Girl Power

The Babysitters’ Club

On the heels of the Great Birth Control Controversy of 2007, which included seeing various people we know on any number of TV news shows, including of the national variety, espousing positions we alternately found troubling, sympathetic and hilariously stupid, it seems appropriate that tonight, for the very first time, The Princess is babysitting.

The idea of a 12-year-old having a baby may seem particularly horrifying to my particular 12-year-old because she is the youngest in the family and so close to being the youngest in the extended family that she doesn’t remember the next one as a baby compared to herself.

But we have precious new neighbors, a Methodist clergy couple living in the parsonage of one of our City By the Sea churches. While they are serving the remnant of an established congregation which sold its church buildings, they are also charged with starting a new church. Tonight they have gathered what they hope will be the core of the new church at their home for dinner.

Somewhere in that charming house, all lit up for a party, my daughter is wrangling two little girls in the 14 months old age bracket.

In the car coming home from piano, we exchanged these questions and answers.

"What if they hate me?"

"They won’t hate you," I assured her. "You’re a big girl, and little girls love big girls."

"What if they need to be picked up? I’ve never picked one up? And why am I talking about them like they’re things?"

"I would suggest you sit on the floor, so you’re closer to their height. Then when they toddle over they can just sit down, and you won’t have to lift them."

"What if they get upset?"

"You talk sweetly to them, and pet them."

"But what if they really cry?"

"Remember, their mothers will be downstairs. You can always go to the top of the stairs and call S. in a loud voice."

"But what if they need to go to the bathroom?"

"Honey, they don’t do that yet. They’ll be in diapers."

I assured her that I would be home and available throughout the gathering. She left here with my cell phone, so she could call me in case reinforcements are needed. It’s been 48 minutes, but who’s counting?

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Edited to Add: She’s home with a check for $10 and a plan to open a savings account tomorrow!

11 thoughts on “The Babysitters’ Club”

  1. Good luck to your Babysitter Girl! I firmly believe that other people’s children are the best birth control in the world for teenagers, so keep her babysitting…

  2. Oh, if she could only see how kids like Curious Girl jump up and down and clap their hands because the BABYSITTER is coming. It would reassure her immensely.
    I hope it goes well!

  3. What a big step for her! I hope it goes well and builds confidence for future opportunities. (Gee, I guess Maine is a little too far away to call on her when I need her, huh?)

  4. Yay for the Princess! Mercies, but I remember being left babysitting three kids under 5 years of age at the age of 12 or 13. I think that is a great education for reinforcing the wait to have any babies. :c) Probably why I was 30 when I had Sam…lol.

  5. Wow! A savings account – I’m impressed. Though come to think of it, it was when Hattie Gandhi started babysitting that the horse fund began. I should watch her like a hawk, – just in case 😉 but so glad it went well.

  6. I think it’s just too funny that I met one of those kiddoes back in January, and learned just last week that she’s your neighbor!
    Glad to hear The Princess is into this source of a) income and b) free psychological birth control.

  7. I really enjoyed this post, especially since I am one half of that Methodist clergy couple who just moved into the neighborhood and father of one of those 14-month-olds!
    Your daughter was a fantastic first-time babysitter! From the living room, as we met in the dining room, I heard one round of laughter after another — two little girls enjoying your 12-year-old immensely. I sure hope she had as much fun as they did! And if she enjoyed it, we’ll definitely invite her back soon.

  8. I really enjoyed this post, especially since I am one half of that Methodist clergy couple who just moved into the neighborhood and father of one of those 14-month-olds!
    Your daughter was a fantastic first-time babysitter! From the living room, as we met in the dining room, I heard one round of laughter after another — two little girls enjoying your 12-year-old immensely. I sure hope she had as much fun as they did! And if she enjoyed it, we’ll definitely invite her back soon.

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