Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘babysitter

The Babysitter

with 12 comments

We had received an invitation to dinner at the Consul General’s house, the kind of offer you don’t refuse.* Somehow, we had to find a babysitter. Easy, right? People do that all the time. They go out in the evening, and somebody takes care of the kids and everybody is happy. Well, not with us. It turns out we’ve only used a babysitter once, and that was for a couple of hours in Paris, and Pudding stayed awake the entire time. Usually we emotionally blackmail our friends, but even then we’re talking once every 2-3 months. Between one thing or another, it has been 4 or 5 months since the hubby and I went out.

Spectrummy Daddy found somebody who was game- the adult step-daughter of one of a colleague. They came over the night before to meet the kids. Pudding was cantering in her famous concentric circles around the room. Cubby was hiding behind me making Princess Diana eyes at the ladies.

The Babysitter had facial piercings and tattoos. Of course, Pudding was curious. Upon closer inspection she found that one of the tattoos was of candy and cupcakes. I asked Pudding to stop stroking, then rubbing, then scraping it off, but The Babysitter said it was fine. I’m just glad she didn’t try to lick it. Pudding interacted in her uniquely Pudding way, and the ice was broken. Cubby ventured out too, and Spectrummy Daddy and I breathed a sigh of relief.

We explained how we’d put them to bed before we left, and do our best to make sure they were asleep. If there was the slightest problem, one of us would return. She would arrive early the next evening to get further acquainted before we left.

Pudding was much more reticent when The Babysitter arrived on Friday. I let her draw pictures alone, knowing that she just needed her own time. The Babysitter, Cubby and I played with his trains upstairs. He enjoyed showing off to his new admirer. Pudding came upstairs too to use her swing. I explained how the swinging helps to regulate her. As I’m talking about sensory processing dysfunction, I realize how alien this all must seem. The weighted vest and blanket. The indoor swing. The echolalia. I panic about leaving them, but there is no time for panic.

Spectrummy Daddy returns from work, and we quickly make pizza then I go to get ready. I get them ready for bed, and of course, they’re bouncing off the walls. They’re still awake, but quiet when we slip out and hope for the best.

The dinner is great, and after a while I forget that I’m anxiously waiting for a phone call to tell me to get home. I don’t remember when I last spent so long in exclusively adult company. Too long, clearly. It was a tonic. After an hour or so, Spectrummy Daddy mentioned that there had been no phone calls. I was tempted to stab him with a fork for tempting fate, but I was trying to behave in polite company. Still, no phone call, and eventually it was time to leave.

When we return home, all is quiet. As it happened, they had come downstairs pretty much the moment we left, but armed with pizza and Toy Story, they’d been perfectly content without us, and eventually returned to bed to sleep, after extracting more stories. As I begin to apologize, she stops me with, “No, they were fine, we had a great time!”

But the very best thing about that night? The Babysitter asked us if we’d like her to come again. Yes. Yes, we would. And I’m not waiting 4 or 5 months to do so!

*I like to annoy my husband by misquoting The Godfather, because I’ve never seen it and that irks him no end.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 21, 2011 at 11:46 am