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Notes for the babysitter: What parents really want to say

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We’re headed out of town for the weekend soon, and leaving three perfect angels at home with our trusty, go-to weekend sitter. There is a tailgate to be shopped for and planned, suitcases to be packed, PSR night, gymnastics night and hopefully bath night gently packed between now and the time we leave so I am already thinking about what she’ll need to know for less than 48 hours with….THEM.

I’ll leave behind a light note. Something like:

  • Everyone in bed around 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. at the latest.
  • iPads in moderation.
  • The baby eats 4 6-oz bottles per day, plus 3 meals which are sitting out for you.
  • She takes a binky to go to sleep.
  • Fair warning: they wake up early. There’s unlimited coffee stocked in the kitchen.


Right? That’s nice. It doesn’t make me look like an untrusting psychopath with way too many rules, while also appearing do-able. Nice and easy. It’s a note that lowers the chance of her running out the front door and texting me, ‘Never mind, good luck!” by at least 67%, while the pile of cash sitting atop the note covers the additional 33%.

However, my mom brain knows just how insufficient this note really is. Everyone will survive I tell myself on repeat. They are angels for other people (which is actually infuriatingly true) and they’ll have fun! But real me still wants to jot down a few extra things:

  • The three year old cannot eat corn dogs for every meal. If she takes it upon herself to bite into a frozen one while you’re caringly making her something else, don’t worry. Poison control said a bite won’t hurt her.
  • If you need to entertain the nine month old for a few minutes, sit her in front of the robovac. She loves to take it off its home and watch it go back again. Guaranteed four minutes of sanity.
  • There is still Halloween candy around here. If you let them have too much, the six-going-on-eighty year old will tell on you (she can text me from her ipad…). Use it for bribes as you wish.
  • Whatever you do, don’t leave the three year old and the nine month old in the same room alone together, ever. She loves her so much she might actually squish her. Or feed her Skittles. Or stand her up to help her “walk”. Or…well, you get the idea.
  • The six year old will watch YouTube all day if you let her. And she’ll be super cranky if she does. Pick your poison.
  • Not that this has happened before or anything, but if the three year old says, “I have to go,” and you tell her to go, she just might be talking about leaving the actual house and not going to the potty…hypothetically.
  • At bedtime you’ll want to serve waters in the blue Mickey and pink princess water bottles, or else.
  • Warmy = the six year old’s giant gray old-lady blanket.
  • Hilda = a flattened stuffed hippopotamus.
  • Heart blanky = a baby blanket the three year old stole from the baby’s room that she sleeps with every night.
  • If you have questions about all the remotes, ask the six year old.

And finally, their dirty hands and sassy mouths and deceitful minds are quite literally our entire world so don’t let anything crush their spirits or break their bones while we’re away. Just as fast as I’m sprinting out of here to get away from them, I’ll sprint right back if one of them needs me.

It will be insane, and not that bad all at the same time.

May the force be with you,

Megan & Donny

Originally posted on the author's blog about surviving parenthood on chaos, laughter and luke-warm coffee. Follow her for more

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