Black Sheep

I don't really do all that well with adult interaction. 

I can do it on a superficial level (which is why I was, like, the world's best waitress) but I've got all of these issues and this anxiety and this mistrust and I just don't do grown-ups very well, that's all, SHUT UP. 

I especially don't function at all when paying an adult to do something I am well-capable of doing myself, like keeping my house or mowing my lawn or changing my oil or watching my kids. It makes me feel like a dick. 

All of this is why I always hire teenaged babysitters.

Everyone I know wants degrees and background checks and licenses but I just want someone young enough to really play with my kids, old enough to (safely) make them (an almost decent) dinner, and emo enough to think that having a conversation with really, really ridiculously old-looking me would be TORTURE.

Sixteen (11th grade) is usually my cut-off, and then it's Carousel time.* Seniors in high school are not people to be trifled with. I know, I used to be one. 14 was always the golden number for us - the best sitters we've ever had were 14 year olds with younger siblings. They like Johnny Depp but they still *get* Dora. They don't mind walking to work and they want nothing more than to stay up until two in the morning. Let them invite a friend over to help and you've got a trifecta of win.

And not one of them will ever make you compare parenting notes with them, insofar as your children relate to their livestock.

We hired Georgia** when she was in her junior year because she was my daughter's high school buddy in her preschool. And she had a truck. And she's just homely enough that I knew boys weren't going to be an issue. Shut up. 

Then we kept her through her senior year because my daughter loves her. And then she graduated, but she's still just a kid, right? She's 18. Her bedroom is pink. She calls me Ms Shannon and will not directly address my husband no matter how many times I ask her to. A KID.... 

....who's lamb got its ear tag caught in a fence and then some other piece of not-yet-dinner bit the ear tag and did you know that lambs' chochas might be just like ours but their ears are like filo pastry and rip in a million layers? 

And she's telling me this through text message while I'm out of town on business and she's supposed to be babysitting because she cannot talk to my husband, ever, and she's FREAKING out because her lamb, oh my god her lamb, and I'm like, HONEY, 2of3 AND 3of3 both had dogs rip parts of their faces wide open and it's so scary, I know, but it's over and some stitches and then you laugh about it later and CALM DOWN, this is what being a mother is al....

And now I'm not talking to a teenager who babysits for me, I am establishing common parenting ground with someone in my regards to LIVESTOCK...and that makes her my peerish and so now I cannot pay her to work for me because ISSUES, I HAVE THEM. And I'm just not ready to be able to compare raising livestock to raising children. I just don't want to be that person.

I just am never going to blend in Texas, I think.

*If you got that, yes, I will make out with you.

**Of course her name isn't Georgia, I'm not telling you her name unless you need a really good babysitter, duh.