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Apr
20
2011

My babysitter is having panic attacks.

Her father had a small heart attack (he’s okay but needs to make major life changes like cutting out 3 packs of cigarettes a day). But as a result my sitter is melting down.

She’s on Xanax. She’s can’t work. She doesn’t know when she’ll be back.

These are clearly not good attributes in a child care provider.

It’s not that I don’t have compassion for her situation. I really do.Β  I’m the queen of feeling bad for people.Β  On my plane to New Orleans the guy next to me asked if I’d mind switching seats so he could sit next to his girlfriend.

Of course! No problem! I’d love to!

But then I found out it meant me giving up my WINDOW seat for her MIDDLE seat.

The girlfriend even tried to convince me by explaining that the people sitting on her right and left were very small people.

Unless they were the size of Barbie dolls, I wasn’t really interested. Plus I was in the exit row which meant, of course, the other passengers thought of me has a leader in the event of an emergency landing.Β  How did I know she could even handle the responsibility of saving everyone on board?

So I sheepishly said no.

But I felt really about bad about it.

I texted Rick in the hopes he would make me feel better.

Me: The guy next to me wants to sit next to his girlfriend. But I don’t want to give up my window seat for a middle one. Should I feel bad?

Rick: Not at all. Keep the window seat.

Me: Would you switch seats?

Rick: I totally would. But you don’t need to.

Okay, that didn’t really work. I kept my window seat but couldn’t enjoy it as much because clearly I was ripping this beautiful couple apart. They are probably in couples therapy as you read this.

Meanwhile – I really love my sitter and want her to recover but it’s crazy chaos over here.Β  I’m overwhelmed on a good day. I need some mother f*ckin back-up.

So I’m once again interviewing potential Babysitters/Mother Helper’s/Save Me From My Children types.

I hope I have some good karma out there. You know, the kind of karma you get by giving up your airplane seat so a lovely couple can be together.

Damn.

mama bird notes:

I’m over at The Mouthy Housewives today with advice on what to do when your family and friends won’t stop bugging you about your plans to get pregnant. Plus, we are having an awesome giveaway!!


44 Responses to my sitter is having panic attacks and now i am too

  • Abby Siegel says:

    DO NOT FEEL BADLY ABOUT NOT GIVING UP THE WINDOW SEAT!!!! That’s just their poor planning at not booking ahead of time or just shit out of luck. Girl, you’ve got 4 kids so the fact you got 3 hours of alone time, albeit on an airplane, is reward enough. The couple can deal being apart for a measly plane ride. πŸ™‚ Sorry about the sitter sitch….if you need me to call the high school and talk to Guidance let me know!

  • Kerri says:

    So sorry about the babysitter! Hope you find a replacement soon. I know my older kids are in high demand for babysitting as they have tons of experience (being from a large family). They not only watch the kids, but can do baths, make meals, clean up (kid related stuff), etc. If you can’t find an adult maybe an older teen from a large family might fit the bill. Hey maybe you could find a set of twins (my twin girls-10 already are very helpful with being “helpers” for other sets of twins…takes one to know one I guess…or should that be takes two to know two!)

  • annie says:

    Would NOT have given up a window emergency row for a crappy middle seat. You earned that seat!

    ps…i love that i can come over here, laugh at your posts AND order drugs from canada.

  • Marinka says:

    You should have given up the window seat if the girlfriend agreed to be your babysitter. And for those readers thinking I’m a huge sexist for not suggesting that the boyfriend be the babysitter, I say this: I was on that plane. I saw him.

  • Heather says:

    Knowing your sitter is having panic attacks over her dad’s heart attack makes me feel LOADS better about all of the crazy psychological shit I’ve been going through b/c of my dad and how I’ve been reacting. Man, I’m like superwoman. Go me!

    Good for you that you didn’t give up the window seat. You don’t want to enable codependent relationships.

  • steph says:

    I am running through the logistics and can’t quite get how they could get you in the middle seat! There is no way I would have switched to the middle seat. BTW, to help with the rest of break, there are some really good activities at the Y. Charlotte is doing chef for a day. Quick, you have 5 minutes to get all the kids there. I am sure they would take the twins as well, but you may not want them handling raw eggs!

  • Meg D says:

    Hope the sitter situation gets better quick!

    One question: did the boyfriend try and trade his way out of the exit row to go sit with her? If not, you really don’t need to feel bad. Who wants to give up the exit row??

  • Jessica says:

    You’re obviously not the only one who said no. There must have been three OTHER people who could have given up their aisle or window seats so the couple could sit together, right? Frankly, I think it was rude of the couple to ask someone to move from a window exit-row seat to a middle seat. Did they honestly think anyone would do that?

  • Daphne says:

    I love babies, and we sure could use some more little girls around here too. Stick them all on a plane and Auntie Daphne will take care of them all.

  • I would have said, “Listen, I have four kids at home and a babysitter who’s having mental issues. I’d like just a few hours to stare out the window and meditate on the puffy clouds and bring peace to my ragged soul. Are you really going to rob me of that so you can play footsie and read SkyMall together?” And when they said “yes”, I would have given them my seat.

  • Mina Lee says:

    You should’ve said you’ll give it up for $50-$100! πŸ™‚ I’d never switch. You paid for your seat. The only way I’d ever give up a seat is if a child/parent/guardian were seated apart.

  • Steph says:

    As mama of 4, you deserved that window seat during your alone time (and vino). Did Rick really tell you he would have given it up?! Sorry to hear about your babysitter. I have found great sitters using UT’s hirealonghorn.org and allowing only applicants who are childhood development or elementary ed majors. Maybe a school close to you has one? Good luck!

  • Amy says:

    Yikes Kelcey. Probably time to find a new sitter, I have had several flame out thusly. That sucks.

    And you totally should have kept your window seat. I’m flying today w kids and already fully accepting my husband will be sitting in an entire other row because he has a middle seat- and who’d switch w that?

  • Beth says:

    I totally would help you out with the babysitting situation…if I wasn’t stuck in the middle of nowhere, OHIO! Hope you find a solution soon. At least before you go crazy!

    As far as giving up your seat…I wouldn’t have wanted to do it, either. If I had given in and done it, I would have been bitter and mad the entire flight that they even had the nerve to ask. And, like you, I would have felt bad for telling them no. Seems like it’s one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations to me. And damn…how I hate those!
    ;D

  • johanna says:

    The middle seat totally sucks so NO ONE should even attempt to ask someone else to switch to it. Rude!

    Good luck with the sitter help…perhaps she could swing some xanax your way then 4 wouldn’t be so daunting alone!! πŸ™‚ good luck.

  • Aunt Marcia says:

    Why should you feel bad? I was asked once to give up my window seat (with 2 empty seats next to me), to squeeze in the middle someplace between two sumi wrestlers. I laughed to myself as I said ‘no’ to the requester. Couldn’t understand how she thought I was giving up the only seat on the plane that had No One Else sitting in that row….

  • Stasha says:

    If there is one think we learned from all this is to ask for sitters and their parents medical records at the interview.
    As for the seat, new love is never reasonable. It was your civic duty to remain by the exit. Flight attendants would have backed you up.

  • Valerie says:

    Unfortunately I’m right there with you with the babysitter. Mine isn’t having quite the same issue but has instead decided to have a life. Quite terrible for me! So, as a fellow mom of twins as well as olders, I feel your pain. I’d like live-in help so the lack of even occasional backup is making life unbearable! Hang in there. Hopefully we both find suitable replacements in the very near future.

    And, FWIW, I wouldn’t have given up the window seat for a middle seat either and I’m knee high to a grasshopper. πŸ™‚

  • E says:

    That takes a LOT of nerve to ask someone to trade a window for an aisle. WOW! And I gotta say, I’ve been through some crazy family health stuff but managed to make it to work!

  • Kristin says:

    You are a kind, generous person. And that couple on the plane should a)suck it up for their poor planning and b)get a reality check. Did they really think anyone would change a window exit row seat for a middle seat? Really? I hope he had a sheepish grin on his face when he asked you.

  • anymommy says:

    Never ever ever give up a window seat for a middle seat. For any reason. Maybe if someone were actually dying of cancer on the plane and it was their last chance to sit in the window seat ever again. Maybe.

  • Tonya says:

    Hell to the No- you never give up that window seat. Oprah could ask me to switch seats and I’d still tell her to suck it…after I asked her why the heck she was riding in coach when really she should own her own plane. (Geez, does she not know how to spend her billions?)
    Anyway, I CANNOT believe this is happening to you!! I just have the 1 3yr old and today I felt like I needed an entourage to deal with all his needs/desires/bodily fluids! Good Luck!!!

  • Littlej says:

    The guy was obviously delusional, and so you’ve clearly done a good deed by providing the naive girlfriend with time alone to think twice about her weird BF. Voila! Good karma!

    BTW: No one of sound mind would have given up your seat.

  • Everyone knows that switching seats is like begging for the plane to crash since you would have lived in the seat you’d originally been given but you had to tempt fate by taking a new seat. You only ever do this if the co-pilot seat is available or if a man who looks a lot like Jesus asks you too. It’s a sign in those cases.

  • It’s one thing when families with kids need to switch seats to sit together and quite another when it’s a couple. I sure hope they asked like it was “nice to have” not a “need to have”. I have trouble saying no too- but on an airplane all is fair!


kelcey kintner


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