back in the day (and by “in the day” i mean roughly ’90-’96), there were “good” people to babysit for and “bad” people to babysit for. this black-and-white labeling system (there wasn’t any room for grey, as you’ll see) had absolutely nothing to do with the actual kid or kids you were babysitting for. oh no. it simply revolved around the food available to eat.
let’s face it. if you were lucky, the kid(s) would go to sleep either before or soon after their parents left. what was left to do on a saturday night besides eat and watch tv?
the best family i babysat for undoubtedly had ellio’s pizza in the freezer. i was all about the frozen pizza back then. please, that sh*t was the bomb and you know it. the worst family i babysat for had freezerburned ice cream, weird little jars of organic condiments on the fridge door and, like, stone-ground wheat crackers. and jam. plenty of friggin jam.
“there’s snacks in the fridge and cabinet, jessica!” the mom would cheerfully announce on her way out the door. “help yourself to whatever you’d like!”
like hell there was, lady! what a trick. you go out with your husband to go eat real food, leave your kid with me and expect me to have the wherewithal to take care of him or her w/out the proper nourishment? what if my blood-sugar drops?! do you really think a stone-ground piece of cardboard posing for a wheat cracker is really gonna help me? how do you think i’m going to run after your child if i’m so weak i can’t lift myself off the living room/dining room/kitchen floor? don’t you think chocolate ice cream would be more effective than, say, canned legumes?
hello! i was a teenager! in jersey! i wanted chips and anything bright orange covered with artificial cheese powder. going to the “all-natural” families’ homes were really the worst.
so i look in our fridge the other night. unsatisfied with what was in there, i opened our cupboard. suddenly my babysitting history flashed before my eyes. kind of like when your “life flashes before your eyes” except with mc hammer pants and brenda walsh bangs.
“oh my gosh, honey, we’ve become one of those households with nothing to eat!”
“huh?” holly replied.
[i’m always (loudly) making grandiose statements out of nowhere. i think she started tuning them out, like, nine years ago.]
“like when i was in middle school and high school, babe? and i babysat for these couple families that only had natural, organic food and therefore never had any decent snacks?!”
“don’t you see, honey? now we’re one of them! we have nothing to eat! it’s like mother hubbard up in here!”
“we have plenty to eat!” she said, suddenly animated. “you just have to make it!”
“i don’t want to make it! i want to reach in the fridge or pantry and grab something and eat it! i can’t believe we spend so much money on food and we have nothing to eat!”
i slammed the cupboard door to emphasize my point. holly raised her eyebrows as if to say woman, you’d better cool it. i decided to shut up and hastily ate a handful of unsalted organic sunflower seeds, then grabbed an organic gala apple out of the fridge, which i chewed noisily while i thought about our recent switch to organic, barely processed/unprocessed foods.
we started the switch for my migraines (a physical therapist told me not to eat anything i can’t pronounce; she had an excellent point) and now merged into mostly organic foods. i have to say i’ve been feeling better. but it really takes a toll on the snacks! plus you can barely buy anything, seems like, at a regular grocery store, and we have to go to whole foods, which is such a cliché but at least we have one nearby.
anyway, my point is, if i even have one, is that…let’s see…don’t throw stones. what you make fun of when you’re 15 you can become when you’re an “adult.” (i use that term loosely, hence the quotes.) also, if you hire a babysitter, at least have the decency to buy some good snacks, ppl! and man! ellio’s was good.