Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Babysitters Club

After two nights of babysitting this week, I've come to the conclusion, succinctly put by a friend, that it's the best gig on the block (literally speaking: 83rd street). I realized this as I rode down the elevator of an Upper West Side building with a wad of cash in hand after spending three hours sitting on the couch of a young couple who four years ago was just another pair of attractive magna cum laudes announcing their nuptials via the New York Times. Instead of going to an ATM to take out cash, I ate Thai food on someone else's dollar, watched Anthony Bourdain on Netflix, and read magazines all for the sake of making sure nothing happened to a sleeping baby who I've never seen in the flesh. Pinch me, I live the life, I really do.

There's something about babysitting that causes me to revert to my high school self. Whenever I babysit, I feel the need to raid the kitchen cabinets of whosever house I'm in. This habit started way before I hit whatever level of maturity comes with entering high school. My older sister used to call me from the neighbor's house where she was sitting to tell me if there were any cookies or ice cream worth coming over to eat. Usually there were because the only semblance of junk food in my house was stale pretzels, so yes, any offer of a cookie would propel me across the backyard. By the time I was responsible to take care of someone else's small children on my own, I knew how to tactfully eat my way through a snack cabinet. Like, which type of fruit snacks are worth opening a new box for? Answer: Fruit rollups. They're so worth it that it's probably best to eat the entire box so the mom doesn't realize that she bought them in the first place.

(Don't even get me started on the snacks I ate while babysitting in France. Girl talk: I literally can't.)

Second, I still wear an iteration of the outfit I first put on to babysit at 15. When I went to a friend's house post-childcare gig the other night, she looked me up and down and declared, "classic babysitting outfit." If you too came of age in the mid-aughts watching Friday night ABC Family lineups on a neighbor's couch, then you know what I mean: ill-fitting jeans, shoes that are easy to put on as to avoid the awkward "you already paid me but now I need to tie my shoes at the front door" moment, a brightly colored North Face rain coat or fleece, and a Longchamp bag with books and a laptop should the remote control be too complicated to figure out. I wore black skinny jeans to guard a sleeping infant not too many months ago, but they weren't conducive to eating tortilla chips and watching TBS on a sinkable couch.

Since this blog vaguely rallies around the theme of fashion, here's an outfit idea for the mat-ure babysitting lewk. It features a Rag & Bone sweater, but I'd like to note that if you're wearing Rag & Bone sweaters to babysit, you probably don't need to be there in the first place.

Citizens of Humanity jeans, Vans, Rag & Bone sweater, Stephane Verdino bag, button down shirt



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