Say what you mean (or pay the price...)

>> Thursday, 9 June 2011

We tried out a new babysitter this week. Normally our cleaner comes over to look after the Boys for us if we need help; she's good with them, they like her, and she knows where everything is so it's all simple. On this evening, however, I decided to try something different, and asked the 16 year old son of one of our neighbours if he would like to look after the boys for us.


It didn't work out quite to plan.

Don't get me wrong; he was courteous, kind, left no mess, and did not empty the fridge or drain the vodka bottle. The boys loved having him there, and strutted about the place with mysteriously deepened voices, no-nonsense attitudes, plastic hammers in their pyjama waste-bands (metaphorically speaking only in the case of Boy #1), and bid me goodbye with matter-of-fact 'haven't you gone yet?' expressions.

I left their new babysitter proving more than a match for Boy #1's encyclopeadic knowledge of Star Wars (this morning's Star Wars Mastermind Tournament at breakfast featured the question "Who was the "Chosen One', Mama?" and then a lively debate about whether it was Anakin or Luke. I favoured the former but Boy #1 reasoned that because Anakin failed to live up to his billing it was Luke who properly fitted that description. Ah well. He may be right; of such important issues are a 7 year old boy's world made...). He helped in the creation of their latest Lego creation (Star Wars, obviously),and then when the time was right, got their teeth brushed and put them to bed.

Perfect.

Except... Well, when anyone asks me what time my sons go to bed, I invariably answer "7.30pm, or thereabouts" but as any mother knows, '7.30pm' can just as easily mean 7.45pm, and as Boy #1 gets older it can even mean 8.00pm. Oh, who am I kidding? It's almost always closer to 8.00pm than 7.30, and the Boys have become used to that.

But of course our 16 year old babysitter, eager to do the right thing and follow my instructions to the letter had them in bed with lights out by 7.30pm. I was, of course, delighted.

Not quite so delighted the next morning though when they both work up at 6.15am, an hour before I normally wake them, on a day when in fact we were in no rush and I had planned a lie-in until 7.30...

I believe the expression is 'hoist by your own petard'. And next time I will say what I mean; "7.45pm (but 8 at a push...)"




7 comments:

Milla 9 June 2011 at 15:24  

I'm glad you got a boy babysitter - they were always our boys' favourites, more fun and not hunched over their mobile phones. But, yes, be careful what you wish for - why not suggest that their bed time is now 10pm? Or midnight?

nappy valley girl 9 June 2011 at 15:54  

We have a 16 year old neighbor's son who babysits. The boys love him, but last time we got home to find their clothes strewn all over the floor, shoes left outside etc. The next day, they slept in suspiciously late (on a school day) and then recounted with glee a puppet show he had given them that involved stuffed animals making fart noises. Lovely.

Potty Mummy 9 June 2011 at 18:15  

Milla - I sense a most excellent plan forming...

NVG, that is what I was afraid of - but not this time. Perhaps you could make sure your boys don't go online with mine and make them aware that such boy heaven exists?

Iota 9 June 2011 at 20:03  

Puppet show with farts, NVG? Boy heaven indeed!

Muddling Along 10 June 2011 at 16:12  

Ooops... I've learnt that the hard way too, our problem is getting home to find that they have gone to bed suspiciously early - never a good thing

Mwa 10 June 2011 at 22:34  

I've had that problem leaving the husband at home with the kids...

I'm So Fancy 12 June 2011 at 21:32  

I have the same problem! Should really learn to stick to the instructions I leave for the help...:-)

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