The Harbinger Online

Diary of a Teenage Babysitter

I just had to go to the bathroom. I left a five-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister in the kitchen singing “Let it Go,” and drawing while I went to the bathroom. Strangely, I didn’t hear them arguing over the hot pink crayon. I had only been in the bathroom for a minute or two, but when I came back into the kitchen, my jaw dropped at the amount of glitter, glue and paint smeared all over the floor, table and chairs by little fingers. I’m not talking just a little bit of paint, this was the whole bottle splattered into a toddler masterpiece.

They both looked up at me with pure joy; eyes wide and ear-to-ear grins like they had been having the best two unsupervised minutes of their life. Their mom would be home in ten minutes, only enough time for me to grab some paper towels and a couple of Clorox wipes. Scrubbing, I reminded myself that I would have forty more bucks for Urban Outfitters and some Cold Stone ice cream.

The last time I asked my parents for money to go shopping they told me I needed to make my own money and learn responsibility. Some of my friends can ask their parents for money and they will whip out thirty bucks to give them. My moneymaker is babysitting, and I do it a lot. Why do I spend so much of my time with sticky little kids, tending to their every need? Because while they test me, I am always rewarded with a warm hug when I arrive, and cash in the end.

My job is to make sure that any glittery paint messes get cleaned up. Apparently I have gotten pretty good at it because when the mom got home, she didn’t even notice a trace of the mess that was there just seconds before she walked in. I was paid and went home peeling dried glue off my fingers for the next thirty minutes. Turns out I was the one who brought the paint and glitter for the kids to splatter.

Whoops.

Another time, I was watching four five-year-old girls who were best friends.Typically there are plenty of things to do with these girls because they are always pumped up for scooter races. This time, however, it was pouring rain and rewatching episodes of “Good Luck Charlie” was getting old. The girls came to the conclusion that hide-and-go-seek was the only option.

I was voted to be the evil seeker. I counted to thirty and started by looking behind doors and under the girls’ beds. After checking every single room in the house, I only found two girls. Eager to find the expert hiders, we all split up, one to the kitchen, one to the basement. I was sent outside to announce the game was over in case they were hiding there.

Yes, it was still pouring down freezing rain.

I called out “okay we give up girls,” and was heading inside when the door to the house shut behind me, and I heard the click of the lock. I sighed and turned to see all four faces pressed up against the window, sticking their tongues out at me and giggling.  Of course this would happen. I mean, why would the girls be hiding in the freezing rain? I felt dumb, but I figured there was more to it.

Why would they lock me outside? So that they could do the only two things I ask them not to do. One, wear their mom’s heels. Two, eat more mint chocolate chip ice cream. All I could do was helplessly watch them from outside. The thought of one of the girls falling in the five-inch heels gave me goosebumps.

I tried all of the other doors to the house, but every single one was locked. I walked up to a window looking into the kitchen and knocked.

“Alright, I guess I’m gonna have to call your mom and tell her what you’ve done.” I said.

One of them held up my phone.

“But I have your phone.”

I rolled my eyes and admitted defeat. Duh they would have my phone. I reminded myself over and over, two hours left and fifty bucks headed my way.

What was I thinking making rules against heels and ice cream for four little girls? I would’ve done the same thing to my own babysitter.

Thankfully after about twenty minutes the girls got bored of eating ice cream and prancing around in oversized black pumps. They let me in. I dried off, grabbed myself a well-deserved bowl of ice cream and spent the next two hours braiding hair, and applying hot pink nail polish and blue eyeshadow.

Even when I am locked out, being dressed up in tiny tutus, or cleaning up last minute paint catastrophes, I still love spending most of my Friday nights earning a good fifty bucks with little ones to have fun with. Getting to go to the plaza with my friends without borrowing money from my parents is an added bonus.

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Daisy Bolin

Daisy Bolin is a senior at Shawnee Mission East and the head copy editor of the Harbinger in her fourth year on staff. Outside of Harbinger Daisy is a member of the Women’s Foundation of Kansas City, DECA, StuCo, and Share Chair of Pack of Pals. She can generally be found nannying or running late just about anywhere. Read Full »

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