Caught Cheating

We use a babysitting service to get babysitters for the kids. We don't go out that much, but when we do I usually forget to schedule someone until the last minute. When I call the service they always treat me like it's totally normal that I waited that long to call them. We have always been very happy with the caregivers they've sent to us.

Since we've moved to our new house we've had several different sitters. King kept saying he didn't like them, but we were starting to wonder if maybe it was the whole idea of a babysitter that he didn't like. We decided to have the sitter loosen-up the rules a bit, extend his bed-time a little, and instruct her to play some games with him after Michael went to bed.

It worked. After we implemented the new instructions, King said that he liked her. Not only did she play games with him, but she played three games with him, plus she cleaned and did the dishes. Everybody was happy.

We requested to have the same sitter come back and scheduled her for Wednesday and Saturday. When we talked to King on Thursday morning we asked him how it went with the sitter. He said it was great.

"Michael and I even got to play upstairs alone," he added.

"Where was the babysitter?" we asked.


"What was she doing?"

"Watching T.V."

"How long were you and Michael up there alone?"

"I don't know... 10 minutes."

King has a very poor understanding of time. For example, when he asks how long until something happens and we say something like "two hours," he'll ask "how many minutes is that?"

"120 minutes."

"How many minutes is that?"

"120 minutes."

"How long is that?"

"It's 120 minutes. I don't know what else to tell you."

Once I tried to explain it to him in terms he'd understand. I pointed out that one Spongebob cartoon was 15 minutes long, so 120 minutes would be like watching 8 Spongebobs. He said, "Spongebob is on?"

Needless to say, we were skeptical of our source, but 10 minutes could have been 60 minutes as easily as it could have been 2 minutes. We decided that although we weren't sure enough about what happened to confront the babysitter or inform the agency, we felt uncomfortable enough about it to cancel her for Saturday night. I called the agency and instructed them to cancel the first babysitter and find us a new one.

The new babysitter called about a half-hour before she was to arrive to get directions. Right on time, the door bell rang. I opened the door to find... babysitter #1, the one we had supposedly cancelled.

"Didn't the agency call you to cancel?"


Right about this time, I saw babysitter #2 parking across the street.

I thought if I could just get rid of babysitter #1 before babysitter #2 started coming toward the house, I  might be able to get out of this.

Babysitter #1 is understandably perturbed that she drove all the way over here for nothing and asks if she can use our phone RIGHT THEN to call the agency.

"Uhhh... Well...."

Babysitter #2 was getting out of her car.

She must have seen by my face that I didn't like that idea and offered, "I'll call when I get home."

"Yes. Good. I'll call too. I'm sorry. Bye."

As I closed the front door, I saw babysitter #2 crossing the street in front of our house.

I ran to the back room yelling, "Curtis! Curtis! It was the old sitter at the door and the new sitter just pulled up! Go look and see if they're talking. Oh... this is sooo terrible!"

I peaked around the corning and saw BOTH babysitters walking up to the door TOGETHER! I ran back again.

"Oooooh, Curtis! They're both coming to the door. I can't deal with this. You go talk to them."

Curtis handled the situation as smoothly as possible, telling babysitter #1 that King said he felt a little uncomfortable with her. This was, of course, a total LIE. First, King would never use the word "uncomfortable" and second, King thought being upstairs alone with Michael was the greatest. When we told him we were getting a new sitter he protested, "No! I liked that one!"  Though I think the truth would have hurt more, I doubt our fabrication made her feel like babysitter of the year, making 5-year-olds "uncomfortable."

When Curtis had whittled the crowd down to a manageable one babysitter, I came out of hiding.

"I'm so sorry about that. I feel like I just had two dates show up on prom night."

After all that, I'm sure she was just so excited to work for us.