Speaking of babysitting

The previous post got me to thinking about something. When I was a kid, my parents rarely went out. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until my younger brother went to school full time and my dad, a teacher, taught full time and then had a part-time after school teaching job. He also sponsored part of the Science Olympiad team and the fencing team so he worked a lot. And that doesn’t include time spent at home grading papers and setting lesson plans. So evenings and weekends were largely spent at home, either doing stuff around the house or seeing us kids or just resting. One the rare nights that they did go out, they hired a babysitter. For awhile this was our neighbor, Linda, who was like a big sister to me. She was very Elisabeth Shue in my eyes. My brother and I LOVED it when Linda came to sit. There were a few other sitters in the neighborhood that would rotate in if Linda was busy. They were cool too, but they didn’t play Voltron like Linda did.

It seems to me now, though, that sitters are a rare thing. When we go out to dinner there are always tons of kids, even in fancier places that I wouldn’t dream of taking a kid to. When we were little, the only places we’d get to eat out at were McDonalds, or places like TGI Fridays or Pondarosa. Am I the only one who’s noticed the presence of kids everywhere? Or am I just a non-kid having curmudgeon?

Incidentally, what do babysitters get paid these days? I made a whopping $1 an hour. And when I bumped it to $2 for families with more kids/babies WHEW did I get some complaints. (Really people? Paying a 14 year old kid a dollar to watch your baby seems unreasonable?)

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