Thursday, 26 April 2007

Babysitter Blues

When our kids were very small, H and I hardly ever went out in the evenings. There were good reasons for this – mostly to do with chronic fatigue, but also because going out seemed to require mammoth organisational effort. Quite frankly, there was nothing I wanted to do enough, to make it worth the hassle. Instead it was considered a romantic Saturday night if I managed to stay awake for at least half an hour after finishing the Chinese takeaway.

Like many families, we live a long way away from our relatives, and we were also unduly fretful about leaving our small children with someone they didn’t know. As a result, we either went out separately, or if the occasion demanded that we had to attend together, we would get a grandparent to come over and stay for a few days. Facing my mother-in-law at 1am with a skinful is almost as bad as facing her at 8am with the hangover from hell. Maybe not.

H used to say that it was “better a strange relative than a relative stranger” when it came to babysitting, but I think that was before he realised quite how strange some of my family were. We eventually graduated onto a very competent babysitter, who was a trained nanny, and coped with the kids better than I did.

The reason I am remembering all this is because I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time today trying to find a babysitter for this weekend. Whereas in the past, all candidates had to be checked by Interpol, my requirements have slackened alarmingly in a very short space of time. So, the qualified thirty-something nanny can’t make it? How about her twenty-something younger sister who helps out with the brownie pack? No, well what about her 18 year old friend, who likes kids, and only smokes the occasional joint? Busy, OK, what about her 15 year old smackhead brother, who is awaiting his court appearance for arson? He’s free! Great, send him round! The kids have been waiting for someone to play with the Chemistry Set!

I can’t seem to kick my Chablis habit at the moment. I’m drinking some Marks and Spencer Chablis, but I’ve no idea how much it costs, since the bottle was a gift from a friend. I’m not sure I like it quite as much as the Tesco Finest Chablis, but that’s not going to stop me putting a few glasses of it down my neck.

I still don’t have a babysitter for Saturday, so instead of going to the glamorous grown-up dinner party, it looks like we’ll be back to the days of the living room sofa and the Chinese takeaway. At least I can guarantee that I’ll be drinking a wine I like.

11 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh dear!

Are you offering the right inducements - when I was teenager, I always enjoyed babysitting at the places where they bought good chocolate biscuits. (We used to take our own wine as we weren't legal).

I was also a fan of children who went to bed and stayed there while you watched the latest horror video you'd brought with you...

Stay at home dad said...

You don't really want to go out surely? When would you do your blogging? Give in to Casualty and a Tesco curry.

rilly super said...

drunkmummy, you may well be aware that the UK is the largest export market for chablis, but have you considered that you may be personally responsible for that statistic? Chabis traditionally accompanys shellfish and lobster so what could possibly go better with your sweet and sour prawn balls dear. I just hope nobody ever realises it is chardonnay grapes that go into it or the council estates will echo to the calls of 'oi, yer tea's ready Chablis!' and it will be just too embarassing to ask for in oddbins anymore, sigh


M&M, you're not still available are you? Not sure we have many horror movies for you, although I think we might have 'shaun of dead' knocking around somewhere and there are always some of the children's early school plays on video as well, but they are more in the disaster movie genre.

Rob said...

Going out's over-rated. If you stay in you can start drinking on the dot of six and move easily through bath and books - a nice glass of something cold and fizzy goes well with the three hundredth read of Gruffalo's Child, Hug or Mr Beast, I find - then you're primed and ready for a serious liver-full with no time wasted in cabs etcetc. And, yes, Stay At Home Dad, there's always Casualty too.

The Grocer said...

At least you get to watch Dr Who... and I'm upset with Rilly Super as we have now had to strike our chosen girl's ame off of the list due to his caustic comments, back to the drawing board, although any boy will still be Grigio.

Beta Mum said...

Surely you won't be wanting to miss CSI on a Saturday?
We have teenagers living next door to us. Unfortunately they do have social lives of their own, but there are three of them so there's normally one kicking their heels.
Have you looked on Facebook for a local student in need of cash for a cocaine habit?

Drunk Mummy said...

M&M - a very good point! Maybe my offer of a can of Tizer and some Porky Scratchings has not been the greatest incentive.

SAHD - Casualty always puts me off my food (but never off my wine, of course!)

Rilly darling -I have always thought that "Shiraz" is a much nicer name than "Shaz."

Hello Rob!
Its strange, isn't it - the more you drink, the better children's books become. Although I have never managed to get rat-arsed enough to see the point of the Mr Men books.

Grocer - what do you mean referring to Rilly as "his". You mean? Oh God, no...surely not...? This is just like the ending of The Crying Game.

Hello Beta Mum!
I daresay living next door to three teenagers is a mixed blessing. When I was a teenager I couldn't afford a social life. I just used to borrow my best mate's when she wasn't looking.

dulwichmum said...

Darling Drunk Mummy,

I know what you mean! my standards have dropped somewhat of late with regards to babysitters. Have you noticed the parish priest is free? I love Tesco's finest chablis - you just can't beat it and to be honest - the garage door can hardly be closed at the moment...

spymum said...

I am ashamed to say that my father-in-law has seen me swaying gently in the hallway at 2.00am after a skinfull and frequently reminds me of the occasion. Very frequently.

Heidi said...

My mother in law's Christmas present to me was a vile tasting detox course from Nutricentre. And cellulite cream. I can only deduce that she must have been awake once when I came in at 2am and fell down the stairs.

The Duke of Coagulation said...

I wish I'd read this before writing BabysittING Blues...

(http://lincolnstrombone.blogspot.com/2007/08/babysitting-blues.html)