When we visited Sanford Hospital, we were invited to a meet-and-greet dinner and we did not know what to do with our daughter so the plan was simply…for me not to go. They offered to provide a sitter but never having outsourced care for Catherine to anyone other than her Nanny and Grandma... the prospect of leaving her in the care of a total stranger seemed more ridiculous than valeting your car in Caracas.
The plan then changed to telling them we would accept their offer then… moments before dinner, tell them that I or Catherine came down with a terrible illness. After a few conversations with the babysitter’s father, we learned a lot about this young lady. Evidently, she often babysits for visiting physicians and the local attendings as well. We decided to meet her and if Catherine seemed comfortable upon the meeting, I wouldn’t have to fake having food poisoning or dysentery.
So after a quick trip to fill a shopping cart with art supplies, toys, cars, dolls, play-doh and bracelet making kits (we didn’t bring many toys with us) at the local drug store (Lewis), we awaited the arrival of our first ever potential babysitter. She arrived and immediately had a way about her that was positively gentle and kind. Very low key. Pleasant and confident. Catherine was immediately drawn to her and was excited to tell her about her imaginary friends and her new bracelet making kits! After about 5 minutes we began to explain that we were going out for a bit…and before we could explain, we were interrupted with “O.K. Bye Bye Mommy! Bye Bye Daddy! Have a good time!” She kissed us and ran right back to admire her “new babysitter’s very pretty hair”. We made it abundantly clear that a call for ANYTHING would not only be o.k. but welcomed. Any contact from her end would give us the opportunity to “check –in” without looking like the freaks we were. But the calls never came… and we did our best to exercise restraint. (We kept our phones on top of the table, and our trembling hands beneath it. We called the minute we put our coats on to leave the restaurant and everything was fine. Better than fine actually. Diaper change went off without a hitch and Catherine seemed to sense bedtime on her own then selected a few books to be read to her. Although she didn’t fall off to sleep…she collapsed in our arms after spending her last few drops of energy rushing up to greet us when we walked through the hotel room door.
We’ve since used her (and her two sisters – one of whom brings a guitar and a well-trained voice for sing-a-longs) a few times after that historic night. It’s nice to have an excuse for "date night" when your daughter has got got your back with occasional requests to “see my babysitter sisters because I miss them!”