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7 Ways to Make Absolutely, Positively Sure Nobody Ever Asks You to Watch Their Kids

It’s a dirty job, so here’s how to avoid it

By Denise SheltonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
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7 Ways to Make Absolutely, Positively Sure Nobody Ever Asks You to Watch Their Kids
Photo by Lubomirkin on Unsplash

Do you like to babysit? Unless you’re a 12-year-old who doesn’t have a monetized YouTube channel, I’m guessing you don’t. Here are a few tips to make sure you never have to.

Disclaimer: Most of these suggestions involve telling an outrageous lie. (Sorry, folks; freedom isn’t free.)

1. Live on a boat without safety equipment

Oh, sure. If you do live on a boat, you probably have some Dollar Store water wings stashed away with the flare gun and gummy bear edibles. The trick is to make sure nobody knows it.

A well-placed aside along the lines of, “I really should get some railings. This deck is hecka slippery!” or “Good thing I’m a strong swimmer. Maybe I should have an inner tube or something, but, hey, It’s only me!” will be duly noted.

You need not live on a boat to use this technique, but, if you do, you can’t invite people over.

If they push to “just stop by,” say something like, “I don’t entertain because of the rats.”

2. Claim to have a well-controlled case of Tourette’s syndrome, triggered only by the presence of children

When introduced to their new baby, remember to say something like, “Is that the little dickens? Son of a fucking whore! Shit! Fuck! Shit!”

A couple of facial tics will add to the authenticity. If you can manage some spittle, so much the better.

The beauty of this one is that it works whether they want you to babysit at your place or theirs. No one wants Junior to develop a potty mouth. Well, almost no one. Bonus, no more blind dates!

3. Keep a large predatory animal as a pet

When parents are desperate for a sitter, good judgment goes straight out the baby gate, so you may have to underscore the unsuitability of your situation.

You might say something like, “I’ve got to keep an eye on Otto when kids pass by. You may see a toddler in a pink snowsuit, but Otto sees a fetal pig.”

Otto need not exist, but you can’t invite people over. If they drop-in unexpectedly, say, “He’s at the vet having his teeth sharpened” or “Otto has a touch of tummy trouble. He ate something he shouldn’t. The police are on their way.”

4. Tell people you’ve been the victim of a home invasion, twice

Naturally, this trauma is something of which you do not speak. Not only will no one ever ask you to babysit, but you’ll also be off the hook for hosting the next poker game, Bible study, or Jane Austen book club.

5. Make it an open secret that you live next to a couple who are both on the National Sex Offender Registry

No further explanation required.

6. Invent an unspeakable secret

Tell friends with kids there’s something in your past too painful to share. Say, “All I can tell you is I can never take responsibility for anyone else’s children ever again.”

If you can’t manage to squeeze out a tear or two, gaze into the distance, blank-faced, with a 1000-yard stare.

Their imaginations will run wild, and they’ll strike an irreversible black slash through your name on their mental checklist of potential sitters. Guaranteed.

7. Have none of your own

Childlessness is the gold standard excuse, “I don’t know nothin’ bout sittin’ babies!”

You also avoid decades-long enslavement in a round of diapers, spit-up, and keening to rival the Queen of the Banshees because, if your kids have kids, you’ll be the first person they ask to babysit.

Not only will they give you no prior notice, they won’t pay you a dime. When they gaze at you lovingly cradling their newborn for the first time, the only thing on their minds is “free daycare.”

Grandparents may not be required to babysit their children’s children, but when word gets out that you refuse to, and it will, your status as a decent human being will be non-existent.

Speculation will commence that you are everything from an unstable meth head to a serial killer. No kids, no grandkids, no problem.

I hope these suggestions will help you successfully avoid caring for other people’s children.

If you want to avoid caring for your children, I can’t help. Big fat lies are one thing; incurring the wrath of child protective services is another.

Your parents might have some suggestions, though. Ask them.

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About the Creator

Denise Shelton

Denise Shelton writes on a variety of topics and in several different genres. Frequent subjects include history, politics, and opinion. She gleefully writes poetry The New Yorker wouldn't dare publish.

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