Don’t tell Mom the babysitter’s old

So, believe it or not, my husband and I are using a babysitter for the first time tonight. Before you think I’m one of those freak show moms who fears leaving her kid in the hands of another person, allow me to explain: My husband and I have gone out numerous times – it’s just always worked out that my parents or our nanny could stay with our son and daughter while we went out and enjoyed food at a dining establishment that didn’t have a kid’s menu.

Tonight, however, neither option was available, so we had to bring someone in off the bench. Enter William, the uber-responsible (perhaps more so than myself) 14-year old kid from across the street. He’s got two younger siblings and has babysat before, so we figured, why not? We planned the night so that we’d go out after our kid went to bed, and William could just hang out and watch t.v., raid the fridge and then call his pals as all babysitters do. If God forbid something goes wrong with the baby, we figured his Mom will be right across the street.

So, last night William comes over to get the lay of our house, see where everything is, etc. As I’m showing him around and telling him he can help himself to anything in the fridge, I paused. At that moment, I experienced the frightening realization that I am now the “Mom” and no longer the “babysitter”. Cue Joey on “Blossom” voice: Woah. Completely and utterly bizarre

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was eating the Teddy Grahams out of the family I used to babysit for’s cabinets and calling my 8th-grade boyfriend Russ Allen from their phone. I’d watch HBO, a luxury we never had at my house, when I should have been doing homework. I can so easily remember quickly waking up just as the parents came home, the Dad paying me, and then the inevitable awkward car ride back to my house with the Dad, us making small talk about school and his kids. Of course, I also remember how much I could buy back then for the $20 I’d have earned after a night of babysitting. When on Earth did I flip to the other side of the babysitting coin? Who knows, but it’s happened.

Therefore, tonight, I’ll be out enjoying truly good food, while a teenager sits in my house, eating my Teddy Grahams and watching my HBO. It’s the circle of life.

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