Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Worst

I can't think of a single thing I like less than looking for a new child care provider. Well, maybe cleaning up cat barf, particularly after I first discover it by stepping in it. That is also not very rewarding.

The frustrating thing is that we already have child care providers who we like very much! But they are college students who have a nasty habit of -- get this -- graduating! The nerve. Governor Walker has a good start on dismantling the university system but apparently they are still letting students graduate and get professional jobs. For now.

David is often the one in our house who is in charge of finding new child care providers. He usually does this by putting a listing on the University of Wisconsin job site, and then we interview candidates. For some reason, this approach always seems to yield leggy blond university students. And then we hire them! I'm not sure I need the competition have having beautiful 21-year-olds with perfect teeth caring for my babies. This time I'm going to be in charge of posting the job listing. I will specify that the ideal candidate is caring, fun, confident, and slightly dumpy.

And interviewing candidates! That's also the worst. I never know what to ask these potential babysitters. Really, all I want to ask is "Are you going to fatten my child up and feed them to a witch? No? Then you can start Wednesday."

David, on the other hand, is obsessed with finding out where the potential babysitter is from. Because deep down, he thinks that a person from small town Wisconsin is likely to be more trustworthy and wholesome than a person from somewhere else. (I try not to remind him about Ed Gein.) And he loves forging a connection based on some mostly-imagined geographic commonality. Like this:
David: "Where are you from?"
Leggy young thing: "Oconomowoc."
David: "Oh, really? One time my uncle got a speeding ticket in Oconomowoc! I think that was in 1989."
Me: "This is all TRULY FASCINATING. Let's get to the part where I ask about the witch."

It doesn't help that deep down inside, I believe that my children are so awesome that child care providers should pay us for the privilege of being around them. Take a look and see what I mean:

I think it's reasonable to ask a child care provider to pay us $13/hr to be around such incredible cuteness, don't you?

For a while, we had a GUY doing occasional child care for us. He came recommended from a friend, and had a great resume -- he had previously worked at a nearby preschool and had a lot of child care experience. But David just couldn't get over the weirdness of a man taking care of our children. I know that sounds incredibly old-fashioned, but -- well, actually, there is no "but." That attitude really IS incredibly old-fashioned, and seems especially odd coming from David considering that he is a very hands-on, invested father. But I try to remember that David grew up in small town Wisconsin in the 1960s, which was the equivalent of the 1950s in the rest of the world, and he is bound to have some old-fashioned ideas. These new-fangled horseless carriages, for example -- he doesn't trust them one bit.

[I told David that I would be making fun of him on my blog today, and he said, "It would be more efficient for you to let me know when you're not making fun of me on your blog."]

We'll get through it, I know, and hire a new leggy blond who takes wonderful care of our children. And this time around, when we interview candidates, I have new question to ask. I'm going to ask about her willingness to clean up cat barf.


  1. So, um, when you've cleared those leggy blond baby-sitters, please send the names over. I am also searching for the same. For the kids.

  2. Recently had a conversation with another lawyer on hiring child care off of the job board; his brilliant idea....convince them to go part-time and it keeps them around longer.

    I second your comments on cat's worse than kids.