insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

During a Monday-morning weekend recap, a co-worker and I covered my performance guest worship leading at St Johns Wesleyan Church in North Portland, the awfulness of the new Adam Sandler movie Pixels, the superiority of Daniel Craig in the role of …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
Crazy smiling woman in the eyeglasses

Filed Under , , on November 14th, 2015

Babysitter Odds

By Seth Kabala

During a Monday-morning weekend recap, a co-worker and I covered my performance guest worship leading at St Johns Wesleyan Church in North Portland, the awfulness of the new Adam Sandler movie Pixels, the superiority of Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond vs every other actor who has played the role, the opportunity costs of a career as a full-time musician vs a part-time player, and finally the rising cost of babysitting services. My colleague said she knew a woman who put herself through college providing weekend babysitting for couples who needed to get away for a couple days.

The money angle made me think about all the green my wife and I have paid over the years for babysitting services. I’ve paid anywhere from $40 to over $100 an occurrence based on first, the time expended, and second, the state of potential anarchy in which my children had been prior to our leaving them in the care of the sitter. Concerning this, the payment for services was part compensation for time, part comp for psychological damage, and part lawsuit insurance.

Thank Rosalyn from Calvin and Hobbes.

I kid, but only because of my own ignorance.

What kinds of behavioral reports do we get from the sitters? Outstanding reports. Amazing reports.  Glowing reports. Reports that–excuse my comments, future well-behaved and adjusted and successful adult Kabala children–are too good to be true.

Don’t me wrong. My children are good–most of the time. They’re reading pages of literary works drawn from those other than The Brain’s, eschewing a desire for overthrow of their parental overlords–most of the time. Sometimes, though, I see the teeth of world domination gears interlocking as they turn inside my childrens’ heads, which are, of course, transparent when bent on a course of total global control.

One Calvin and Hobbes strip has the adolescent trouble-maker and his A-Beautiful-Mind stuffed tiger shooting rubber darts at Rosalyn, the babysitter, as she makes her way upstairs to check on them. After narrowly escaping the onslaught of toy-store ordinance, Rosalyn takes on a visage I can only describe as Hexenbiest-ish–Can you tell we live in Portland and have been watching a lot of Grimm?–jaw dropping to chest level, eyes narrowing to slits of rage, rolling up her sleeves for what can only be assumed to be domestic abuse about to take place off-panel. You know, the fun-filled, animated kind.

Rosalyn makes a lot of snide comments when Calvin’s parents come home for the evening. But she takes their money and keeps coming back. What if, however, she keeps coming back because she’s been psychologically manipulated? What if Calvin and Hobbes’ have so damaged her ability to deal with the world that she feels she has no choice but to return to the scene of the abuse? Sort of a weird take on Stockholm syndrome.

As it pertains to my children, again, I have no evidence. But with the advent of dystopian movie franchises like The Hunger Games, I think about my kids dropping the babysitter into a manufactured land where wild fires are conjured from nothing and melt your skin, and rabid dogs are hungry for a bloody feast, and if you manage to escape the quasi-natural dangers, there’s always an archer with a razor-edged arrow that has your name stamped into the tip.

Picture the babysitter running around with Katniss Everdeen. How long do you think she’ll last?

Hopefully until the movie is over, because we need some alone time. At Midnight, the spell breaks, and we must return to the master manipulators and face the slings and arrows of rubber.

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


roller coaster

Thrill Ride

I delivered my 10th speech at Toastmasters this past Thursday, earning me the ranking of Competent Communicator (CC), as if there was any doubt. I've found it helpful to post these speeches here, as 1) they might help you light a fire under your ass to start your public speaking journey, and 2) I...

[ Swap Article ]

The sun painted chalk on the asphalt

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #17

I find myself sitting at my kitchen table on the best day of the year, weather wise. I'm inside but close enough to the patio door to feel the sun's rays radiating through the glass. Their circle of influence grows strong today. ...

[ Swap Article ]

???????????????????????????????????????

10 Things I Learned from Fast & Furious Movies

Amy and I watched all eight Fast & Furious (FF) movies over the past couple of weeks. We had seen the first couple, but nothing post Paul Walker (RIP), and it had been years since the franchise debuted, so we started at the beginning. They are pure escapist pleasure, short on substantive plotting,...

[ Swap Article ]

masters degree, 3D rendering, triple flags

Just Like Howard

The books punched through the plaster and lathe boards and utilities recessed in the ceiling, through the rafters and sheathing and shingles, sending splinters flying and pipes bursting. Roofing materials exploded into a thousand lethal projectiles as the book pile launched into the atmosphere. With...

[ Swap Article ]

Claw scratch on white background, a vector illustration.

New Claws

The end has come for a man called Logan. That was his name, wasn't it? I don't know, man. ...

[ Swap Article ]

The United States of Russia

Review: The United States of Russia

With his third album, The United States of Russia, NYC-based comic Ben Rosenfeld covers new ground--frozen, depressing, vodka-soaked ground, that is. This album debuted on January 19 and quickly claimed the #1 slot on iTunes comedy albums. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Empty Theater Chairs

10 Reasons the Cheap Theater Rocks

1. You can see many of the big blockbusters weeks, perhaps even months, after they hit first-run theaters, solidifying your status as fashionably late and appreciative of the finer, aged things in life--such as yourself. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Skull smoking. Vector.

Psychoanalytic Geniuses

On a walk with my wife, Amy, I noticed a convenience store near our home has mounted logos all over the exterior of the building. The store’s sign advertises its status as a purveyor of all things tobacco, alcohol, and junk food. Yet, the proprietor evidently believes this is not enough and...

[ Swap Article ]

North Silver Falls Oregon. the trail takes you behind this beautiful waterfall with a huge cave like overhang.  Silver falls state park, Oregon

The Nature of Faith

We and California family members spent the last Saturday of 2017 exploring the trails and waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park. We've spent ample time hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge and other areas surrounding the Portland metro, but these Silver Falls waterfalls were something...

[ Swap Article ]

2018 year goals list on napkin

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #16

2017 is coming to a close. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Im your king

The Privilege of Decision

I delivered the speech below as project #6 in my Toastmasters journey to earning my Competent Communicator award. Wish you had been there, dear reader. Someday. For now, here's the text: ...

[ Swap Article ]

Addicted

Constant Friend

Numbers. ...

[ Swap Article ]