Everyone’s got at least one babysitting horror story
When you’re thirteen years old there’s a small but very definite list of things that you hate with ferocious intensity: homework and rules.
That means there are few worse things to be told when you’re 13 than, “Do your homework!” Especially by someone who is being paid to look after you.
But that’s exactly what happened in California this week, where according to Gawker a 13 year old boy threatened his babysitter with a kitchen knife when she asked, more than once, if he’d started his homework.
Let’s be clear about this: homework might be a pain in the behind, but babysitting is no piece of cake either.
As anyone with experience in babysitting will tell you, everything is just fine until the front door shuts. The house is full of light and air, the kids are quiet and say hello to you. The parents, so happy and grateful for the opportunity to be leaving the house, can’t seem to thank you enough. Even the dog is wagging its tail outside the back door.
But then the parents leave and that’s when things start to get real. As the babysitter you’re not the boss. No matter how many lists the parents write out for you or how many times the hallowed bedtime is spoken about, once that car is out of the driveway, you and the kids know, pretty much none of that stuff will happen.
Here’s what happens instead. The television goes on and it goes up. The children, only moments before pleasant enough, lie on the floor and completely ignore any of your requests to do anything. Bedtime is completely irrelevant and invariably the dog starts running around the house or sitting on the couch with muddy paws.
And that’s how things will stay until hours later when you’re woken by the sound of the car coming up the driveway. You open your eyes to find the kids fallen asleep on the floor, and suddenly for the first time that night, you’re a team with a clear mission: don’t tell mum and dad.
Everyone makes a desperate scramble up from the floor and scoot to their beds in record time. Even the dog’s ears prick up as you manage to drag him out the back door.
The parents walk in, a little bit flushed and drunk, and you look them in the eye and lie barefaced: “Yep, they went to bed at 9pm”.
And when the door shuts behind you, and you’re clutching those twenty dollar notes in your hand, everyone knows you’ll be back.
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