Sorry, but 13 Is Way Too Young to Be a Babysitter

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“Yes, of course,” were the words I uttered out loud at the age of 13 to a mother of two kids who wanted to hire me to be their babysitter. She had asked me If I had any experience watching kids before, and so I said, “yes,” which was sort of true. I had watched kids in the neighborhood I lived in, for five minutes, when their moms desperately had to go the bathroom. I had watched younger cousins of mine while their parents were in the kitchen flirting over glasses of wine. I had watched myself, a few times, when I was a kid and my mom had to run out to the grocery store. Which meant that, to me, I was more than qualified to spend Saturday nights as the sole protector of her two kids, ages 6 and 8, even though I was only 13.

When I’d go over to their house to start my babysitting gig at 7 p.m., I’d find myself as the third wheel when it came to board-game playing or TV watching with the kids. So, I started to do my own thing. I had just gotten my first cell phone, and…

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