Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Babysitter and the Real Deal

Shane and I have birthdays 4 days apart. We have almost always taken a day or two during the closest weekend to both birthdays. This year, we didn't have a sitter (or a friend or family member) who could watch Lauren. I did some research on the internet and apparently there is a market for babysitters! There are numerous sites who, for a small fee, will locate a sitter near you. I found one that had reviews of sitters, background checks, etc. Everything the good parent who is leaving their child in the hands of a stranger should know.

Lauren has always been wonderful about being left with strangers. For all her many, many, many fears about life in general, she is not afraid of people (who in my opinion are waaaay scarier than any roller coaster Disney can dream up!). I posted an ad on the site and got a response from my biggest nightmare. Basically, she "applied" for the job with no references, nothing about how long she has worked with children, nothing about anything - just "I can do it". Okay, the cheapest sitter we found was charging $10/hour. I have one child who is beyond needing anything really other than a companion. For $10/hour, I expect a full on resume with citations and referrals. I had signed up for the free trial to post a listing. However, to read the listing I had to pay for a membership to the site. After that response, I took matters into my own hands and went through the site looking specifically for what I wanted. I found someone who sounded wonderful (good reviews from previous clients, no criminal history...)!! I emailed her and thankfully, she had a cancellation for Saturday night and was willing to come over for $12/hour. I was a little skeptical, but Shane and I wanted to get out.

I told Lauren to keep her phone in my bedroom, so if Ms. Mina was weird (I didn't give specifics, but...) to call us and we would come right home. Ms. Mina came over and she was the cutest thing on the planet! She was 22 and just talked, talked, talked! She met Lauren and they decided to make cupcakes (yay, me! I hate doing that sort of stuff!) and got started even before Shane and I were out the door. We said we would be home somewhere between 9pm and midnight. (Keeps 'em guessing)

Shane and I decided to try out the Real Deal. It is a poker game show at the Venetian. Shane's buddy, Daniel, was hosting and Scotty Nguyen and Jennifer Harmon were the guest players. It really was a pretty fun show. There were lots of chances to win good prizes and lots of chances to win bad prizes. They chose 6 people from the audience to play up on stage with Jennifer and Scotty and the rest of us had little computers in front of us to "play along". It is very confusing to explain, but once there it was easy to grasp. Shane's big mistake from the get go was to actually treat it like poker. As an audience member, you pretty much have to see every flop regardless of start hand. It is entertainment, not poker. They really packed a lot into the hour and half allotted for the show and it didn't feel rushed. I ended up winning a prize package for randomly choosing a set (three of a kind), from a deck of 52 cards. A long sleeve Real Deal shirt - cool!

Since, we hadn't heard from Lauren we decided to eat and then play some poker at Treasure Island. No big wins or anything, but we had fun (playing at different tables, of course - Shane and I date differently than most...)

We went home around 11:00 - that's $84, for those of you keeping track! Lauren was almost asleep upstairs on the couch and Mina was playing Rock Band. Apparently, both were playing Rock Band, but Lauren got tired and just wanted to watch Mina play. She does that. There were tons of cupcakes on the counter ready to be frosted. They had a blast together! I will most likely be calling her again, budget permitting!


LingoVise Says... said...

OMG... I think I just soiled myself.
84$ for a sitter...
to basically hang out with a 10 year old?!
excuse me while I cough up a lung.

cara said...

don't you just love that??? We had to pay a sitter a similar amount in Colorado for a work function.. I was soooooooo relieved when Jordan got old enough to be home with them.. and if we were really late, we had a neighbor that would come over and watch tv while they were sleeping.. Alissa turned 12 on Sat, the "official legal babysitting age" for our Base,and already has a job for this Saturday night! I'm glad that you two had fun!!!

Sanford and Michelle said...

That is fantastic, but $12/hr. Yikes! Babysitters are making bank!