All That Stuff Under the Carpet

1.  My husband half-quit his job a few days ago.  He goes 60% in a couple of weeks.  Everyone says the American Dream is to work for yourself.  Oddly enough, they also say, “don’t quit your day job.”  Which bit of wisdom will win the ultimate thumb wrestling saga of finances in Casa de Nahm? I’m kinda curious about that myself.

2.  I got an agent for the book I wrote.  There may or may not be any further details on this matter, as it is a big, complicated FUBAR about which I care a great deal and I suspect you care not at all.  And rightly so.  But, all this secret keeping is gumming up the works, so there it is.  I reserve the right to mention this and then absolutely refuse to even acknowledge any follow up questions, starting right….. now.

3.  I haven’t gotten a babysitter for the kids yet.  Some wise person in comments suggested I get a babysitter.  As a kid I had a lot of babysitters.  I was the Hugh Hefner of the babysitting scene, what with wearing my tiny smoking jacket and having scores of chicks cater to my every whim.

Sometimes I think about defending my current inability to hire babysitters with some stories from the way back Hef days, but then I think, ‘why mess somebody else up who probably does need good babysitting and doesn‘t need to be all paranoid (like you, Anne, you dummywithnobabysitter) about a couple of isolated incidents from thirty years ago?’  Right?  It is simply fair enough to say I have a hard time hiring a babysitter for my kids, even though I whine incessantly about not getting a break.  I will share details in the spoiler section below, but they are kinda  like this link about re-tagging stained panties – once you get an idea of the stuff that happens from time to time, it may compel a bitch into incorporating a lot more bleach into her daily routine*.

*Babysitter Paranoia Spoiler:  Oh fine!  It wasn’t that bad.  When I was 8, some chick left me in a car in Arizona in August for 45 minutes in the parking lot and told me and my sister not to roll down the windows or people might kidnap us**.  When she found us surrounded by panicked onlookers, being bathed in hose water from overheating and heat exhaustion and whatever else that nearly kills kids in 100 degree weather who are locked in cars, she cried and cried and made me promise not to tell my mom what had happened.  (It was her second day taking care of us.)

I swore, and later broke my promise and told my mom anyway, and I never saw that babysitter again.  But I felt real guilty about breaking my promise.  And stressing my mom. And about not unbuckling my little sister from her car seat – she was sweaty and red faced and begging me to, but I was too scared not to follow the rules.  And scared of kidnappers.  Very sorry about that, Middle.  You were really, really right.

A different  babysitter dislocated my sister’s shoulder by yanking her arm.


Another one  stole one of my mom’s shirt (it had a stain on the front!  WTF?  Steal something decent!) and later wore the stolen, stained shirt to baby-sit us.


Another babysitter held cock fights in her barn at night.  There were all these bloody razor blades back there, and this big old rooster with his eye gouged out.  We were not supposed to go into the barn under any circumstances.  Guess where we spent most of our time?  Barn!


Another babysitter showed up with these weird bruises around her neck, and when my mom asked about them, the lady blushed really hard and said they were hickeys.  Looking back on the whole scene, I’m pretty sure she got choked out.  But to this day I still have hickey phobia.  In fact, I once drove by a Hickey Park, and all my friends giggled like crazy, and I just broke out in a cold sweat.

Anyway, most of the babysitters were some degree of not-to-bad, just over the course of maybe a hundred of them over my childhood, we got our share of weirdoes.  Like the anorexic who kept cooking really bizarre and inedible things –  she was this walking skeleton creature, and her hair fell out all over the place, including the food.  She’d be all, eat, eat! and forking some brick of a casserole at us, with one curly, thin hair baked into the top.  As far as I know, all these people somehow managed to have decent resumes and the three standard references.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, why I have a hard time trusting people to baby-sit my kid.

** The kidnapping thing was hella scary, because this had just happened (click here for horrible kidnapping story about a child who lived in AZ at that time) and so all adults were telling kids to not get kidnapped.

22 Replies to “All That Stuff Under the Carpet”

  1. Thank God I only have cats. And don’t be worried about spilling details about yourself – I’m a relatively harmless stalker. I can hook you up in the “deMoMo Stalkee Support Group.”

  2. Well, OK, you had more than your share of bad babysitters. More than yours and mine combined, and maybe a few other people thrown in. However, there should be something said here about your mother’s ability to pick a good babysitter. I mean, WOW. I have the benefit of being able to put my son in a good day care center, where I work, so I am very familiar with all of the teachers and am on premises, should anything go down and I am needed. But to get a night out with the husband I need a babysitter, and I have managed to find a few good people to rely on. If you live near a college, it is often a good resource for part time babysitters. Since I work at one, I have the luxury of knowing the students before I think about hiring them. There ARE some decent ones out there. Really.

  3. OH! And congrats on the agent!!! That means you have enough of a well written piece to attract attention and that is AWESOME. See, you tried to distract us from that bit of news with all the babysitter horror stories, but NO! We WILL shower you with accolades!!

  4. As a current babysitter myself, I would recommend that you check out The site gives sitters and parents the option to run background checks on sitters, and will tell you who’s had one done and whether it came back okay. You also can get a feel for the sitters by their profile (some even have videos of themselves up now) before you ever call them/interview them/invite them into your home. I used it to get all of my babysitting jobs, and I feel like it’s a quality site.

  5. I once had a babysitter tie my little brother to a chair at the bottom of the stairs. Then the sitter and I went to the top of the stairs and threw books at him. I kind of thought she rocked, but my mom didn’t agree.

    Oh, and congrats on the agent for your book! How exciting!

  6. Ack. I could have lived my whole life without knowing that I could be purchasing underwear with a just-less-than-detectable odour.

    I have always held out the vain hope that when I do have children, they will be honest with me when I ask them if the babysitter is doing anything shady. I never volunteered information to my mom, but I’m pretty sure I would have spilled it if directly asked. Scary stuff, though. I have a hard enough time trusting someone to feed my cats when we leave town.

  7. try using to find a sitter. I just did and found someone really great…so far….it’s only been a week….

  8. i’m guessing you’re about my age, which means you are a child of the 80’s and 90’s: when moms WEREN’T choosy (despite what Jiff says). my own mother, in fact, hired a perfectly lovely woman to care for us. a lovely lady who had a very thick indian accent. i don’t think i understood a single thing she ever told me. BUT, she smelled like indian cooking and that is a definite plus.

    after Thick Accent Lady came Super Religious Whack Job, who (i swear this shit is true) rationed out the toilet paper. if you just needed to pee, you could have ONE square of t.p. if you needed to poop, you could have FOUR squares of t.p. sometimes i tried to sneak more. i always got busted. it is true what They say about having the shit scared out of you. (this particular nutbar totally needs a chapter in my memoir.)

    after Toilet Paper Nazi was fired by my mother for spanking us (with wooden spoons, no less), my older sister was allowed to babysit. the same older sister who almost set the house on fire. twice. burned a big ole hole in the carpet and we had to move the tv to cover it. do you remember those tvs that came built into the tv stand already and weighed about four tons? yeah, it’s also true what They say about fear giving a person super-human strength.

    so, in conclusion, despite the mentally insane people who watched us as kids, it is possible to find quality people to pawn your kids off on. i myself will only use a sitter that one of my friends uses and can vouch for.

  9. Way to go on the agent. Super exciting. Oh, and, me, almost mom of two, does not have a babysitter either. Although I think I should start looking becuse I’m planning on losing my mind when number two comes along.

  10. Holy crap, those are horrid babysitting stories, and I don’t blame you one iota for not being all gung-ho about hiring one. Hell, I had a wonderful (grandma quilter who let us climb her mimosa tree) babysitter, and my son has still NEVER had a babysitter. Daycare/preschool with best rep in town and security cameras in every room? Yes. Babysitter, no.

  11. I look forward to reading your book AND never hiring a babysitter, ever, for my children. We already have a great head start on that, anyway, so don’t feel too bad.

  12. WOW! Congratulations! That is amazing news about the agent. I hope you continue to share details with us; I’d love to hear how it goes. I have no doubt that you’ll be published.

    And babysitter stories…holy crap. I kind of think it’s lucky that you all survived. I feel the same way about hiring a sitter (and all of the sitters I had as a kid were great!). So far it’s just been family and close friends for my kids. Someday…

  13. I’m with you all the way on the babysitter bit, except my trouble finding a good one stems from the fact that I was the scary babysitter. So I know how bad we can be. bhughhhh. Shake it off.

    It is hard to trust strangers, straight up. But you have to. Otherwise you are gonna go bonkers.

    Hooray on the book dealy!!!

  14. Congratulations on the book!! That’s really exciting. I can only hope that it’s a book about Peeps and all the horrible things they do. I would buy that. It would be a bestseller.

  15. I did not have good luck with BTW. I got a woman who lied about her background, showed up with one hand missing (also not on her profile), did not tell me that my daughter quit taking her bottle of breastmilk (I was coming home at lunch time to feed her everyday and she would be starving), and brought her kids with her without asking me. Ummm, yeah. Screen carefully. She passed a background check, too. Messed up shit.

    Anycrazylady, congrats on the agent! If you get published, you must share. (Even if it has to be secret emailing, etc. so the family doesn’t find out who you are…I’m cool with that.)

    Am looking forward to hearing about the book stuff. BTW, if you’re in Virginia, email me. I would be willing to sit on weekends once in a while. 🙂

  16. Visiting from The Insatiable Host… great blog… scary stuff babysitting, my son is now 13 so I don’t need this anymore…congrats on the book!

  17. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my kids when they were little – frankly I didn’t didn’t think anyone could keep my daughter safe from her big brother. I found a solution that worked for me, but getting a sitter when I was also home. I paid a local teenager to come and play with them, sit with them at dinner (to make sure my son wasn’t just throwing food on the floor) etc, while I cooked, got some housework done, or just crashed out in the lounge with a book. She also helped at bath time, watching whichever kid was in the water while I got PJ’s out, dried them, chased my naked, dripping son through the house etc. And at bed time she read to one while I read to the other, so there were no arguments about book choice or going first.

    She came a couple of days a week from 4pm to 7pm and totally saved my sanity.

    By the time I was happy to leave them on their own with her, I knew she was a good egg and they liked and trusted her so there was no fuss.

    And congratulations on the book progress – hope it all goes swimmingly 🙂

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