Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Mysterious Babysitter

Thank you to Ima Shalom for inviting me to blog here. It's no small challenge to be the voice of all Abbas here, but I will do my best to represent my fellow daddies. I hope to write a broader introductory email soon, but first, I need some advice.

We were in synagogue last Saturday, and Did was doing what she does best--climbing on whatever she could get a hold of, cooing, and making friends with the people sitting around us through sheer cuteness. In particular, a woman sitting directly in front of us seemed particularly enamored with her, which proved to be a good thing for when Did grabbed a handful of this innocent bystander's long blonde hair and yanked. Instead or reacting angrily or shooting us the look of death we've come to know so well, the yank only seemed to deepen their by-now longstanding friendship.

As services ended, Didi's Mommy apologized to the woman, whom we'd never seen before in synagogue and may have been there for the aufruf that took place that morning. In response, the woman offered to babysit for us. Repeatedly. Emphatically. Whipped out a pen and paper and before Didi's Mommy could say Shabbes Kodesh wrote down her name and number. She told us she has multiple kids (I forget how many), the youngest of whom is 22. And repeated her offer even more emphatically.

As it happens, we'd just been talking recently of our need to get out sans Didi now and again, something we'd only done (aside from going to work, of course) a couple of times in the nine months she's been with us. But we have no clue how to find a babysitter for weekend evenings, or how to vet someone who we may hear of, or ensure that they're good with really young kids. (Didi is cared for by a full-time nanny during the week, but the high-schoolers available for weekend duty seem to be a different breed altogether.)

So, what would you do? Contact the mysterious shul woman, or keep looking?


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...can you ask around for someone who knows her? Ask the shul? I wouldn't feel too shy about even asking her if you have mutual friends who you can approach. As a mother, hopefully she understands the need to know who's with your kid.

Maya said...

What anonymous said. Or else invite her over for a shabbat lunch with one or two other people, and see what she's like before you commit. I had a neighbor do the same thing to me, and it worked out fine--she's not a stalker, just helpful. However, if your gut screams no, then listen to yourself.