Being a dad means asking the teenage cashier with face jewelry if she babysits in her spare time.
You love your child, you really, really, love her but all you want is a simple two or three hours alone with your wife who is beginning to mumble to herself in baby talk. You dream of a nice quite dinner in that romantic Italian restaurant, but the two of you would settle for eating a hot dog in the 7/Eleven parking lot if you could just do it alone.
But there’s a giant wall between your fantasy and reality and that wall is the alarming lack of babysitters. They’ve been disappearing faster than polar bears or golden eagles and spotted owls and now are so rare, that the mere “possible” sighting of one causes dads to drop even watching football and race to the scene. In the name of finding babysitters, I admit to sponsoring Wednesday night youth groups at church, teaching Sunday School to middle schoolers and interviewing ten year olds who seemed to know how to hold on to their doll.
When it comes to baby sitters, all dads think big in the beginning. You say you’ll only settle for a trained nurse experienced in CPR, infant psychology and speech therapy. Realizing that person doesn’t exist, you turn to mother-in-laws who are only too happy to help for about a month, then mysteriously depart on a year long cruise. You ask other dads for sitter’s names, but you might as well be asking for their social security number. You come to believe they would rather share their wife than their baby sitter. That’s when you’re standards begin to plummet.
That’s when you realize the punk rocker handing you a movie ticket is breathing, and knows English – your now two requirements for a babysitter. And without a second thought, you sign her to a fifty two week contract guaranteeing her $60 to $80 a week every Friday night and you’ll in social security and insurance.
You don’t feel guilty or even worried about your child’s safety. You don’t feel bad that because of what you pay the babysitter all you and your wife can is go to 7/Eleven and get a hot dog. You feel like Jerry Jones signing $50 million receiver. You’re just a dad who wants to be alone with your wife.