In retrospect, 13 seems pretty young to babysit a whole gang of children. I vividly remember babysitting a child as young as two when I was a 13-year-old that couldn’t drive. While I’m sure that the toddler’s parents got a steal of a deal since I only charged $4 an hour, I don’t think I would ever put my kids in the care of a 13-year-old today.
But alas, my 13-year-old self babysat all the time. I loved babysitting. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was the only time that I felt like a grownup with a house to myself, without parents or siblings breathing down my neck. I remember I would beg to babysit with my friends because it felt like a special night out. If parents let me and my best friend Jennifer babysat together, we would only charge one hourly rate of $4, meaning that we both made $2 an hour just to hang out together. It was so worth it.
Teen babysitters mean well, but they’re still pretty naïve. Here are some of the most RIDIC things I did as a teenage babysitter that make me cringe today:
1. Ate Everything I Could Find In The Cabinets.
When parents said, “Help yourself,” they meant it, right?
2. Gave Kids Crap Food.
Macaroni and cheese and microwave dinners exclusively.
3. Rifled Through Drawers.
I am ashamed to admit that I did this, but I was CURIOUS. Can you blame me?
4. Watched Bad TV Shows In Front Of The Kids.
After watching an episode of Friends, one four-year-old girl said to me, “What is a bitch?” FAIL.
5. Counted The Hours Until The Kids Went To Bed.
The joy of my babysitting experience happened when the kids went to bed, and I was allowed to watch TV all by myself and control the remote.
6. Turned Up The Heat Too High.
I did fuck with thermostats a lot because I was never allowed to use the thermostat at my own house. Sweet, sweet freedom.
7. Left Kids Locked In The Closet.
This is a complex story that is hard to explain, so don’t judge me, all right? The short version is that I was babysitting two hellions over the summer because they couldn’t be trusted to be left alone. I thought they were out riding bikes all day, and I was relieved. Turns out they were locked in a closet crying all day long, and I couldn’t hear them because I was watching TV so loud. Bad babysitter.