Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sitterless in the City

You know how everyone has some kind of secret to their superpowers? Mine is our babysitter. She works part-time for us, half housekeeper, half baby wrangler and occasional carpool driver. Without her I'd be driving three plus hrs a day to get all my kids where they need to go, when they need it. I'd have mountains of clean laundry that never gets put away (I wash, she folds) and little kids that get bathed half as often. My floors would not be as swept and my countertops even more cluttered, which is almost alarming to imagine. Her not being here is like kryptonite to me. I lose all ability to function. I shrivel and twitch like Superman in the crystal cave. Eventually I am rendered useless.

She's not just helping me with the basics, she's saving me from myself. On a daily basis. Left to my own devices, without assistance, I inevitably obsess. It's not enough for me to just clear off the kitchen counter. I must clear every. last. scrap. of clutter and then I must disinfect and scrub the grout. Afterwards I will guard that space like an angry tiger ready to dismember the next person whose cereal sploshes a little. Rinse and repeat with the garage, the bedroom, the laundry room, the hall closet.... You can imagine how much my family enjoys seeing me like this. It's really a good thing when I delegate housekeeping. I can disengage from the mess and tantrum slightly less frequently.

The sitter also saves my marriage. Because for three or four hours a day, it's neither one of our "turns" to change a really really nasty shitty diaper. Instead we both get to go on a quick Starbucks run. This, at the moment is more magical than hot sex at a hotel, let me assure you.


Our sitter has taken a much deserved, well earned, month (MONTH!!!!????) off to go visit her family. I've gone through the requisite five stages of grief since learning about her plans to leave us and decided there is only one thing that might get us through. I'm going to blog about it. Yep. I'm using my sitter's absence as blogfodder. Whee!

It's Day One and I am sitting on the couch. I'm trying to resist the housekeeping pull of the clutter on the counter and the unmade bed upstairs. Must. Get. Work. Done. My husband and I have split the days and the carpool driving in a complex calculation or "You're on, I'm off" time mostly revolving around the 22 month old who requires constant attention. Off time is when we are supposed to get work done. So technically I am off, so I am on. Online, anyway.

Staytuned for reports from the front. It could get ugly...


Lisa said...

good luck! can't imagine -- i'm about to go through the same thing, but for two weeks only. sometimes i feel guilty when i remind myself that my mom raised seven with no help...but then, she didn't work and each child destroyed tiny parts of her brain...

sarahntastic said...

your help is a saint, and so are you. I can't bring myself to wash dishes for one the same day I dirty them. Maybe my lack of focus is seated in a need for more to do, like chasing a baby. I should have a baby!

Crista Makdouli said...

Oh noooo. My most sincere condolences.