I need a good babysitter. Do you know anyone?
No. I do not—find your own dang sitter! Every family has a closely guarded secret known as the “sitter.” If you have sitter problems, it’s fine to discuss them in public (my sitter isn’t available, my sitter is a quitter, my sitter sleeps the entire time), but don’t even think about asking for a lead if you need a new sitter. You’ll get a variety of answers such as, “Have you tried asking family?” “I hear Commercial Street is a fine place to drop off your kids for an hour or two,” or “I let my kids run around at the airport when we go out to dinner.” That’s followed up with a quick, “Oh, gotta go! My phone is ringing,” coupled with a fast sprint away from the conversation.
Parents can be ruthless when it comes to guarding their sitter sources. A good babysitter is a portal to the world parents once knew before procreation. Sitters serve as a relief valve, a two-hour salve of salvation, an escape from the world of responsibility. Don’t blame your fellow child-rearing cohorts. Parents have developed this self-preservation survival skill. Blame yourself for asking. It’s literally akin to asking a chef for a prized recipe. If a sitter source is revealed, family lives could be drastically plunged into chaos should a bidding war erupt over availability and per-hour fees. If you do happen to find a super-sitter, do your best to discourage them from higher education goals, marriage or ever leaving your side for the next 10 to 12 years.
School is out. what should I plan for the kids this summer?
If you’re just now asking this question, woe unto you. There are a variety of options to choose from: summer school programs, weeklong camps and even shipping your kids to a relative’s house for the summer. If you, as the child’s parental unit, are indeed working during the day, try to advocate for a “bring your child to work month.” Or shoot for a communal co-worker purchase of a souped-up recreational vehicle outfitted with Wi-Fi and iPads to park outside of the office. Employers might even be interested in investing in an above-ground pool in the parking lot to keep kids entertained. Parents could watch while on break and enjoy the peace of mind.
Once you get the weekdays down, the weekends should be a no-brainer. Get outdoors, unplug and enjoy the wonderful Ozarks. If you do go down the RV route, allocate and share weekends with your co-worker families to drive that baby till the wheels fall off.