Do you remember the big bad I Said No*? I was thinking about him this week because I took a babysitting job for a friend with 2 kids. A friend who is a sterling bloke but who is a little bit held to ransom by is adorable 2 year old. You know the kind of ransom right? The kind where the real kind of I Said No isn’t actually interpreted as authentic… so the little fella gives maw and paw the run around…
Anyway last week Ah So asked if I still do the sitting on babies thing. Of course I said yes (I’ve got to pay for the trip to the US somehow – Did I tell you about that yet?), nearly made him choke on the price and once he’d got his breath back told him I’d be delighted to mind the little ‘uns.
The reason they picked me over the usual suspects is that the regular sitters are all family members and the big gig for Saturday night was a family one. So, Ah So was worried about the fact that Cue plays up for them and wanted someone slightly familiar who would be able to deal with Cue’s shennaigans…
A little tacker like that calls for the Babysitting Bag.
The Babysitting Bag is a beyootiful big shiny bag filled up with all the sorts of books and games and toys that tantilize the inquiring minds of the under threes. The BB teases and tortures because it is totally out of bounds until Mummy and Daddy have disentangled themselves from the arms of their precious little cling on and gone their way in [relative] peace. The BB is Bribery Central.
Well, I approached the house in anticipation of having all the tricks pulled… the Mummy Daddy don’t leave me trick, the I need a drink/cookie/blanky trick, the I’m scared/’thirsty tricks, the long, precise and convoluted trick of the bedtime usual routine and finally the best trick of all, the screaming at the top of my lungs trick.
And I didn’t get a single one. This was a total no-tears gig.
There was the threat of tears when Mummy and Dad hovered a little too long in the kitchen more worried than I that the fireworks were about to start, and at that point I came very close to the “Scoot now, while he’s distracted speech” carefully screening the exasperation before giving them the boot… and they left the house, and out came the BB and without blinking Cue was one happy camper.
Totally happy… No Tears. Not even one…
It was a trouble free evening. Not even a peep at bed time.
I love that.
And I love it even more that I’m now being touted around their [very nice] neighbourhood that I’m the babysitting equivalent of flavour of the month… and before the week was out I’d picked up a new job for Sunday around the corner and between the Ah So family referrals and the agency I’m laughing all the way to Asheville, NC.
*The Big Bad I Said No was a character in a BBC Kids Show called Stoppit and Tidy UP. It only ran one season and it must have been round ’88 when I was living over there. Narrated by Terry Wogan it was delightful… so delightful I’ve ordered the DVD… I know, tragic…
Kids just know how to press their parents’ buttons, and sounds like this 2 year old is an expert! We’ve got a friend like that; her little boy even made it to the Kiwi version of Supernanny he was such a handful, but when he’s away from her he’s an angel.
US, huh! Tell us more…