Monday, August 30, 2010

Musings Upon a BIG SUV and Other Glimpses of My Weekend

For four days I babysat twin seven year old boys. The same pair I had watched at the beginning of summer, pre-Leo's unsuccessful dance with Volvos. This time around I actually had to drop them off and pick them up from school. Which was weird...very, very weird. To top it off, I also had to sit through a Tiger Cub (or Scout?) meeting my first afternoon with the kiddos. Again, very, very weird. In fact, I was quite useless at that meeting. I helped a parent and a couple of other babysitters with folders, but, that was the extent of my help. Let me tell you, 10 plus boys ages 6-7 years, in a open tiled room, makes for an interesting sensory experience. LOTS of noise! Anchored by the appeal of my new iPhone, I sat in the corner looking at the choas around me and felt a sense of anxiety when I thought, "This could be my future"
The view from the BIG A** SUV. At least 10 cars deep in all three lanes. Not to mention several cars behind me. Cuh-razy.

Fast forward twenty four hours and I'm in the drive-thru [pick up] lane at the elementary school the boys attend. One nice perk about this babysitting gig is I get to drive the family's car as opposed to my own. So, here I am, in a N-I-C-E Cadillac Escalade (I could write an entire blog entry about driving around in that thing- but, I will spare you all that torture) waiting in line at one of Tulsa's private schools with a slew of parents, nannies, babysitters waiting in their respective [nice, expensive] cars and SUVs- see picture above. The whole process took about 15 minutes. I kept running over in my head what the twins's mother told me, "No cell phones, stay in the far right, or left lane, tell them your name, don't get out of the car..." As I did this and waited my turn, again a sense of panic washed over me at the thought of, "This could be your future." That thought brought an immediate, "NO dangit! No, no, no!!"
Let me say that I understand that this specific scenario will probably not be my exact future. I believe though, that the thought of being settled in with a family, being at home, taking the kids to school and picking them up in the stereotypical American SUV, is what provoked a mild anxiety attack. I think in a nutshell it just didn't 'feel right'. I know the future holds many unexpected things, and one does the best they can with what they have for their children. I know many awesome moms and I'm ALWAYS in awe of what they do for their kids. That said, for me, I want something 'more', or different, for my children when they come into my life. More diversity at school is, at the very least, a must. Many other ideas are forming in my mind, but, not many of them can be articulated at this point in time.
I don't know why babysitting always leaves me with more perspective and sometimes panic about the future. Geez. Maybe it's my control issues coming into play? I'm not entirely sure. I will say though, I am definitely glad I'm not driving that HUGE Escalade! Though I could see over traffic for miles, I nearly fell out of the thing three times, and the amount of work it takes backing out of parking spots is just rediculous!
Nice comfortable leather seats though... I will give it that. ;-)


Caitie said...

I was in the park the other day when a school troop, well, trooped in. A couple of tween girls plunked themselves beside me to eat their lunch and one was clearly the ring leader. Her teacher was sitting with some other teachers, and this girl beside me was mocking her teacher by repeating her laugh, etc... She was also bossing other girls around by putting her leg on the bench if she didn't want one girl to sit down, taking it down when another came by. It was pure bitchy madness and I had a nervous moment when I thought what if one day I have a kid who's an ignorant little shit on a playground power trip? Shudder!

Habebi said...

Caitie- I can't blame you one bit!! I felt so repsonsible making sure the twins got in their reading, outside video game play time, corrected their table manners, etc and the thought of having to deal with a kiddo out of control in the way your described horrified me. I would feel SO incredibly responsible. What do you do if that happens? That sort of thing. I know there are no easy answers and perhaps my panic is for naught, but, man when it strikes it gets to me!

Sarah said...

HAHAHA I shall now call Leo "Dances with Volvos." :) In other news, I am glad I don't have an SUV, and I'm all about diversity in schools. As for the Tiger Cub thing, that's NUTS that they put 10 in a den! Yeesh. I'd have checked out, too... or have been running the show. ;)

Habebi said...

Sarah- OMG I soooooo almost texted you while I sat there in that scout meeting. It was their very first one with this new den so it was extra insane. I knew you could relate!! Yeah, the luxury SUVs surrounding me were so surreal. Just, not.. me!

I love that you are so cool when I have my panic attacks about having children. Girl, you rock in the best friend category!

The Pliers said...

I have to admit, having done none of the above, ever, if memory serves, and having been the eldest of three children born in '52, '54, and '56 in VA, Chickasha, and Tulsa in an unemployed, single-mother, living on handouts from dad, household, I have no plans, at the age of almost 58, to ever do so.

That said, what comes to mind upon reading your post today has nothing at all to do with any parent exercising his or her parental responsibilities and everything to do with the fact that you have a CHOICE about whether or not take on that role and those responsibilities.

A choice that very few people, women in particular, had before the availability of contraception, abortion, full education, and free access to employment for women in the USA. A choice that is not guaranteed to continue without vigilance on the part of women who are in favor of having social, political, reproductive, and economic choices. And a choice that is not available to most women on earth.

If you were panicking in a fantasy permitted by down time in an SUV, can you imagine the panic of a woman with two, three, four children and no access to reproductive choice? A pregnant female student with no children, no husband, and no source of financial support beyond a part-time job to pay for books and housing? I suspect that you can imagine that really vividly.

There is no reason on earth that such a scenario should unfold in your life against your will. That said, it has been proven over and over again that children, in and of themselves do not save rocky marriages; do not create commitment in men who do not want to be committed through thick and thin; are instrumental in making single mothers those at greatest risk for defaulting on a home loan; do not forestall divorces; contribute to the feminization of poverty; are among the largest group of non-insured medically; and are very expensive to raise and maintain.

I'm really, really happy that you take these babysitting jobs from time to time for the incredible reality check that they afford you! Good for you!

AmitiƩs et bonne chance,

annelise said...

Haha, those moments of panic are so funny. I have them when my niece and nephew come over to visit (they're two and a half, and eight months old). I want children one day, but when I watch the kids with their mother, I do a bit of a freak out!
Don't they say it's different when they're your own??

Habebi said...

Pliers- Once again you hit things right on the nose!! I do have choices, and I am beyond grateful for that, but, that doesn't mean I should take such a thing lightly. I am overwhelmed in those moments when I realize how much is involved with child raising. I know that when I have children it'll be at a point of time where I have weighed everything carefully and am ready. I want to make sure I have worked to become the best I can be so I can provide my best for the kid(s). I mean how else could I expect them to reach for the stars if I wasn't a good example? It's just mind boggling what needs to be considered when making the choice to have children.

Habebi said...

annelise- They are aren't they? They come out of the blue over the littlest things! People say it's different when you have your own, but, I would think I'd be even more overwhlemed at times because of that! lol