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I have never hired a babysitter. Occasionally, I will plead insanity and convince my mother-in-law to take my children for a few hours so that I can drag my poor exhausted husband out for a date night. This is a rare event for a variety of reasons, but mainly because something about being at the grandparents’ house gives my children a false sense of freedom from civility.
I decided that it is high time to hire some help. I want to have a magical number on speed dial that when pressed will summon a magical figure that can reliably and responsibly watch over my children (and house) for a few hours at a time.
If I had to create an ad it might look like this:
WANTED: Babysitter On Demand
Stay-at-home mother of two wild heathens under the age of five is seeking a multifaceted professional childcare provider. Must have reliable car and willingness to commute on the scariest and least maintained rural roads ever encountered. A cheery disposition and flexible nature are required. Compensation will be negotiated based on experience.
1. Ability to take a punch (or Kung-Fu kick.)
2. Can juggle chainsaws while spitting fireballs into the pool.
3. Speaks fluent Whine-ese, Sass-Mouth, and Mom-Voice.
4. Possesses talent for the Evil Mom Glare.
5. Willingness to be a referee for chasing games, super hero jumping off the couch games, and climb on the dog and shriek YEEE HAW!! games.
6. Has no ethical problems with lying to children in order to get them to eat their dinner (you will shrink if you don’t!), brush their teeth (your teeth will fall out if you don’t!), or go to bed (your brain will forget that it likes chocolate if you don’t…oh, wait, you should totally stay up so I can eat your chocolate!)
7. Knows how to fly or run faster than a Cheetah.
8. Can burp the alphabet.
9. Can talk in rhymes or song or in a high-pitched screechy voice that makes the dogs run and hide in the bathroom.
10. Will remain calm after being asked the same question 53 times in row.
11. Can handle watching the movie Frozen (ear plugs are in the dining room next to the wine…obviously don’t drink the wine, that’s mine.)
12. Is best friends with Elmo, Caillou, Peppa Pig, or some other deeply irritating children’s TV or book character.
13. Upper body strength a must as you will likely be dangling two children from your shoulders or arms at any given time. Also, they might climb you like a tree.
14. Does not bruise easy, take toddler shenanigans personally, and can keep a straight face when the four-year-old tells you that his poop is bigger than yours.
15. Can totally handle my 8 phone calls to just check in or my mother-in-law calling and chatting away for 30 minutes while you try your best not to lose my kids (or your shit.)
16. Breath that doesn’t smell like onions.
17. Fart contests don’t offend you.
18. Can read the same children’s story over and over without going numb.
19. Is willing work evenings and weekends.
20. Will not be offended when it takes me an extra 45 minutes to leave because I’m obviously second-guessing myself for hiring you in the first place.
This is a totally reasonable list… right? What’s on your list?
*This piece originally appeared on Scary Mommy by Sarah Cottrell and can be viewed here.