Whenever I slip and say, "We need a babysitter," Henry exclaims, "Why do they call it that? It sounds like someone's going to sit on the baby?!"
And quickly follows it up with: "And I am NOT a baby."
No, he's not. But he's not old enough to stay home alone. (No, not even with two quazi-responsible dogs watching over him.) Which puts me in a world of woe.
We thought we'd found the perfect sitter, Elie, a high school junior who shares Henry's interests -- Star Wars, Harry Potter, Gods and Goddesses, and Wii Jeopardy. Then she had to go and inconvenience us by becoming a foreign-exchange student in Denmark this semester.
She left us names and numbers of some of her friends. But I would just like to say, teens these days are entirely too social and active. It's those blasted colleges, expecting well-rounded young adults. How dare they! The potential sitters I've contacted are too busy, in sports or school concerts or theater rehearsal. Or, can you believe the nerve, are already sitting for someone else.
Tim and I are an old married couple. We hardly ever go out, in part because finding someone to watch the boy is harder than brokering peace in the Middle East. I haven't even mentioned the second mortgage we have to take out to pay someone who actually agrees to come over.
Many times, we just make Henry hang out in his room on a Friday evening while we have "grownup night" -- cook, open a bottle of wine, listen to music, try to forget how sad it sounds.
When we do go out, it's usually to dinner and a movie. Maybe play darts at a local bar or check out our favorite guy at the piano lounge. But it's at least an excuse to get out of sweats and hold hands on the Ped Mall and watch all the drunk college kids stagger around trying to hook up before they puke in the alley and/or pass out.
This time, though, we actually have somewhere to go: the Gaelic Storm concert at the Englert Theater. Last time they were here, Tim went solo. Probably because we had the same issue -- no money, no sitter, or both. I'd really like to see the group on Feb. 16. We're running into an added snag. It's on Thursday, a school night. Several of our sitter-candidates have a show choir competition the day after. Damn that Glee.
I have a few more options to try before completely giving up.
I'm not opposed to begging, if someone needs me to.
I need a nanny. I need a grandparent who lives close. I need some geeky 15-year-old girl who doesn't have a date or a chess club meeting or a science fair project to work on.
I need a grownup night.