Adventures in Babysitting

When my girls began babysitting I set them up with a little business plan. 
This included how to stay in contact with parents properly, how hard they need to work when they’re not looking after the kids, how repeat customers are worth giving a break to, and how Venue people get the best rates because serving is important and family is family. 
Now it should be mentioned a buddy from Venue needed a sitter last week for the very first time with their newish boy and was asking about how old a babysitter should be in regards to my daughters and the age of his child. I responded very confidently then made the mistake of asking Erin about it. 
She just looked at me and said “Their baby is really little, babe. Maybe you should have him contact me instead, seeing as how you haven’t babysat in awhile…:)”
Fair enough. One could almost argue I’ve never really sat on babies. 
Once I looked after my boss’s daughter while they went to dinner in the city after I was done work on the farm. She’d finally met her match in me though because:
A. I was more stubborn than she was, and B. I didn’t know what I was doing. 
She was a bit spoiled and ran that whole house so I thought I’d do my best to give them an hour where the child Nazi’s powers couldn’t wreck their evening. 
First thing she asked/demanded when I arrived: 
“I miss my mom! I want to call her!!!”
Me “She literally left five minutes ago! Is something wrong?”
Her: “I MISS MY MOM!!!”
(I’ll bet she doesn’t miss YOU I thought…)
“I don’t think we’re going to call her, just relax and we’ll do something fun!” 
Well clearly the Tyrant had never been spoken to like that and started screaming. 
And screaming And screaming. 
I sat on the couch beside her and blinked a few times. Screaming about NOT breaking your arm riding your bike wasn’t a thing in the Kope home. In fact I can’t recall screaming in anger about anything lest mom utter the most terrifying words in the English language:
“Wait til your dad gets home!”
THAT’ll stop a scream before it gets out. The invocation of the name of “Dad” had a magical way of restoring order before things were said, screamed, or done that couldn’t be undone. 
Let’s call it Regret Prevention…
Neither mom or dad did deals with terrorists. 
As I was sitting and blinking she kept looking over to see if I had caved in yet, but my brain just couldn’t cross the divide into making the phone call (and to be honest I didn’t particularly feel like giving ground to a crazed child), so I just sat there. 
For like an hour. 
Granted I had no idea what I was doing, but I was curious how long she could keep it up. 
She screamed for the entire time. 
“You monster!! You’ll never babysit our kids!!!”
Good. I’ve met your kids. (Kidding, I’m sure they’re great but that doesn’t mean I want to be left alone with them:)
The farm mom and dad returned after a lovely evening out to a hoarse child and deaf employee. “Why didn’t you just call us?” she said. 
“Well, there wasn’t anything wrong?”
They looked at each other as if it was the first time someone had suggested that (it was:). She walked over and picked up her child (who stopped screaming like when a light switch gets turned off), and hopefully had a revelation about parenting. 
I was probably the strongest willed child a family could have, but my parents gave me the gift of unconditional love and conditional acceptance. 
I preach a lot about what society tells us, and that’s that acceptance should be conditional or it’s not love. 
This is a terrifying reality when a child wakes up in the game where mom and/ or dad have to agree with every silly emotion or decision they make or they’re not loved??
Man, give that leverage to two year old Corey and watch what happens! 
I’d go so far to say that when all behaviour is accepted, love itself because very conditional. Then we ask people to accept “all of us!” as opposed to the best version and never separate good US from the us we hate. 
My dad would love me no matter what, but if I wanted to eat and live indoors I certainly couldn’t act like an animal. There were conditions! Just try being rude to mom and see what happens!
That’s what made them terrific parents who raised boys who are good members of society and not psychos. 
One of my girls awhile back tried to push Erin out of her room. “Mom! Don’t come into my room!!!”
I overheard and walked over. 
“WHO’S ROOM??” I asked quietly. 
I then gave her the gift of explaining how rooms in our house worked…
“This is your mom’s room baby, that’s your mom’s bed, your mom’s shower, your mom’s desk. Heck, your underpants belong to her but she lets you wear them. You eat her food. Everything here belongs to mom:)”
“Oh” she said. 
Problem fixed! One less future adult living day to day thinking the world owes them something because they have a pulse.
“How did you know what to do??” you might ask. 
I’d maybe heard it before…

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