a couple of in-house babysitters in the family now?

I tell you, it's a liberating feeling the day you can go to the grocery store on a weekday in the summer and know that you don't have to take any kids with you.

Lib-er-at-ing...with a capital L.

I go to the store and get a regular cart--not a car-shaped one, not a two seater--just a plain full-sized cart. And then no one begs me for anything. I engage in no behavior bribery. I absolutely do not chase anyone down the aisles. And in a total state of purposeful amnesia I have completely forgotten where all the public restrooms are. Oh, and my shopping list?

Check, check, check.


Steve-Rosanna said...

If you think this is liberating-just wait until Spence gets his driver's license and begins to take over some of your chauffeuring duties.

Mom and I agree that the day you received your license was one of the sweetest days of our lives. No more runs over to the Anoka chapel at 5h30 am for early morning seminary. Just give the keys to Lara and let her drive herself and her sibs. Need something at Festival Foods, you were always up for a spin.

Sweet indeed.

Afraid that you were so dependable, we had you babysitting as early as ten years old.

Meme said...

I am so jealous! I on the other hand still know where all the restrooms are, engage in all sorts of bribery, have to bring a cooler with snacks in case *someone* thinks they may die of hunger on the way (really that is probably me, stress eating, of course) and pray without ceasing that those silly little "future customer in training" carts are going to be MIA when we enter the grocery store. I will try and be happy for you! :)

Denise said...

oh the joy!!!

alexandra said...

It's always nice to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, and as far as rates go, we pay $6 for four bratty kids. We considered paying more, but HELLO, if these kids were even legally able to work at a day care center, they'd be in charge of 8 or 10 kids and getting minimum wage for it. Still, the six bucks an hour kills me. I remember being thrilled when I got up to charging $2 an hour in Dallas back in the '80s, and that was in a super-posh neighborhood.

Hmmm. I guess you're not the only one who's bitter!

K said...

You are a show off Lara! I am so jealous! Only 10 more years and I might be able to do the same.

As for rates, the minimum people pay here is $6 an hour. I know a lot of people that pay $10-15 an hour for a babysitter. The cost is the reason why we don't go out much or try to do a swap with another couple.

Deanne said...

Wow, I didn't realize we were such cheapos. We usually pay about $5 an hour for our 2 kids. And even at that I have a hard time handing it over.

Glad to know we already have a reliable babysitter all lined up for when we move out there though! =)

Aitch said...

The summer before 9th grade I babysat two kids every day from 7:30-4:30. If I'm remembering correctly I got paid $50/week--just over a dollar an hour. Plus mom had to drive me to and from their house every day. Not nearly as lucrative as babysitting nowadays.

Mirien said...

Alyssa rolls her eyes when I tell her the same thing--"it took me a whole month of babysitting every weekend to earn what you do in one night!" And I had to buy my own clothes, and my own makeup and hairspray (and we used a lot of that in the 80s). Kids today have got it made--clothes really haven't gone up in price that much since we were teenagers, yet they get paid so much more!

Annette said...

Ok, that's enough Liberty talk!

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