Kevin just explained to me how much a babysitter costs.
When I’d picked myself up off the ground and staved off the encroaching coronary–the last time I had occasion to consider this, it was the Eighties, and I was the one being sat, and there has been some significant inflation in that time–he said “That’s why you have TWO kids. It’s so the one watches the other eventually.” He thought about this for a moment, and then added “Well, and in the eighteen-hundreds it was a hedge against mortality, with the diphtheria and thresher accidents and all.”
I don’t know whether to get the oldest one into a Red Cross babysitting course pronto, or just save up for a thresher.
See, my first babysitting job, my dad negotiated for me, and as the parent of four kids who knew that it could be rather pricey, he negotiated a price of $2 an hour (in the late 90s) for my services. And I, not knowing that one could do something like, oh, I don’t know, charge *more*, went along with it. The first time someone paid me $20 for watching their kid for a couple of hours, all I could do was look at the money in shock, not sure if I was ripping this person off or not.
It’s quite the racket if you can handle kids, are even semi-responsible, and know enough people with kids that need the services of a decent babysitter. A lot of parents will pay incredible sums of money just to have a few hours without the kids.
Also, I think in the eighteen-hundreds people were having way more than two kids in the hopes that at least one would survive those horrible thresher accidents. 😉
Yeah, this is one of the arguments I’m using against my hubby for moving back to the city, at the moment. (I will and should loose this argument. I’m merely negotiating for time.) If you think babysitting’s a racket, look at daycare costs. It’s to the point that in some places, for some people, it is literally cheaper for one parent not to work — their salary wouldn’t cover the cost of having someone else look after the kid.
I’m not keen on the whole daycare concept anyway, and as long as I stay where I am I have my parents and grandparents and brother within easy scream distance. Family. Also known as “free child care.” 😀