Babysitter Blues

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There are changes afoot for our two beloved babysitters — one is college-bound, the other is applying for a full-time job as an art teacher.

I'm close to panic even though this is months away. I can't stop my mind from racing through the calendar. Will we ever find another sitter who takes great care of our girls and genuinely enjoys their company?

And it's not just finding a substitute that's worrisome. Helping the four of them through that getting-to-know-you stage might prove tricky as well.

On the second point at least, I'm more at ease, thanks to the website for DON'T FORGET TO COME BACK, a kid's book written by child development expert Robie H. Harris.

Search for "DON'T FORGET TO COME BACK," and you'll find a linked activity kit that contains three pages of questions for your child (and space to illustrate) designed to cull the key info that any sitter worth her salt needs to know. You know, the stuff that doesn't make it onto your sitter instruction list, like Ellie loves ballet, spiders scare the Crocs off her, and she'll want to play flashlight tag as soon as we pull out of the driveway.

I printed it all out, and then sat down with each of my older daughters alone while they filled in their info.

Caitlin went first. Likes: being silly, bubbles. Greatest fear: "Big gigantic bubble-blowing snakes." (See "Likes" above.)

Ellie broadcast this nugget: "My sisters, especially Natalie, are annoying."

Well, when the time comes that I have to hand this over to a new sitter, at least I can take comfort in knowing she's getting incredibly accurate information.

How do you handle the babysitter blues? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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Babysitter Blues

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