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Since we moved to Westchester, Rick and I have had a very hard time finding sitters to watch our kids at night. But we did find one really sweet girl name Kate who is in her early twenties.

She has babysat for us a number of times and the girls seem to really like her.  One particular evening, we paid her $45, said goodbye to her and then we went upstairs to bed.

And that’s when we found a large poop in Summer’s little training potty. Did the babysitter not see this? I was perplexed.

And then the next day, 2 1/2 year-old Summer said to my husband… “I pooped last night and the babysitter told me to wipe myself.”

Now I realize that a 2 year-old might not have all the facts exactly straight so it was time to call Kate and sort this out.

The sitter claims she merely inquired whether Summer did her own wiping. When Summer said no, the sitter says, she wiped her.

Ok, that excuse seems valid but then I asked…

“Why did you leave the poop in the kids’ potty?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure if the poop was from right then or it was from earlier.”

At which point, I said something that I have always known to be true.

If a kid is sitting on a potty, then whatever is in that potty probably just came out of their body. Not a sure thing. But definitely a pretty good chance.

Yet I was still completely confused.

“But Kate, even if you thought her poop was from earlier in the evening, why wouldn’t you still clean it up? Why would you leave it there to stink up the whole room?”

“I don’t know. I’m really sorry.”

I got off the phone kind of exasperated because I felt like I was dealing with the Sarah Palin of the babysitting world and I was seriously questioning her judgment.

But then a few days later, I realized that we had no babysitter now and Rick and I were screwed if we wanted to go out to dinner ever again. So because I’m warmhearted desperate, I call Kate and say…

“Listen, I know our conversation was kind of awkward but my girls really love you and we’d really like you to come back and babysit.”

And this is what she says to me….

“Your girls are great and so cute but I just can’t right now. My work and school schedule is just too hectic.”

Which we all know is code for, “I don’t ever want to clean poop out of that potty. Ever.”

mama bird notes;

-2For NYC area readers, I’m giving away 4 tickets to the Big Apple Circus. And seats are never more than 50 feet from the stage. Plus, Bello the Clown is back! Of course, I have no idea who this Bello is but apparently Time magazine named him “America’s Best Clown.” And those folks at Time seem pretty smart.

To enter, just leave a comment and mention your best or worst clown memory, and you are entered! Good luck circus lovers.

75 Responses to how i got dumped by my babysitter

  • Stoneskin says:

    I can’t quite think of a reason for leaving the poop. Maybe on the spur of the moment she thought ‘it could be from earlier, maybe they leave them to dry out before fossilising and mounting the things in a trophy cabinet…’

    I wonder what kind of baby sitter Sarah Palin uses. I.e. who is the baby sitter of the Sarah Palin world?

  • Mwa says:

    Argh! The pain of no babysitter! Tell your two year old to go on the toilet already. Otherwise, put a wet wipe in the potty pre-poo – voila, no more need for babysitter to clean potty – it just tips into the toilet. Really, what did you ever do before you knew me?

  • Grace says:

    A twenty-something girl still wants to believe that having kids is all sugar and spice and however the rest of that goes so the whole poop in the training potty would definitely debunk that! She can run but the poor thing has so much poop in her future I feel bad for her! About clowns, I have always had a fear but for some reason my boys love them so fingers crossed!

  • Kimberly says:

    If you were a good aunt, you’d send these tix my way!! Your nephew, reed, is OBSESSED with the circus (as you know) and even more obsessed with bello!!! We saw him in the ringling bros circus and no joke reed has been asking for bello ever since!!! Btw, too funny that the babysitter bailed…gotta be honest, I did a similar thing in college (don’t hold it against me when deciding who gets the tickets;))

  • Ugh that sucks. I have a GREAT sitter in your area… she used to work at our school (teaches Spanish) then moved to teach in Westport PS system and now teaches in White Plains… You’re not too far i don’t think. I ADORE this girl. Seriously, if you want her # email me. She is busy but she might want some local jobs.

  • Peta says:

    Yeah…been there. You know it’s bad when other Moms won’t even refer to their sitters by name for fear of poaching! Come to thinkof it, back in the 80s when I went to HS in the city, on family actually offered me a retainer – $10 bucks a week just to be available every Friday. And I turned it down.

  • traci says:

    do you know that my husband and i were just asking ourselves last night if our kids had ever been to the circus? they havn’t. i don’t have a good clown story, outside of the one when my sisters art class made sculptures out of i don’t know what, and she made that clown from a stephen king movie and left it hanging in my room. i swore i’d never let a painted up smiley face scare me again, if if a striped cigar was hanging outta his mouth.

  • Megan says:

    Finding a good babysitter is hard, especially one that is good with poop! Once you find a new one let’s plan a double date! No good or bad clown memories, but there’s an amazing Italian restaurant in town that has the worst clown decor. I’d like my girls to have a good clown memory.

  • S.B. says:

    I am ashamed to admit this – but I HATE cleaning poop out of my daughter’s little potty. I usually just pretend I forgot so that my husband will do it! Don’t sell me out and instead feel sorry for me – I could use a good clown memory!!! Thanks!!!

  • E says:

    Hilarious story! Sorry, Kelc, I am with the sitter on this one. $45 isn’t enough money to clean poop out of one of those gross potty cup things. I did that once with my first kid, threw out the potty and bought one of the rings for the toilet. My rule is that unless there are at least three sitters in rotation you gotta suck up anything that doesn’t directly impact the kids.
    I have no clown stories b/c I have been scared of them from day one and have avoided them but we would love those tix!!!

  • Rebecca M. says:

    Okay – I fired a mom before. Her girls were absolute terrors! The next time she called to babysit, I told her point blank – you’re girls are way too much for me to handle. I think she got the point. I know some people that just have an aversion to poop. Sure, once you’re a mom, you get over it. So I don’t blame the sitter for not disposing, but own up to it!

  • Abby Siegel says:

    Call Rye High School, ask for Guidance, and ask a guidance counselor if there are any nice girls in the junior or senior class who like to babysit. You’ll have a rotation in no time.

  • ErinB says:

    This is why we are working on using a potty seat that goes right on the flushable toliet! I can not afford to lose a sitter :-}

  • Elissa says:

    My now husband and I took a friend’s 7 year-old to the circus shortly after we started dating. We had such a blast watching her watch the clowns and animals and acrobats. And of course we bought her treats and toys. And at the end of the day she said, “Thanks for spoiling me!”
    I’m so looking forward to taking our own daughter to the circus – she’s 20 months so I think she can handle it – especially if we buy her treats and toys.
    On a poop-related note, we’ve been starting the potty training process. She loves to sit on the potty, but she seems to still prefer to poop in the diaper approximately 5 minutes after getting off of the potty.

  • calikim says:

    I think I’ve dumped a few “clients” due to their kids being too much to handle. But, If she can’t take a little poo…..she better not even think of having her own kids. I once walked in the bathroom after a 5 or 6 year old boy was in there, and it was smeared all over the walls and toilet. Now THAT was gross!!!

  • Candi says:

    Finding a babysitter can be a little overwhelming. But figuring out where to look and what to look for when finding a babysitter doesn’t have to be difficult. Having a checklist of what to do and what not to do will help you in your search. Finding a babysitter online is actually very safe and reliable. Here are some tips about how to successfully find a babysitter.

  • Laurel says:

    Funny story! Good babysitters are hard to find. One morning after we had had a babysitter, I went to get my daughter out of her crib and she was basically sleeping in a puddle of pee. Turns out the babysitter couldn’t find any diapers so put a swim diaper on her before bed.

    I would love to go to the circus! I don’t have too many clown stories, but my best memory would be going to the circus that came to my little town when I was very young. That’s the only time I’ve ever been to the circus. My worst memory is that movie Problem Child – the clown parts freaked me out.

  • Kimberly says:

    I don’t know, Kelcey. I am dreading potty training partially because I just can’t handle the idea of cleaning poop out of a potty. I cloth diaper, but the idea of cleaning poop out of a potty kind of makes me nauseous. And we’re talking my own kid whose poop I have dealt with in some form for the past 386 days.

    When I babysat, I can’t imagine I would have done that either.

    Good luck with a new sitter!

  • Jen says:

    Man, do I miss Miko!! She was the best sitter. The kids miss her too. I’m in the same boat here — sans the poop — my sitter who is also our swim teacher ditched us since classes at UT began… I’ve begun the search, not happy about it!

  • francine Kasen says:

    I used to sit for someone who left a full sink of dirty dinner dishes. Because they had ONE TV in a basement-like lower level den, I figured I’d be nice and do her dishes. Then I saw NO DISPOSER !! I had to call my mom and ask her what the hell to do with the garbage. I did a good job and sure enough, every job after there was a full sink of dirty dishes! I think they had DINNER PARTIES before going “out to the movies” ! And all that for $2 an hour!!!

  • Valerie says:

    I agree with several of the comments about not being up to dealing with the dirty potty either — it totally grossed me out to clean it. So after the first time, I lined it with one of those plastic grocery bags and then after the business was over it was easy to just dump the poop in the toilet, then turn the bag inside out and toss it. The little cup stayed clean. As for sitters, another trick is to find a college near you and post flyers at one of the sorority houses. Good luck!

  • Julie B. says:

    Well at least you got her to babysit at all. Katie’s dance teacher recently left the Little Gym we attend. She just started college and said she would love to babysit for her. We communicated through e-mail and thought we were all set. Since we e-mailed back and forth like 10 times the night we set it up, I never imagined she wouldn’t have “checked her e-mail” the entire week to see the final e-mail I sent that formalized our plans and gave her directions to our house, etc. Called that day 15 min after she was supposed to show up and she was like..oh, so sorry I had no idea. I said, well ok – let’s try again for next Wed same time. She said ok, I told her to check her e-mail for the directions and call me back at the number I was calling her from if she didn’t see it. Fine. The following week I called her at 1pm and left a voicemail to confirm up our plans for 4pm. She never even called me back. What the heck?!?! I know she also has a very busy schedule, but she could at least call back. I just thank goodness that our plans were for her to be here to just get acquainted with the house and play with them while I cleaned and got dinner ready instead of something important like a wedding.

  • Kristin says:

    I have always liked clowns. I loved the Bozo the Clown – that you had to punch, and it would fall and come right back up.

    I love the hint at leaving a wipe in the potty – brilliant! Julia liked the ring better, so only had one time of cleaning poop out of a potty – but nothing ever grosses me out – I am a vet after all.

  • westchestermom says:

    not sure where you are in Westchester, but some of the high schools in the Rivertowns have programs that allow you to hire sitters through them, or Iona, Sarah Lawrence etc have similar programs

  • LT says:

    It is so hard to find babysitters (and nannies)! And, I agree with you what seems like common sense does not always mean that it is common sense to everyone. Great post!

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Things could have been worse. You could have hired me when I was 13. Some desperate mother gave me her 5 (that’s right, count them – FIVE CHILDREN) under the age of 10 to watch. The baby vomited and the vomit went into her ear. I didn’t know what to do, so I poured baby powder into the ear; thinking it would ‘neutralize’ the smell of vomit. I hope the kid isn’t deaf now.

  • Cay says:

    Kids these days…I mean the babysitter!

    OK, i live in Brooklyn and we LOVE the circus. And luckily, my kids aren’t scared of clowns.

    My best clown memory is of actually dressing up as a clown for Halloween when i was probably 9 or 10. My mom had sewn the costume (ruffles, lots of different loud fabrics, etc), and i had a wig and everything. I totally thought I was da bomb. In retrospect, it’s probably really a good thing there are no surviving photos…

  • mandy says:

    well if you are ever in the deptford area, i will watch the girls for free! and i have no problems with any potty problems! your girls are sooo cute! as as far as clowns go, i have not one single thing to say about them!

  • tina ezzell says:

    That was great! The baby sitter thing can be so weird. Yea, I question mine when she let my 3 yr old draw crayon all over our wall! I guess my 18 month old twins distract her :).

  • Chelsea says:

    I am a mom, neat-freak and perfectionist. While it would be nice if the babysitter had dumped the poo, I would never expect a 20 year old with no kids to do this and I would never be so uptight as to fire an otherwise great babysitter. Loosen up.

  • Susanne says:

    Favorite clown memory – when I was little my parents took me to the circus. I had no idea where I was going because they could never tell me a surprise ahead of time because I would be such a pain in the butt if I knew. So we get into NYC into the Garden and I still didn’t know where we were going. We get downstairs and I tell my parents it’s smelly and then a clown comes up to me and says that it’s not smelly and that it’s the elephants. I was so excited to have that clown walk up to me and bring me over to see the elephants!! And then to find out we were at the circus! I was totally nuts with excitement!

    Oh & I love Bello!!! He’s truly an amazing daredevil, acrobat, clown etc – he does it ALL!!

  • zmama says:

    My worst clown memory(ies) are about how horribly scared of clowns my daughter was for the first 2 years of her life. somehow clowns looked really scary to her!! Happily she is over it, so we can go to the circus now!

  • magpie says:

    Wow – that babysitter – I think you’re better off without her…

    Clowns – I have a red clown nose somewhere – I’ll wear it if you send me the circus tickets!

  • marlene says:

    i have never left a comment on a blog before but i found myself giggling when i read your poop story. my husband wanted to know whats so funny- “oh nothing” i replied- just one of those things between us girls that you just cant explain to a guy…..

  • Chrissy says:

    too bad your not in New Jersey, I’d be glad to babysit your kids..considering I do it for a living as a nanny 🙂 Good Luck, and I hope your find her soon 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    As a mom of three who really struggled to get my boys potty trained, we had to make big deals of the whole poo in the right place. Maybe the sitter was leaving it for Mom and Dad to show praise to the toddler ~ just kidding but if your kids are ‘safe’ with the sitter, lighten up and focus on your evenings out. In the end it’s all about keeping them safe with peace of mind while you get some time away.

  • MissTiff says:

    I am a 21yr old babysitter/nanny and i cannot name one time i didnt clean the poo, or the dishes or the walls! THe fact that my peers, with little to no experience expect so much money for practically no work baffles me! i cant wait to have kids one day, poopy bottoms, potty’s and all!

  • Lauren says:

    Hello. I just started reading your blog. I am a babysitter and have been doing it for five plus years now. The babysitter should of understood that poop is just part of the job and you don’t leave it lying around. Are you talking about West Chester PA?

  • Beth says:

    As a former babysitter, now mom, I think she was afraid to tell you that she forgot to clean out the potty–so came up with that weird story. Once the poo is done kids are on the run and she probably ran after your girls and forgot to return to the potty. Now she is intimated that you called her on it.

  • cari says:

    i don’t think you should have pushed it. you could have just cleaned it when you got home. cleaning other people’s kid’s poop out of a toilet is kind of gross, way different than a diaper.

  • That’s silly. But probably a good thing. What else would she just leave for you? A kid that threw up all over herself? Peed her pants and sitting in wet clothing? It’s just common sense. I would do it if I were visiting a friend’s house, let alone being paid to watch her children!

  • Sitter for 3 says:

    I babysit a lot and I think I would’ve cleaned it out, but I would’ve been completely disgusted. Diapers are one thing, but kid poop? In a dry toilet? EW. My kids will have one of those rings in a regular toilet with a stepstool because that is gross. If I was less experienced I may not have known how to deal with the situation.

  • DeeAnn says:

    Wow! I need to move to ny! Maybe I will be paid a decent wage! I have never complained about poo. I am actually qualified to assigned in potty training as I helped do it with three siblings. But tell me why parents have an issue paying a gem like me more than 8/hr. I am in atl moving to ft worth. Do these people think their childeren are not worth guarding? I take my job seriously and merely wish to be compensated accordingly.

  • Gloria J says:

    Our daughter started puberty at 12 years old and started bedwetting because of it.We had her wear cloth diapers and plastic pants[aka-rubberpants] to bed every night which i would put on her at bedtime.When the husband and i would go out on either friday or saturday night,we had a 16 year old girl,Jenny,come and babysit her,Since i washed the daughters diapers and rubberpants every two or three days,i paid Jenny extra money to fold the diapers and rubberpants and stack them back in the laundry baskets.About three months ago,hubby and i went out on a saturday night and Jenny came to babysit.I had the two baskets of the daughters diapers and rubberpants ready for her to fold.Later on i got a bad headache,so hubby and i came home early,We caught Jenny wearing some of the daughters diapers and rubberpants with her boyfriend there and she was on her knees giving him oral sex! She told us that her boyfriend saw the daughters and rubberpants that she was folding and wanted her to try them on so she did and he made her give him the oral sex! We fired Jenny right away!

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kelcey kintner