How Well Should We Know Our Babysitter?

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Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here on BlogHerMoms to help, three times a week. Email your pressing issues and questions to stacy.morrison at blogher.com to be answered in exclusive posts on Fridays. Today, we share the newest Mouthy wisdom on offer.

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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

We have an incredible babysitter. She's our neighbor's teenage granddaughter and she is just the sweetest thing. She always plays with the kids and she even washed the dinner dishes one time without being asked. Amazing! Here's the rub: we have no idea what her last name is. To be honest, we use her only maybe 3 or 4 times a year and our kids are school-age, not babies. But it hit me the other day that we're leaving the kids with someone whose last name we don't even know!. Does this make us terribly irresponsible parents?

Signed,

No Name, No Problem?

_______________________

no name sign

Credit Image:Natalie Maynor via Flickr

Dear No Name, No Problem,

As every parent knows, a good babysitter is hard to find. You want someone who's responsible, dependable, nice to your kids and also on a very strict diet so she won't eat all of the cheesecake and Dove chocolates you stash in the recycling bin. It can be a tall order.

That's why it's no big surprise that you didn't do your due diligence when you found this young lady. You like her, your kids like her and she's related to your neighbors-—why bother with something as silly as last names? After all, none of the evil babysitters in Lifetime movies have last names. The middle-aged wife usually just sobs something like, "Yes, detective, she stole my Honda Odyssey and my husband! She's blonde and her name is Madison. That's all I know! Oh, Gawd, why is this happening?!" and then 40 minutes later, Madison No Last Name Required is in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs and on her way to meet her new prison girlfriend. I've seen it a million times.

But if it's important to you that you find out her surname, here's a trick you can try: The next time she's there, tell her you have to pay her via check, then ask her how to spell her last name. There's a 50/50 chance it'll be something obvious like, "Smith" and then she'll think you're a dumbass, but at least you'll finally know.

Or, simply tell your kids to find out for you. Maybe they can play a game called, "Census Taker" or "DMV Registration Lady" and have her fill out a form with her information. She won't be the wiser and, if you're lucky, you may even get her social security number.

Which will definitely come in handy if she ever drives your minivan to Mexico with your husband.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

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