Perhaps I should rename this blog "The Diary of Debbie Downer". Maybe it is just easier to write when I'm in a sour mood. I apologize. For those of you who would prefer a peppy positive take on life, I know there are plenty of mommy blogs out there for you.
I guess that I'm on a roll. First on my list was Mr. Pickles. Now we can add "Bertha" the babysitter. I am calling her Bertha to protect her identity, while I am sure she doesn't read my blog, you just never know who does.
Bertha has babysat for us probably about 6-7 times over the course of the past year. She works at my son's preschool, which is how I met her. She is a fine older lady. Not the spry, energetic type my children would prefer, but rather the trustworthy person who you hire to watch the munchkins for an hour or two before bedtime. She feeds them, sticks them in front of the TV for a half an hour, then tucks them into bed.
I'll be honest. I have always been slightly dissatisfied with her services. For $15/hour, you think she could give the boys a bath before settling on our sofa to watch Dateline until we arrive home. Nope. No bath. Cleaning up after herself also doesn't seem to be a strength. One night we arrived home to not only a mess of dirty dishes, but a full pan of almost untouched lasagna sitting on the counter. It had been there since I removed it from the oven upon her arrival, five hours ago. The lasagna, needless to say, went in the trash. I don't know why I kept calling her. Maybe because finding a new sitter is so much work, and at least I knew Bertha would show up.
Well today was the final straw. This camel's back is broken. I can take no more. Goodbye Bertha. True, I may be over-reacting, but I'm not feeling very well, so cut me a little slack.
Tonight, at this very moment I am suppose to be in San Francisco with my husband at The World Series! The hubs scored tickets from a generous vendor, and I was invited to attend. Now, I am not a huge baseball fan, but I do enjoy a game, the crowds, the junk food, the beer, it's a good time. And The World Series? That has to be one heck of a party. Bertha was scheduled to babysit. But here is the problem. I am sick. Sick-sick. Too sick to go out and have fun, even if it means that I am stuck at home with rowdy kids. So I called Bertha with the news this morning. Bertha was not happy. Bertha was not shy about her feelings. Bertha went on and on about how she had just turned down another job and how she had planned on working tonight.
Okay, before you think I am totally heartless, to some extent I get it. She was planning on making $60.00 tonight for sitting on her butt watching TV in my living room. Maybe she had that money ear-marked. But it isn't as if I have ever cancelled on her before. It isn't as if this is her regular job. I am not her employer.
What really ticked me off? The fact that she didn't have an ounce of sympathy for me. Did she think I was lying? Did she think that I decided that it would be more fun to stay at home eating saltine crackers than going to see the ball game that everyone is talking about?
In the end I asked her if she wanted me to pay her for a portion of what she would have received tonight. Her words? "You just have to do what you think is right." I gave her a check for $45.00. You can be damn sure that was the last dollar she is going to earn from me.
Maybe I am not being fair. Maybe it is common practice to pay a sitter when you cancel on them. Perhaps I just have some pent up anger about the lack-luster job she does for us, and some general dissatisfaction with the way this evening turned out.
What do you think?