Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sitter Stuff

So my new sitter is (dare I say it? Dare I jinx it?!?) Amazing. She has it all together. She is kind with the kids and yet doesn't let them walk all over her. She knows what's what. Plus she's smart and sweet. (Ok, I came home and she had eaten the last piece of bread and I had nothing to make the boys lunch with.... but they ate crackers and I got more bread...)

Old sitter (the 16 year old) trained her. She's still in the picture, helping out when needed. That has worked out really well, since she lives in the neighborhood and has the same school schedule as the boys. Plus she likes to be with them and they like to be with her. We've even invited her & her brother & sister to Nathan's birthday party. All's good with that.

The one I just fired... well.... Oy. She IM's me nearly every day. She was going to go to Hawaii for a (babysitting!!) job but was dissuaded because the mother who was going to hire her is a pot smoking, Ecstasy using, Passion Party throwing stripper - who told her within 2 hours of knowing her that she thinks her mother is Satan and that she was raped as a child. And not that there's anything WRONG with each of those things in and of themselves... but thrown together. In Hawaii. Far away. Hmmm.... let's think here for a second...

She kept asking me if she should go.. and I gave her questions to ask them (and herself) until finally she told me that she had decided to go. I told her that she should talk to her FRIENDS about it. (Maybe I'm too old to give this sort of advice? I've lost that "adventure" edge? I'm too careful?) They told her no. She's not going.

But here's the thing that's on my mind. She went for a job interview here in NYC the other day. Two kids: 8 & 13. The mother called last night for a reference & I haven't called her back yet. I'm really starting to think that it's more than just my experience with her.. that maybe she doesn't really have the good judgement to watch kids? But maybe because these kids are older it'll be ok?

One (cold) weekend, in December when I picked the kids up at X's I noticed Max wasn't wearing his winter jacket. Just a sweatshirt. When sitter brought them to meet X on Friday they couldn't find his winter jacket right away, they were running late - so left without it. Left. Without. It. In December. My apartment is not that big...the jacket was there. Somewhere. (Actually, when I came back it was right there on the floor of his room...)

I said to sitter: "Why did you let him go - a WHOLE WEEKEND - without his jacket...? YOU are the 'boss'. YOU are responsible."

That was, honestly, the only instance where I really had a problem with her judgement (related to my kids!). And I'm thinking that with this family.. if the kids are older... it'll be ok... Right?

Shit. I've never given a bad reference.. but I'm just not sure I can whole heartedly recommend her.. now that I know so much more about her judgement...

Thoughts? Am I being too harsh because I know too much of her outside life? Should I just focus on how she was within the confines of just being my sitter? Do I tell about the jacket issue? I feel like I have more of an allegiance to a fellow mother... but again... I've never given a bad reference... her kids are older...

Going round in circles now. Maybe I'll figure it out in the shower.


Julie Pippert said...

This is a tough one, but I don't think you should give a good reference if you feel it is dishonest.

Good luck.

And wahoo the new sitter is good!!!

Gwen said...

Yay for the good new sitter. About the old sitter: wouldn't you want to know the truth about someone you were considering to care for your kids? Right?

G4 said...

If you don't have the heart to divulge your misgivings, feel free to send me the contact info for the prospective employer. I'll just quote them excerpts from your post on December 19.

She makes you uncomfortable. She made your ex-sitter and your ex-sitter's mom uncomfortable. Your friends commented on it too. Most importantly, she made your son feel unsafe. Um, yeah, other than that, she was fine. The whole reason people check references is to find out stuff like that.

Very glad the new one is working out.