Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Adventures in Babysitting

It has been quite a while since I have been on the hunt for a job. Seven years if the truth be known. It is something I am looking forward to, new challenges, new landscape, learning something different. In a sense reinventing myself. I am happy to be leaving this job. I am bored, uninspired, and operating on auto pilot and have been for some time. A change is welcome.  Yet I find I must put the job search on hold for the time being. I have found that it is near impossible to achieve the objective, secure a job, when you are 300 miles away. It is too stressful. I made the decision to wait. Until mid-August! I feel like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I am free for the summer! I have some major plans in the works on how to spend my time. It is going to be wonderful.

And so here goes....my summer series "GIRL FOR HIRE"

JOB EXPERIENCE: Job Description: will babysit for room and board. Age requirement: none.

I was the oldest of six children. My two younger sisters were born in the mid to late 1960's, so they were almost like another generation to the three boys and myself.

Since I was the oldest, I was responsible to keep an eye on my younger siblings when necessary. My mother was the head Librarian at the County Library. She did most everything from home, but on Saturdays she worked the entire day at the downtown building. This was the late 1950's early '60's. We were a one car family.

When we were very young, I was in second grand, N. in 1st, T. was in line waiting to go into school and P. was a toddler...we all had chicken pox. Dad left me in charge while he went to bring my Mother home. In the spirit of a child's world, minutes seem like an eternity. My little spots were bothering the heck out of me, and since I was in charge I requested my brother N. climb up on top of the stove and open the cabinet above and grab the bottle of calamine lotion.

Naturally, he fell. He was crying, but that was nothing new, N. was a cry baby back then. When Dad arrived home N. was taken into the bedroom and his arm examined. I will never forget, one of those moments burned into my memory, my father holding his arm and trying to straighten it out and N.'s blood curdling screams.

He had a broken arm. But not just any old type of broken arm, his required surgery. And he had a case of chicken pox. Could it get any worse? Yes,we all got measles right in the middle of N's recuperation.

Did this stop my Mother from putting me in charge of the kids? No! Never!

I then went on to actually baby sit for money at the age of 12. 50 cents an hour! Actually it was not that bad, a 16 magazine was 25 cents, a 45 rpm record was around 79 cents to 99 cents. A pack of cigarettes was 25 cents out of the machine at Wilson's Drugs. (How did I know that?)

Babysitting was the first a very long string of occupations, jobs, hard labor and professions I have held over the years.


my78novata said...

ah I remember 45 rpm's LOL long ago hum are we going backwards with CD's LOL

sistercdr said...

Just think, now (at least in Tennessee), 12 year olds can't babysit.  A child has to be 14 before they can stay alone with adult supervision by the law.  Good luck with the job search.

nellemclaughlin said...

I was the next to the oldest of five. (My mother had 2 miscarriages or we would have had 7 kids). Of course my oldest brother was incompetent so I was the sitter. I also had a baby brother and sister born in the 60s. I remember feeling as though I was a teenage mother at times. I was in 6th grade preparing bottles of baby formula. Like you I have an only child. I never got paid for babysitting. My mother was a stay at home who just delegated a lot of the childcare and housework. I have been out of work for 2 yrs now because of medical problems but will be returning to work when I can find a job. It's strange not to work and there are aspects of it I miss. Enjoy your time off! Nelle

jtuwliens said...

Unless you truly enjoy the challenge of babysitting, I recommend taking your much deserved holiday and enjoy yourself by doing "me-things."  Heck...these days, nuclear physics would be less challenging than babysitting!

yakima127 said...

How DID you know how much cigs were?  I am looking ofrward to this series...sounds like a blast!  I am glad you have decided to take a break!  Speaking of break, that poor little child with a broken arm AND the chicken pox!!!  JAE

ryanagi said...

Heh...I think I've done a post or two on my checkered career path. This is a good idea. I started out with babysitting too.

ksquester said...

Don't forget you could buy a coke (coca cola) for a nickle too!   Anne

mom23nca said...

When I tell my daughter I babysat for 50 cents an hour she has a coronary.  

emfeasel said...

..babysitters today are making upwards of ten dollars an hour and then some!!..eeks..yay you get the summer..yay, yay, yay!....I agree it's better this way...landing a job is stressful, being three hundred miles away just adds to the stress...I hope you have one HOT (fun) summer.....good stuff!....E

sunnyside46 said...

you must be able to take on anything now, after that beginning!

martinsek5 said...

Love this story, and the picture.  Cigarettes 25 cents!  WOW.

suzypwr said...

Yeah, 50 cents an hour, I did that, too! Do you remember when cigarettes in the machines were a quarter, but there were 3 pennies taped to the packs? I remember my parents getting them like that.


lisaram1955 said...

I started babysitting at 11.  One of the kids I was "sitting" on was only a year younger than me.  I have to say, I was a very mature 11-year-old...but still, what was that mother thinking?  Oh, well...with my fifty cents an hour I was able to start buying my own clothes.  Mom had a rule:  If she paid for them, she got to pick them out.  I couldn't start making money fast enough!  Lisa  :-]  http://journals.aol.com/mlraminiak/ComingtotermswithMiddleAge/  

blondepennierae said...

I loved this entry.  It brought back some vivid memories.  I was the oldest and the resident babysiter too.  I hope you have a great summer.  Pennie  

deabler3 said...