I'm a babysitter. The kind that starts in seventh grade and then catalogs the children she has loved and kissed goodnight and played dress up with and buried in sand at the beach and stuck bandaids on and put in timeout and said goodbye to when they moved away. In fact, 2008 marks my own personal silver anniversary of babysitting. So I feel like I've come a long way.
Which is why I am no longer interested in taking care of kids whose wealthy parents refuse to treat me like an adult. I am not thirteen anymore, thank you very much, and no, I will not let you round down my work hours when you talk my ear off because you've come home from suuuuuuch a good movie. There are too many families in my life that have invested in me, taken me into their homes, allowed me to soak up their good juju and learn from their love. I don't have time for you anymore, and I'd rather go without a latte than spend the evening looking at your expensive drapes, knowing you'll try and cheat me out of a measly five bucks.
So today I wrote an email to a person who lives in what I would guess is at LEAST a million dollar home in Seattle, and it felt really good to stick up for myself. "I understand that you typically pay less than $15 an hour for your three preschool children, but I am doing my best to make ends meet (let alone get ahead) in a city that has sky-high education costs and not enough affordable housing, so you'll understand when I say I simply don't have time to feel guilty about my prices. All the best."
Holly Wood V.B.Ex. (that's Veteran Babysitter Extraordinaire)
EDIT: Yes, I got the lyrics wrong and changed the title. Sorry, Dido.