My kids used to be clingers. I couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't leave them, ever. When my husband and I would go out (about once every three months) we had to have an elaborate ritual, where the babysitter would come and stay while we were home for about and hour. Then my husband and I would put the girls to bed, by ourselves. Then we'd sneak out like teenagers, and hope we didn't wake them up.
Not much babysitting involved, right?
Thankfully, they've outgrown this stage. Well, it's a combination of getting older, and the fact that we have an amazing weekend babysitter, Rachel.
She is just so excellent. She relates to the girls on a childlike level, playing with them endlessly, her imagination never running out. She redirects effortlessly, and can make up solutions that the girls find viable on the spot. (Last time we came home, the girls told me that she put fairies in their room to keep them safe at night. They were all about it.)
It's at the point where they love her. I mean, really. They love Rachel. They've seen her maybe five times in their whole lives. (We don't get out much.)
Which is great, fantastic, really. It's important to me that I leave the girls with someone they'll have fun with and with someone who can take control if necessary. That's the only reason I can go to the gym twice a week. The girl who comes to sit for me in the afternoons when I go is completely competent and the girls like her. Unfortunately for me, both Brittany and Rachel are leaving after this summer. So I have two problems.
The first is: where am I going to find new babysitters? Silly college students, all graduating and stuff.
The second is: my kids are absolute hellions for days after an evening babysitting session. I am so uncool compared to Rachel. They'll tell me all about myself. I've even gotten, "Mama, I love Rachel, not you."
And their attitudes, don't get me started. All of a sudden, I'm faced with two queen bees, insistent that they are the ones in charge. I don't know why. Maybe because Rachel does such a good job making her world all about them when she comes. Maybe because she's so good at redirection (I'm not particularly good at this one, myself), that they feel like they don't need to hear the word no anymore.
All I know is that the past few times we've had a sitter, I've had to deal with the aftermath for days.
And then they ask for her again!
Tantrum, tantrum, tantrum, cry over something stupid, throw a fit, yell at mommy.
"Hey, can Rachel come over again?"
I'm like, "How about no? You've been acting out since the last time she came over."
Tantrum, cry, gripe, yell, ignore mommy.
"We'll be good, we promise."
My birthday is coming up, and we'll probably go out again. This time, I'll be paying close attention and warn them beforehand. No attitude after that night.
I'm sure that will work.
Like the slingshot against Goliath, right?