I heart co-ops

So. I have nothing of interest to write about today, but I feel that I should write because tomorrow I’ll be busy TURNING TWENTY EIGHT YEARS OLD.

I think I’ll tell you a little story.

Since moving, I’ve been trying my hardest (in between wading through the shitpile of belongings in a teeny tiny house) to meet other parents. I haven’t been very successful. One idea that I came up with was a babysitting co-op. My mom told me that this is something she was involved in when I was little. It’s where a group of parents come together and form a cooperative. You babysit each other’s kids for “points”, which can be also be redeemed for babysitting by a family in the co-op. In a babysitting co-op, everyone wins.

1. You get to make new friends with other people who have kids.

2. You get free babysitting, and by people who you know and trust with your children.

3. Your kids get to socialize with other kids their age.

I couldn’t find an existing co-op on the island, so I decided to get brave and put an ad in the paper as a “call for members.”

The ad ran yesterday and not long after I had scanned it for errors, my phone rang. It a woman inquiring about “the free babysitting.” I explained the idea to her and she seemed interested. (Who wouldn’t be?!) She then asked me where I lived, and I told her, and her response was “DAYUM! YOU LIVE IN BFE, I’M SORRY TO TELL YOU, BUT YOU DO, GIRL!” I gave her a courtesy chuckle and wrote on my pad of paper “snotty”, so that I could remember exactly who she was for later review.

I ask her the ages of her children, and she tells me that she has a 2 year old and a 3 year old. I give her the ages of my children, and she says “Oh yeah, I have a 6, 7, and 8 year old too but they don’t live with me anymore.”

Woah there. Red flags.

She then goes on to tell me that she is so bored at home all day long with the kids that she sometimes keeps telemarketers on the phone for chit chat, and hasn’t seen a restaurant in years where “you don’t order through a clown’s mouth.”

And then, her kid starts screaming. “Hold on,” she tells me while I continue to bang my head on my desk.


I seriously thought I was going to die right then and there. After quite some time, her call waiting rescued me and we said our goodbyes.

I think I might change my phone number now and forget I ever came up with this brilliant co-op idea.

4 Responses to “I heart co-ops”

  1. 1 Renae January 28, 2007 at 6:23 am

    That is one of the funniest stories I’ve heard in a long time. I think there’s a special place in heaven for anyone willing to baby sit that lady’s kids.

    If only someone would start a house cleaning co-op because I need me some free house cleaning!

  2. 2 antropologa January 28, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Haha, that’s what you get for disseminating your number to the public!

    That lady reminds me of the kind of people I used to meet back when I was a social worker. It really takes me back. I was supposed to be teaching “parenting skills” (which I think is so nebulous a phrase) but people sometimes got it in their heads that I was supposed to be a babysitter, actually, and would try to leave the house so I could “evaluate their kids undisturbed”. Like it was their kids that had the problem.

    It sounds like you were very nice on the phone and well-behaved–good for you. BFE, I love it!

    Anyway maybe some more reliable-sounding people will call–it’s still worth holding out hope. Maybe you can find some households to trade with who have supereasy only kids–that would be the jackpot of such a co-op.


  3. 3 antropologa January 28, 2007 at 8:00 am

    And, oh my God, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    I take birthdays very seriously and hope you enjoy yours as much as you can!

  4. 4 ladyareto January 28, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven’t noticed I’m leaving this message for you everywhere because you should feel special today (and b/c my birthday card for you isn’t going to get there til tomorrow or something) and because it’s your GOLDEN BIRTHDAY (whoohoo!!! i had mine at 16) AND because I love you and adore you;) forever and ever!!! Mwah!

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