Well, if you've been wondering where I've been lately, I'll just tell you. Stephen King released his latest book last Tuesday, so I headed down to Target to pick up my copy, having no idea that it was a 1072 page dinosaur the likes of Insomnia or The Stand. And ya'll, it is GOOD! I mean, it's totally fantastic, I'm so excited! I'm currently on page 673 and so that's where I've been all week. Poor Nick. When I've really got my teeth into a breathtaking story, that's pretty much all I do. I thought I wasn't neglecting the rest of the world as bad as I usually do, but Nick gently pointed out the other night that I have been. And he didn't even ask me to stop!
BUT, I feel like maybe if I blog about the horrible wreck that was my weekend, that might put it into a little perspective and make me feel better before I have to face another Terrible Tuesday.
We got tickets a few weeks ago to see the Transiberian Orchestra in Hartford this past Saturday. Now, I guess maybe I knew that it was in Hartford, but I didn't really pay attention to that part, I figured we'd just head right up the road. Anyway, way back then, I asked this girl that assists with Ava's gymnastics classes if she babysits. She and Ava are BFF and it just seemed like a great fit! She said yeah, and I got the impression that she babysits all the time. I warned her that Ava is the OLDEST and that I have two YOUNGER boys too, and she said that was fine. I kept mentioning it at gymnastics and church over the next few weeks and she always said it was fine.
Then I was talking to her mom at church and the mom mentioned that she'd come over for a while to help out. That got me thinking that maybe the girl was nervous, so I set asked my friend Erin to keep Warren for the night. I mean, I have a hard time with all three and I'm their mother, so I just figured it would be better all around if she just kept the big kids.
I left notes all over the kitchen, suggestions for snacks (that I prepared and set aside in the fridge) and dinner and dessert and our routine for bedtime and all that good stuff. Just helpful hints, things that I expected to happen over the course of the evening. And when she showed up at four, I told her all of this too. Then we headed out.
She called at about six fifteen because Scott was crying. Now, whatever, that's fine, I'm glad she called. But I'd told her that if Scott got sad (which I KNEW he would) to send him upstairs to get a blankie and his pacifier. So when he got on the phone SOBBING, I told him to go up and get his stuff, and he said okay and he did. The babysitter got back on and I told her that since it was getting so late, maybe they could just watch Cars until bedtime. She said they'd been watching TV since I left.
I texted her right before the show to see if everything was all right, and she didn't answer, so I called her too. She was laying in bed with Ava and she said that Scott had gone to bed after she gave him another cup of chocolate milk. What I didn't understand at the time was that Scott had just taken the cup upstairs and climbed into bed on his own. I mean, my poor baby went to bed all alone!
The show was absolutely amazing, I mean, seriously, breathtaking. We left just a tiny bit early because I wanted to get home by midnight and I texted her when we left and asked if everyone was still down, had they woken up, that sort of thing. And she never answered, until like forty five minutes later she replied "are you almost here?" What?
So we finally get home and (over)pay her and get her home, and as I'm cleaning up the kitchen I start to notice some things. For one, all of the Halloween candy, including about half a dozen packs of Pez, is gone. So that explains the tummy ache she'd told me Ava had. Then I notice that there are TEN WRAPPERS from fruit snacks in the trash. She let my kids eat TEN PACKS OF FRUIT SNACKS. And the dinner that I'd made? Not even touched. Same with the snacks I'd set out.
All right, whatever, she fed my kids a bunch of junk. Obviously, she hadn't known what to expect when they started crying or when they told her that they were allowed to eat all that. But then when we got upstairs to check on them and the weren't in the jammies I'd laid out or wearing DIAPERS, that's when I lost it. I mean, I specifically told her that they had to wear diapers to bed! And I set them out, she would have had to step over them to get into Ava's room! LITERALLY!
The next morning, Ava told me that she didn't play with them or do anything fun. I'm so upset! Is this stupid? I mean, I know that in the long run, it's not that big of a deal. But Nick and I NEVER do this kind of thing, and I just wanted it to be better! I feel cheated. I feel like the kids were cheated. Mostly, I feel like if we'd left the baby with her, someone would have died.
Maybe this was her very first time babysitting. If so, she should have told me. When we offered to ask our neighbor Pearl to come over and help her when Scott was crying, she should have said yes. And I do feel sorry for her, because it's hard to get our TV to switch from DVD back to regular TV, so it looks like she had NOTHING to do from eight till midnight. But at the same time, I TOLD her how to switch it. And she should have texted me if she needed help switching it. So I can't decide if I'm angrier (more angry?) with her, or with myself. Either way, I can't imagine she'd agree to babysit for me again, and I don't know that I'd ask! Why is this so difficult?
Ugh. There. Now I'm done, I'm not going to think about it or talk about it ANYMORE. Alexa, if you're reading this, we miss you. You're a thousand times better!