On house sitting and baby sitting

It’s that time of the year again. Silly season! Where parties are plenty and there is a plethora of travel plans.

black-sheep-clipart-sheep_black
As the unemployed black sheep of the family, I usually get asked to help out here and there with house sitting and baby sitting.

At the end of every house sitting or baby sitting session, I always swear state “I’m never doing that again!”

While it’s fun, it’s also a lot of responsibility and a lot of work. Kids are hard work. You literally spend the entire day running around and cleaning up after them, it’s like a full time job and I applaud all mothers and nannies/house helps/maids/domestic workers out there.

To avoid any awkward situations, I’ve come up with a few ground rules that parents can benefit from in making their lives and mine the babysitter’s easier.

One
Parent’s must not LIE to the baby sitter. When we ask if the kids don’t eat anything, this is an opening. Take it! Use it! This is your chance to let us know whether they are fussy eaters, what their favourite food is, what tactics we can use to get them to eat etc. This is not the time to be shy and say no, they eat everything. And letting us know they are picky eaters 2 days into the babysitting gig is NOT ON! All it causes is frustration on both mine and the child’s part. I have dealt with babies that want you to “fix” a fruit after cutting it, I’ve dealt with babies that need to be coaxed into eating by offering dessert and/or pancakes for breakfast the next morning, I’ve dealt with babies that walk all over the house and I have to follow  them around and give a spoon of food every now. But that’s ok, because I’m patient. I can spend two hours coaxing the child to eat provided I knew beforehand what I was working with!

Two
I am a babysitter. Not the house help. I will cook and feed the kids. I will bath them. Heck I will even do the dishes and clean up after the kids but I will not do their laundry. I will not do thorough cleaning. You know that spring cleaning that our Zimbabwean mums love to spring up on us! Yeah… that one. No… I won’t be doing any of that.  If you want these additional extras, we now have to talk money!

Three
Unless you are 1 of my 4 siblings, I will move in and help with the kids for a maximum of 1 week. Siblings get more time. My role is to help you while you organise yourself and organise your lives! After that, you need to have sorted yourself out.

Four
For house sitting gigs, please understand I will not be a slave to your house. Meaning I will leave the house. I will go and meet friends. I will go out. I have a life and I will live it but I will always sleep at home. And I will make sure doors are locked, windows are closed, bins are taken out and lights are switched on and off so you don’t need to worry about the general safety of your house.

Five
Please leave your house in a decent manner. I will keep the house neat and tidy meaning I’ll clean up after myself and I might even spruce the place up just before you return home but if I feel you left too much of a mess in a certain room, best believe I will not step into that room or even attempt to get things in order.

Six
If you are particular about how  a babysitter must take care of your kids during your absence, it helps if you leave a schedule with an indication of meal times, bath times, bed time routines etc. One of my sister in laws has a schedule and during the early days when I had to be home alone with my nephew, it helped to know what to feed him and when, when to schedule playtimes, when tv was allowed etc. I will try to stick to it as much as I can within reason.

Seven
Please book my services in advance. By the time  you book your flights, let me know your plans because I’ll also be making my own plans and gone are the days where I’ll be cancelling my own plans to accommodate yours.

So darling friends and family, before you ask me to take care of your place or your kids this festive season, please give the above guidelines some thought. It’s all peace and love!

DISCLAIMER: My baby sitting duties come free of charge. These duties are also only for family or really really REALLY close friends.

Advertisements

on car wash dates…

This one is for you Tara 🙂

As you grow older, As I grow older I’ve realised that I don’t have the capacity to take crap from guys anymore. Probably explains why I’m still single when my friends are all getting married. I’ve been told I’m stubborn, I’m hard-headed, I’m too honest, I need to stroke his ego, I need to tone down the strong woman act but hold up it’s not an act! This is who I am so what is the use of toning it down because that means said gentleman will fall for a half version of me and what happens when he discovers the real me, the fighter, no nonsense chic who speaks her mind? Isn’t that a recipe for disaster?

Anyway, I digress, the point of this post is to talk about me refusing to take nonsense. This post was brought about by a whatsapp conversation that I had recently with a certain gentleman. I had a few errands to run at the mall when he hit me up on whatsapp (that’s a story for another blog post). He wanted me to accompany him to the car wash. The exact words were “Its a nice one I can’t go alone Pane car wash laundry sadza ne saloon Tongo tsvaga ma drinks coz havatengese ipapo”

On that particular day it was blazing hot and I was not in the mood to be assaulted by soap sud smells with a hint of boiled muriwo and a tinge of burnt hair while sitting on a crate sipping on a Savannah Angry Lemon trying to look cool in my Jacqui O inspired sunglasses while swatting nunzi away with my open palm. Granted the car wash is probably very different from my little scenario but I was just not in the mood for car wash vibes. So I chose the air conditioned movie house at the mall over the car wash and that’s when the statements began and said gentleman guy insinuated that I was a gold digger.

ad9ef610776a8938f972bef595f690a4

To be honest, I’m not a car wash type of girl. I prefer my sushi and cocktails. And I don’t expect anything from anyone that I can’t do for myself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t go to “sadza” places. I do go and I have been before sometimes with even just the girls and no men. I’m that girl who has even gone to Hillbrow because Aleck Macheso was playing at one spot *no judging, this is my blog 🙂 *

But because on this particular day I chose to go to the mall over hanging out at the car wash I earned myself a label. My response to him was along the lines of you can go ahead and put me in whatever box you feel like, I’m not even going to fight it. See the thing is I’m 27 years old, turning 28 in a few weeks. I’m past the stage of trying to explain myself and lower my assertiveness because I might scare a guy away. I just don’t have the energy anymore plus it’s hard to always try to remember not to be myself so I’ve embraced who I am.

Another phrase that got thrown at me last year was that I should be grateful this other guy was even calling as if he was doing me a favour – I sure do know how to pick them lol. I let it be known that I didn’t need favours and our interactions are very different and very minimal ever since that phrase.

Why am I writing about this today? Because I realise it’s ok NOT to accept bad behaviour from someone. And I’ve learnt that people treat you how you let them treat you. So if you roll over and let people speak to you like they are doing you favours by even having your number in their phone book, that’s on you but I’m saying that’s NOT ok. Disagreements do happen but there is a difference between disagreeing and being disrespected. So it’s ok to cut communication with people that you feel don’t respect you or your time. Life is too short to keep people around that subtract the joy from your days. It’s new year and when you start seeing your worth, you will find it harder to stay around people who don’t!

photo

On types of husbands…

I came across this on Facebook. Not sure who to credit for the work so we’ll say its anonymous 😛

Types of Husbands

MR MONKEY

Mr Monkey is only married on paper but in reality he is still a bachelor. He married because of some family pressures, maybe impregnating the girl out-of-wedlock. Mr Monkey is not responsible, he doesn’t realize he is now a man and has a wife and child (ren) to look after. He still hangs around with his bachelor friends. They go out, braai, drink and are merry with young girls and his car pumps out loud music, it’s actually a mobile disco. His house is like a lodge to him, he only comes home to sleep. He sleeps out once in a while and has his friends to testify to his wife that he slept at their place after drink or when the car had broken down. He is really a nuisance to the family.

MR LION

He is very violent and is always boiling like acid and suffers from mood swings. His home is run through intimidation and dictatorship. There are strict rules and regulations for the wife and children and whoever breaks these is thoroughly beaten. His home is run like a high school. There are strict meal times and heavy padlocks at the gate. He takes pride in being in charge and behaves like a high school perfect. Half the time he is engaging in compensatory behaviour verbally and physically abusing his wife and children to compensate for his inadequacies elsewhere especially at the workplace.


MR GORILLA

This one wants to be treated like an “Igwe’’ (a King). He treats his wife and children like his subjects. He wants the wife and children to perform some traditional respect gestures. He doesn’t want to be called by his first name. The children found out his first name by mistake on a utility bill and they enjoy using this name when he is away and they are gossiping about him. When his food is served, the wife kneels and puts food in front of him and she retreats two metres and kneels again and announces that she has brought the food, as if he is not aware. He eats from plates that have lids. Only the wife knows what he is eating. The children don’t. Gorilla has a strong rural background and has a number of beasts at his rural home/farm, where he goes almost every weekend. The cattle are his friends, they are more important than the wife and children for he spends most of his free time with them than with the family. The cattle are not sold to improve his life; he delights in seeing them multiply and enjoys the numbers. He’s a very stingy man.

MR BABOON

He is very selfish, he thinks about himself first before the family. He is the best dressed in the family. His favourite word is ‘my’. Everything is HIS – my car, my house, my wife, my children, my trees, my lizards (those that hang around his house). He is a very greedy man. He is heavily involved in what happens in the kitchen, even knows how may slices are in a sliced loaf of bread and how many oranges are on his oranges tree. He doesn’t consider the emotions of the wife and the children. He is a dry man with no sense of humour and he rarely smiles and takes life too seriously.

MR FOX

He is a very cunning man. He doesn’t care much about the marriage. He is using his wife to solve his own personal and extended family problems. He knows his wife’s weaknesses and capitalizes on these to use the wife for his personal gain. When he needs the wife to do something, he is friendly and ‘loving’ and when he gets what he wants he relapses to his usual dry self. His habits are very fast and his eyes swift. He won’t look at you directly in the eye and he speaks very fast as if he is reciting a poem. It’s not clear what exactly he does for a living but he is always in town running from one corner to the other.

MR TICK

Is a very lazy husband. He lives off his wife! He is literary hanging on his wife’s skirt. He’s stuck to the wife because of her money. He is dependant on the wife as much as the children. He is very loving in his own way – fond of calling the wife all sorts of little nothings, honey, sweetheart, sweety, lovely and all but will siphon money off the wife and spends it with other women. He has no initiative and has negated his role as a bread-winner in the family.

MR PUPPY

This is a husband who is a cry baby, very childish and irresponsible. He is mummy’s boy. Behaves as if he is married to his mother. He cannot make a decision without consulting his mother (and sisters). His mother and sisters run his home and family. He is always comparing his wife to his mother and expects the wife to behave like his mother. It is rumoured behind closed doors that maybe the mother bewitched him to make him ‘loyal’ to her. His sisters are busy trying to get him girlfriends from among their friends so that they will even spend more time with him through frustrating his wife. A very useless husband.

MR PYTHON

There is the visiting husband. Mr Python, a rare species. His house is a lodge. He only comes to sleep. Leaves home when the children are still sleeping and comes back when they are in bed. He is always at work or making ‘deals’ to make money but unfortunately he has no time for his family. He does provide materially for his family but he is always absent.

MR ELEPHANT

Finally there is Mr Elephant, the man who is caring and loving and provides for his family. He will not allow anything to come between him and his family and will fight tooth and nail to protect his family. He tries his best to fend for his family but only through honest means. He spends most of his spare time with the family and guides his family spiritually as well. A very responsible man who treats his wife as a partner and cares for the welfare of his in-laws. He values the children as God-given gifts to be cherished, with no gender bias. – and I know that all husbands who read this column are Elephants.

The perfect man. IF YOU HAVE MET ONE, PLEASE TELL ME HIS NAME!

Enjoy your day guys!