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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Babysitter wanted. Pulse required.

I'm in desperate need of a babysitter to watch the kids tomorrow all day and in the morning on Friday. I've called and e-mailed six different sorority girls I've never met whose names came from a neighbor, hoping to find someone who can babysit.

Once upon a time -- back when I only had one child and was more, let's say "uptight," finding a babysitter would have gone something like this:

"So Miss Babysitter, I'm interested in possibly having you babysit for my Precious Dear. What is your major? Do you have much babysitting experience? Are you active in a mainstream church? Do you have any tattoos or piercings beyond your ears? Are you certified in CPR and first aid? Can you provide three references? What is your babysitting philosophy with regards to playtime and outdoor activities?"

Anyone who passed that rigorous examination would be invited to come spend a few hours with Precious while I was at home so that I could observe the interaction, Precious could get to know Miss Babysitter, and I could ask a few more questions.

"What are the top 10 choking foods for toddlers? Do you know when to administer syrup of Ipecac? Can you recognize poison ivy? Do you know how to sterilize a pacifier that's been dropped on the floor? What is the most number of consecutive times you've read Goodnight Moon?"

In the spirit of continuous process improvement, I have, over time, tweaked my babysitter interview questions. After all, I have the benefit of several years of experience as a mother, so I've refined the process to cover that which is most relevant.

"Do you have any felony charges pending against you? Are you available? You're hired."


Brenda said...

What a great blog! I love the fact that you have 'softened' your babysitter questions. It is not unlike my dating questions for potential suitors. At one point I needed to know his Myers Briggs score and whether he believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Then I moved into two simple requirements -- could he inhale AND exhale. Now I settle for one of the two.