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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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This is a kinda OT post, but I kind of wish I were a generation older, when it was universally regarded as fine to leave young toddlers with teens. Our babysitter is 30-ish, she has a kid of her own and has worked as a nanny for years, so she seems very competent and awesome, but man is a night out expensive.

I mean, my sister used to babysit for a couple of kids, and after a while their neighbors would bring over their two kids as well to watch and the mother of these kids paid her $2.50 an hour to watch all four. I guess the last straw for my sister was when she was gone 3 hours and came back and gave my sister $5. Anyway for me going out is a minimum $60-ish proposition and then I still get chewed out by husband for hurrying home to relieve the babysitter when I said I would so it doesn't cost us even more.

I wish we had neighborhood teens I trusted!! Unfortunately the San Diego schools are so bad that nobody with school age kids lives here.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Yes, all the babysitters we know are stay at home moms who watch your kid for $10 an hour. We have an awesome 14 year old friend, who is a great mother's helper, but she wouldn't feel comfortable being left alone with a baby. A 17 year old CPR certified babysitter sounds amazing.

$60 is SO MUCH money for a night out. So I guess almost any dinner is over $100 for you and B, which sucks. In that situation, I'd be eating all my romantic meals going slowly through the drivethrough after she was asleep. Especially if you then get husband angst for heading home hurriedly.

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:44 pm 
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When I was 15 I babysat for an infant 12 hours a week for an entire summer and he survived unscathed. And hey, after that summer was over, I had more childcare experience than plenty of new parents I've worked for have had.

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:55 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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At the university where I'm taking grad classes, there is a babysitter finder service that connects student sitters with faculty and students that are parents. I haven't tried it yet. They say the average rate is $12 an hour plus transportation.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Yeah, we pay $12/hour and rounded up to the next hour (so, $9 extra) for a tip for 4.25 hours last time, which barely got us through a work dinner and got me in the aforementioned doghouse for rushing out during the after-dinner chitchat. We used sittercity to find her, and she's wonderful, but it's hard to justify. I wish I knew more people around here who have similar philosophies and children who are similarly, um, active and wakeful to put it charitably, to swap childcare once in a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:47 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I'm planning on seeing a movie after baby bedtime like every night when I'm viewing my parents for the holiday!


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:13 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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My babysitter charges $10/hour. So it isn't really a deal. Although if I go with the older women, over 20, it is about $17/hour and I really cannot afford that!


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:15 am 
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Just to point out - although I am sure a young babysitter could get into plenty of trouble...I babysat since the age of 13 with only a few scary moments ALL happening with the same family who obviously had childproofing issues. And the mattress incident I wrote about previously - although it seems common sense to me NOW not to let children in a room with a mattress propped up against a wall - it also seems to me that perhaps the parents shouldn't have left a mattress propped up against the wall of their child's playroom/tv room, especially when leaving the kids with a sitter.
When my baby gets a little older I know of several responsible teens that I plan on asking to sit for me. For a baby I think an older teen (16+) is a better fit - but for an older toddler I think the mature 14 or 15 year old would be fine for a couple hours. I also have a few friends willing to "swap" childcare - but I am not so sure about it since they all have 2 or more kiddies.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:17 am 
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Semen Strong
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We keep talking about exchanging childcare, but it hasn't made sense just yet. Our moms group is trying to set up a little barter system - trading crafty goods, services etc. And it will be good once L is a bit older. I would do a daytime babysitting no problem but would be leery about nights - I have no babysitting experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:11 pm 
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annasrobbie wrote:
Just to point out - although I am sure a young babysitter could get into plenty of trouble...I babysat since the age of 13 with only a few scary moments ALL happening with the same family who obviously had childproofing issues. And the mattress incident I wrote about previously - although it seems common sense to me NOW not to let children in a room with a mattress propped up against a wall - it also seems to me that perhaps the parents shouldn't have left a mattress propped up against the wall of their child's playroom/tv room, especially when leaving the kids with a sitter.


One of the reasons I really don't like having to hire a babysitter (aside from the cost) is that we're pretty lax babyproofers. We have outlet covers, and some of our cabinets have cabinet locks, and that's pretty close to it. It works for us in part because we know what the trouble spots are-- M likes to throw himself down on his belly and crawl under my sitting chair by the window, behind which is a standing lamp that he'll pull down on his head if he's left to his own devices. He also just gets stuck back in that area, because there's a sort of square of space formed by the back of my chair and the back of E's play kitchen. I know it's a danger zone for him so if I see him heading that way I stop him-- I might not remember to tell a babysitter that though, and she might not necessarily anticipate it as a problem.

This might be an aside to annak's aside though, heh...

As for teenage babysitters, we had two sisters who babysat E full time during the summer when I first went back to work and was waiting for a spot to open up in preschool for him. He was just under 2, and they were a high school junior and a senior. One of them was really wonderful, the other one... I don't think her age had anything to do with the fact that she just wasn't the world's best babysitter. I paid them a flat rate for the week which came out to about $10/hr.

Dunno that I'd want to leave a little little baby for very long with a teenager, but it would depend on the teenager and their experience. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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What the hell has happened? When I babysat in high school i was paid so little that one time the client paid me in COINS AND POSTAGE STAMPS. And that particular woman had two absolutely insane climbers, one of which was in a bodycast when i started babysitting because she had jumped off the high school bleachers and broken her back.

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:09 pm 
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I charged $5 an hour when I was in high school, which was only slightly below minimum wage at the time, and considering that I wasn't paying taxes on it I figured that was fine. Now that I'm an adult who's CPR and first aid certified and I've got years and years of experience I usually charge at least $12 an hour. $10 if it's only one kid and I know the parent doesn't have a ton of money.

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Continuing the threadjack: The $8-14/hr is definitely a common base rate around here for anyone 18+, with about $2 more per additional kid. It's not unreasonable by any stretch, and the people we've hired have definitely earned it, but it just sets such a high bar for my willingness to get a sitter. We're basically in the same boat as C&S where our house is not really very childproof. It's sort of embarrassing, but because they require drilling holes and I haven't done that yet, we haven't installed the drawer latches on anything, or tip straps. We do have the one kinda unstable bookshelf behind a big babygate fence (along with our wine rack and Christmas tree), and babygate off the area with the cat food and litter (though she can now slide under it backwards if she's really inclined to do so!!) and there are just other random things where if left to her own devices long enough she'll get into stuff. There are doors we keep closed most of the time like bathrooms and the whole back half of the house (due to stairs).

As far as teenagers go, I am sure there are very responsible and capable teens out there, but when I hire someone random off Sitter City I definitely like to have references I can call and someone with a decent amount of experience and familiarity with the 12-18 month age group. I will be the first to admit that I'm clueless with other people's kids (I didn't babysit), but being a parent instantly forces you to be an expert on your own child. And it's hard to convey all that info to anyone while you're getting ready to go somewhere. So the best you can do is look for someone used to being around all kinds of kids and hope that they see the hazards and are vigilant. Though I will readily admit that we have craziness and scares all the time and no age or experience is going to prevent every disaster. Luckily kids are pretty resilient!

I'm pretty frustrated at continued invitations to sort-of-work-related lunch things that require getting a babysitter. If you say "It sounds like fun but I have a toddler so I'll have to pass," they all say "Oh go ahead and bring the baby! I'm getting a sitter because mine won't sit still, but you can bring yours!" kind of things. And it's like, I'm sorry, I'm not going to be the only person trying to quell an active toddler but having lunch at a random non-vegan-friendly place with people I don't know isn't worth the cost and bother of getting a sitter. This has come up twice just this week and there's another one next week, so I'm just venting. I know all this is just pointing at me needing a part time nanny but when I look at it as an hourly expense it just seems easier not to! And I have to convince myself that alone time is important.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I hear you! I used to bring Leela to stuff before she walked when people would say "Oh bring her, we'd LOVE to see her!" And then I'd be the only person trying to feed and entertain her while everyone ignored the two of us. Once we went out with good friends of mine, and I don't think they said one word to her. She loves people, if a strange adult says "Hi!" - she is instantly entertained and charmed.

Now we just don't go anywhere. I have friends come over and I make pancakes or waffles and she plays while we eat.

If I don't want to go, then I don't ever bring up the toddler thing, I just say "Oh we have plans already! Next time!"

I would get a part time nanny if you have a lot of work related stuff to do. And alone time is really important, I hear. Oh man, I get all excited thinking of being able to clean without a small person underfoot. Or being on the phone without someone screaming at me. Or using my credit card without it promptly disappearing (today's fun!).

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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:05 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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annak wrote:
We're basically in the same boat as C&S where our house is not really very childproof. It's sort of embarrassing, but because they require drilling holes and I haven't done that yet, we haven't installed the drawer latches on anything, or tip straps. We do have the one kinda unstable bookshelf behind a big babygate fence (along with our wine rack and Christmas tree), and babygate off the area with the cat food and litter (though she can now slide under it backwards if she's really inclined to do so!!) and there are just other random things where if left to her own devices long enough she'll get into stuff. There are doors we keep closed most of the time like bathrooms and the whole back half of the house (due to stairs).


I'm glad I'm not the only one lax in the child proofing department. I can't really imagine drilling everything in. My place is so small she can't do anything without us being on top of her.


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 Post subject: Re: Climbing Climbers who Climb
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Tofulish wrote:
I would get a part time nanny if you have a lot of work related stuff to do. And alone time is really important, I hear. Oh man, I get all excited thinking of being able to clean without a small person underfoot. Or being on the phone without someone screaming at me. Or using my credit card without it promptly disappearing (today's fun!).


Well the silly thing is that it's not really my work, it's my husband's, and it's not really mandatory stuff, but sometimes it's helpful to be connected. There are a lot of levels - stuff that's just the wardroom (officers on his boat) or the boat, and I try to make it to those because it's important to build good relationships there. And then there's squadron stuff (a small group of other boats - either stuff hosted by the commodore or base commander's wife, or eg a get-together of other wives whose husbands do the same job as mine), naval officers' spouse club stuff (I do almost none of this - this group includes all the local spouses for carriers, destroyers, naval aviators, etc.)..

Tonight I've got an FRG meeting (boat-level spouses' org), where I'll be dropping her off at the child development center first, so expect a sick kid rant in about 36 hours...You've all been warned. ;)


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