ExPat Allison #1 let me in on a huge secret (and by secret, I mean, “company that has been around for over 50 years and advertises pretty much everywhere children are mentioned online”): sitters.co.uk. This amazing agency lets you book sitters with as little as 3 hours advance notice, and for a fraction of the price we used to pay in NYC. Added plus: the sitters don’t seem to be ex-convicts or molesty at ALL. This means Shane and I can actually go on dates ALONE instead of saving our babysitting funds for parties or double-dates. We can go to movies, or go out and buy furniture without having to schlep the kids around all over hell. This is seriously life changing.
Notice that I did not include “f*cking insane” in my list of things these sitters don’t seem to be. To be fair, all but one of them have been completely stable, lovely women. But one…one was a complete and total wackadoo. She showed up without having been forewarned about the presence of our vicious, rabid attack dog, Lucy:
And let me tell you, she freaked the F*CK out when she met her. I’m talking hysterical-crying-in-the-hallway-afraid-to-cross-our-doorstep freaking out. Kind of like this, but more yelly:
This was the one time we actually NEEDED the sitter (I was supposed to meet Shane at a work event) so it was quite an unfortunate situation. I was going to make the best of it and, like the excellent dog mother I am, lock Lucy in a cage in a back bedroom so mama could go get wastey-face on the Thames on daddy’s work’s dime. Which *might* have worked, if the lovely woman hadn’t asked me, 100% seriously: “Can the dog unlock her cage? And then, unlock the door and come out here? Because if she does that, I am going to have to grab the children and run out of the house.”
At that point, I knew I couldn’t leave the kids with someone who thought our dog was smart enough to open not one, but two doors, and who already had plans to run out of the house like it was on fire should Lucy both suddenly grow opposable thumbs AND know what to do with them. Luckily my resourceful husband was able to find me another sitter so all worked out just fine.