Jason Fredric Gilbert
Pushing the boundaries of weird since 1978

Misadventures In Babysitting

August sucks major balls in this country and I’m not talking just the heat. I’m talking the stupid day care policy that sets our little preschool rugrats free for three whole weeks while we scramble to find camps, grandmas and other non-pedophiles to keep an eye on them while we slave away in the salt mines. But guess who gets the summer off? Fucking MKs. Remind me to run for office next time around. (Please exchange “run for office” with “drop a shadoobie” and “next time around” with “in the Knesset”. )

So M. and I played it smart this time around. We put an ad in my favorite (albeit somewhat creepy) online forum called Janglo. It’s like the Jewish Craigslist minus the random encounters and fake escorts for hire. Here is what I wrote:

Babysitter for hire to watch and help potty train our 3 year old. 27/nis + transportation.

We got two responses and since I am such a genius I scheduled them both for the exact same time on the exact same day. So they arrived and stood outside the door looking at me and each other like two deer caught in headlights. Was this some practical joke? I did my best Homer Simpsonesque “d’oh” and asked one to sit in the room and play with D. while M. and I interviewed the second one. Awkward much?

A. is 22, from California, a yoga instructor and sexy as all hell. I pretend not to notice her long, tanned legs and hit her with some hard questions. She says she has limited experience potty training toddlers. She worked briefly at a gan yeladim (day care) here in Israel (she is on break from ulpan and doesn’t speak Hebrew). No references. Nothing. I like her despite her glaring lack of formal know-how. I put on a serious face so as not to let M. on to the fact that I’ve already been fantasizing about her and the erotic“naughty au pair” series that she’ll be starring in in my mind.

Meanwhile my little man D. comes screaming out of the room and straight into my arms like a teen girl in a slasher film. The second candidate, S., a religious girl from Rehovot, is surprisingly attractive. She is mortified by my son’s sudden impulse to run screaming out of their playdate, all but dooming her chances of getting the gig. Both M. and I look at her with a “what the fuck did you to him?” look. She is contrite. She was trying her best to keep him occupied but boys will be boys and he was curious. I felt sorry for her.

S. is a nursing student and smells really nice, like a forbidden fruit dangling from some Biblical tree. I am strangely attracted to her and her piercing blue eyes. She speaks Hebrew fluently which is a great relief to M. She loves kids and raised her five siblings. She has tons of experience She really wants the job. I ask her if she has a problem cleaning up after D. should he drop a steaming turd on the floor. She smiles and says that she’s cleaned up a lot worse at the nursing home she interns at.

M. and I have a really difficult decision to make. Both would make great babysitters. Both want the job. To make matters worse, as much as I want to dislike the religious girl, she comes at me with a pinch of humility so touching it stings: “A. (the other candidate) is really nice. I’ll understand if you give her the job.”

M. washes her hands clean of the whole decision making process. “They’re both wonderful and kind.” It’s a trap. I know it is. If I go with the sexy young California girl she’ll think I did it for all the wrong reasons. If I go with the religious girl she’ll wonder why I picked the one that made our son run out of his room screaming. Was she trying to indoctrinate him into Judaism? Scientology? WTF? As much as I rationalized it, I was discriminating against her because of her beliefs and my prejudice.

So we pick the California girl. The yoga instructor. The long legs and perky tits. She accepts the job. Of course she sends me a text two weeks before she is supposed to start saying that she was offered a great position in the army and she can’t do it. Figures. By now I’m too ashamed to even contact the religious girl. God is definitely not on my side.

Back to square one and Janglo and the ad. This time it’s for 30 nis an hour and it has a stench of desperation. We get two responses again. This time I am careful to book them separately.

The first is in her late twenties and from some South American country. For the life of me I can’t understand a word she is saying. She is drop dead gorgeous. She is just back from the gym, braless and going on and on about her background in education and her master’s degree in special ed. She ignores D. He brings out every single one of his cars, trucks and planes to impress her. Without batting an eye she says: “I’m willing to do it for 40 an hour. No less.” What the fuck is this? The shuk?

The second one was from Florida. That was about all I had to hear. Nothing good ever came out of Florida.

As M. and I were food shopping on Friday morning, desperately plotting how we could maneuver our jobs, our parents and our neighbors on Sunday I get a call from a dude who says he’s responding to the ad. I’m speechless. Do I trust a guy with my son? Am I that sexist and narrow minded? After all I was a stay-at-home dad for an entire year. I blurt out that the position has been filled. I spend the rest of the day grappling with the ramifications of that decision.

We haven’t found a babysitter yet and if Karma and God have anything to do with it I doubt we will. It’s one thing to say you are open minded and non-discriminatory. It’s a completely different story to actually live that way.

About the Author
Jason Fredric Gilbert is a film and music video director, published author and acclaimed parallel parker; His Independent Film,"'The Coat Room" won "Best in Fest" at the 2006 Portland Underground Film Festival. He is also the author of two books of screenplays, "Miss Carriage House" and the follow up collection of screenplays "Reclining Nude & The Spirit of Enterprise" He currently lives in Or Yehuda and solves crossword puzzles in the bathroom. Please slap him in the face if you see him.