Didja ever see that movie Ice Storm? I love that movie. Baltimore is kind of ice stormy today. Last night I had to chisel away a layer of ice off my windsheild. What? She actually left the house last night? Well, yes, for about ten minutes to drop the car off at the car servicing place down the street for an oil change. Night out on the town! That’s how I live. Rapid et dangereux.
So, right this second, my first, real, PAID babysitter is downstairs with my darling daughters. She is in college and is far more qualified to keep my children safe than I am (CPR? should I know it?). Lives next-door. Nice. My husband figured out last night that she’s probably making more money than I am with a small freelance job I’m doing… hmmm. The most I ever made babysitting when I was in high school, back in the early 1980’s, was TWO DOLLARS AN HOUR. And I had to ask for a raise from the woman whose THREE little kids I was watching to get that much. The young woman downstairs, reading books and playing with the girls is making THIRTEEN DOLLARS MORE per hour than I was when I was in the babysitting bitness. Her incredible pay-rate is partially my own foolish doing. I called her and asked if she might be available to watch Mimi and Beenie this week for a few hours. Asked her how much she charged for two little kids and she said $12/hour. Something snapped in my head when she said that, I felt uncontrollably generous, despite the fact I have absolutely no money to be generous with. I heard myself saying “Let’s make it $15 an hour. They ARE two, after all.” Or something similarly stupid. Incredible. What the fuck came over me? So now, I have to have an uncomfortable follow-up conversation with this young entrepreneur that I am completely insane, and yes, of course I’ll give her what I proposed to give her for today’s session of two hours. But I was not in my right mind when I suggested $15/hour for babysitting services. I will ask her if I can use her services in the future, and take her up on her $12/hour pay rate. I wonder who that person was who stepped in and jacked up the hourly rate for child care. Maybe I have a second personality that is very rich. And to that personality, $15/hour seemed like pennies to my vast wealth. Perhaps I was just so thrilled to hear someone say there were willing to watch my kids, I had a seisure of some kind and went temporarily mad. Quite mad.
I’m listening to WFMU online. So I don’t have to listen to the sounds of childcare. I hear laughing through the headphones, tho, so I guess things are going well. In a way, I’m actually paying someone to write an entry on this here blog. Since I’m not doing anything that earns money. I’M PAYING. It is a small price.