Thursday, March 28, 2013

Boat Babysitter?

Eric and I knew that, at some point, we'd need to find babysitter for Helina. However, other than recognizing that we'd need to do this, we never gave the matter much thought because, up until a few weeks ago, we didn't have the need for one. Helina has been on a strict schedule pretty much since the day she was born, so it was easy for us to go out to eat, run errands, etc. We knew exactly when she would fall asleep, wake, eat, get fussy, etc., so it was easy to plan around her schedule. Here is what eating out used to look like:

Dreaming at Dogma
Relaxing at Shuckers
Snoozing at My Ceviche
We now refer to this time as the golden era.

Eating out with Helina has become more trouble than it is worth. It is stressful, messy, frustrating and completely unenjoyable (for us, that is--Helina has a blast). Helina is no longer content to sit beside us while we dine, sip wine, and engage in conversations not spoken in babytalk. She now demands to sit at the table, so she can pound on it with her fists all the while demonstrating her most authentic primal scream for all to hear. Adult conversation? I don't think so. Instead of engaging with each other, Eric and I spend all of our time and energy attempting to keep Helina quiet by distracting her with toys, napkins, and funny voices. The only time Eric and I actually communicate with each other is when we exchange mutual glares of contempt, which we both understand to mean: "oh-my-god-this-is-so-awful-I-can't-believe-we're-paying-money-to-do-this-everyone-hates-us-we-need-to-get-the-hell-out-of-here-right-now!"

Here is a glimpse of Helina's current restaurant behavior (your ears will be thankful that there is no audio accompanying these images):

Barbaric at Brio
Maniacal at Mandolin
So, if we want to eat out and actually enjoy ourselves, we need to leave our precious baby at home. We need a babysitter, pronto.

I know that finding someone to watch your child is always a challenge, particularly when your child is a baby (not to mention your first baby). However, the fact that our home is a boat further complicates an already difficult situation. There is no way I'm going to let some random teenager (or random adult for that matter) hang out on our boat while they "watch" our baby. I'd be freaking out the entire time we were gone (What if they try and take the baby off the boat? What if the sitter falls in? What if Helina falls in!? What if they break something? What if they accidentally hit the wrong switch? What if they sink the boat?! What if--god forbid--they attempt to take the boat out!?!"). And honestly, how many parents are going to let their teenager babysit a baby on a sailboat? Probably not many--for all of the same reasons I don't want them doing it.

Despite my fears, the search is on. Right now, my focus is on finding someone--preferable an adult--who will watch Helina at their house. Of course, this opens the door to a whole host of other concerns (Who else lives in their house? Who are their neighbors? Is their house childproofed?).

Will I find someone? Sure... perhaps not soon, but we'll find someone eventually. Until then, Eric and I are beyond thankful that we live in a place with fabulous restaurants that deliver.


  1. I think you have uncovered a niche business someone who knows both boats and babies could start . . . who knew?

  2. I could put you in touch with my friend that lives there. She is moving in June, but she would probably know some other stay-at-home moms that could use some extra cash.

  3. That would be great, LuAnn! Thanks so much!!