Posting On Craigslist: Not For The Faint Of Heart
When my 9-year-old daughterâ€™s babysitters moved out of town for school, her dad and I barely noticed. But she had: she missed her “girl time.” Apparently, tweens crave quality time with older females besides mom â€” big-cousin types, which our small family lacks. I donâ€™t feel a strong need for â€œdate nights,â€ so my daughter’s quest for girl time was the main reason for our search. I recently placed a Wanted: Babysitter ad on our local variant of Craigslist, and was very, very specific about my requirements.
The candidate, I wrote, must be a â€œpositive young female role model for my daughter,â€ currently attending high school, college or university.
The candidate must be a strong swimmer, willing to get into the local pool with my kid â€“ not watch from the deck.
The candidate must be willing to run and tumble in the park, or ride bikes with my kid.
The candidate should have First Aid training. (My kid recently kicked her foot through a second storey window whilst jumping off a dresser onto the bed, and is known for her rabid lemur-like antics while tree-climbing and jumping off and onto stuff.)
In an ideal world, the candidate would have summer camp counseling experience. The camp counselors are always the most fun, right? And if memory serves me correctly, the ones who see the most broken arm/fracture/concussion emergencies, too.
In a fascinating case of â€œwho woulda thunk it,â€ apparently my stated desire to find a sporty Type A student translated into, â€œIf you live in my oh-so-slowly-not-quite-gentrifying postal code, I will hire you.â€ Itâ€™s amazing how many people see proximity as their key selling point, stressing: â€œI live near youâ€ and â€œI think we live on the same street.â€
Others determined that while I said I wanted a student, I probably meant someone who once was a student, including but not limited to: a 40-year-old grandma who also babysat two boys plus her own grandkids, and thought all the kids would have fun playing together. Um, yeah, because thatâ€™s what I pay $85/night for. (She had the charming email moniker [email protected]——-.com ); a dude who said he wanted to study ECE but ran out of tuition money so it would be cool if I paid him to watch mine, since he really likes kids; and more than one teen mom currently taking time off school due to, you know, babies.
Still others thought that when I wrote, â€œThanks for everyoneâ€™s time, but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted,â€ I meant, â€œIâ€™ll email you back if youâ€™re really, really, dim.â€ How else to describe the many, many one-line replies: â€œIs this job still available. Can u call or email and let me know?â€
Also, if you have a normal email address, it can be surprising to learn how many potential babysitters favor email addresses like the aforementioned sexy_mama69) or [email protected]—–.com or even the classic [email protected]——-.com.
I also got what can only be described as left-field responses, like a mother who planned to watch my kid as well as her own, and therefore she was attaching her 14-year-oldâ€™s resume; and a guy who wanted to let me know, â€œIâ€™m 20 years old and Asian.â€Â
From about 100-odd (some really odd) responses, we found our winner: an amateur triathlete and former gymnastics competitor and coach! Resume attached! Police background check attached! References solid! Bikes everywhere! Has been to the same climbing gym as us! And we met her, and she was awesome, and my daughter loves hanging out with her.
And she leaves town for med school this fall.
(Photo: Brand X Pictures)