the new year had me thinking back on years past - how exactly did i spend my new year's eve before i could (legally) celebrate at the bars? i remember being at my friend jessica's house a couple of years, a few with my parents, and one in particular in college where i kept it quiet so i could tailgate bright and early in orlando, florida for the hawkeyes bowl game. but what else? there's been a lot of new years in my 29 years of life, and i only have memories since age 19 and a few smatterings of memories before that. so i asked my mother.
apparently, i babysat. yes, the champion queen here of hating all things baby and child care related, used to babysit. i don't know which is worse, the fact that i actually was responsible, for any period of time, for someone else's spawn or the fact that i don't remember any of it.
sure, i remember watching my friend's siblings a few times. that hardly counted, they were kids that i knew and were a little older. and most of the time, my friends were there - they were just going through the dramatic 'just cause i'm oldest doesn't mean i'm your built-in babysitter!' phase. basically, i got paid to hang out with my friend while her sisters who were old enough to entertain themselves watched television and did homework. i just had to make sure the four of us didn't set the house on fire. and when they complained they weren't tired enough to go to bed, i made them run laps around the dining room table til they 'felt tired enough.' easy peasy. not real babysitting. i've always operated under this impression that i've never really babysat for anyone.
this is not the case. according to my mother, i made mucho dinero by babysitting for families around the neighboorhood, specifically kids right down the street, on holidays. this was an ideal situation for everyone - i was too young to enjoy things like new year's eve, might as well babysit; the parents could actually celebrate with real champagne and not kid-friendly sparkling grape juice; parents were willing to pay top dollar for a kid willing to babysit on a holiday; and i lived around the corner so no one had to drive me home. i could see how this was an excellent plan on my part. i just don't remember any of it.
not. one. bit.
i have no clue who these supposed kids are, i don't remember the houses, i don't remember what we did or how i entertained them, whether we stayed up til midnight or not, and most shockingly for me - i don't remember the money. me, the girl who used to sell her halloween candy for quarters and could probably tell you 97 other ways i was similarly a childhood cheapskate. you'd think i'd remember banking big babysitting bucks over the couple dollars i earned making rebecca runs laps around the table. (she's about to get married, lord i'm old.)
mostly, i attribute this to my disdain for children. i clearly blocked out all of these memories. or maybe my mom is just lying to me. does this kid look like a responsible babysitter to you?!