You get what you pay for…truer words have never been spoken. I recently went to a fundraiser at a local masjid. It advertised that free babysitting would be provided. Great, I thought, because it was one of those functions where you see your husband at the door and then not again until after the dinner is over as he disappears into the nether world of “the brother’s side.” I looked forward to enjoying my meal and the lecture. With high hopes I led my two children to the babysitting room. I reminded them to mind their manners, listen and obey. Be very good and mommy will have a special surprise for you.
Then I opened the door and the surprise was mine! Literally, children jumping off the tables. Little ones running from big ones, a car flew past my head. I look to see who was supervising this room of about 35 children and saw three teenage girls sitting at a table chitchatting. They looked up at me, then continued talking. I walked purposefully toward them. “Are you in charge?” I ask. “Yes,” they give the one word reply. I ask, “is there some activity here for the children tonight?” I ask hoping, that maybe the activity portion of the evening has not yet began. “Yeah, they’re watching movies.” A young lady gestures vaguely to a tv in the room’s corner where a video is playing and three children sit watching, oblivious to the noise and pandemonium of the other children surrounding them. I admit for a minute I was tempted, really tempted, to tell my children to go sit with those three kids and watch (not listen to) the movie until I returned. But just then a ball flew by and ht one of the kids taking the audience down to two and I knew I couldn’t do it. So I drag them back upstairs to the $50.00 a plate dinner that I will now have to share with two bored toddlers, who are angry because they wanted to play with the others.
I tell you have been tricked by this “free babysitting” campaign more than once. Is it just me or does anybody else find this extremely frustrating? Honestly I would rather just find my own sitter and pay then get there and be stuck. I hope we begin to offer actual services, (I’d be willing to pay) for the children so that they are not just stuck in a room and where their sitters…just sit.