We recently moved further away from my family — AKA our free and readily available babysitters — so we decided it would be wise to hire a babysitter that we could rely upon in a pinch on those rare occasions when the hubs and I actually venture into public to dine/be entertained/drink ourselves stupid with other grown-up folks. So we signed up with a legit babysitter/nanny service, waded through some applications, found some good candidates and commenced interviews. The next few posts will summarize the very strange, difficult and often befuddling task of inviting a stranger into your home and asking them personal questions to determine their ability to care for your child.

Round 1: “So…I work at a weed dispensary…will that be a problem?”

Our Round 1 candidate was quite young but also quite experienced as a caregiver. She was delightful, sweet and a natural with our daughter, who took to her immediately. She lacked, however, general life experience, and it became obvious about halfway through the interview. We have two dogs, so comfort with dogs is a requirement for whomever sits with our daughter. Round 1 candidate assured us she loved dogs, and in fact, she had an emotional service animal.

“Ummm….may we ask why you need an emotional service animal?”

“For anxiety.”

OK. I’m no stranger to anxiety and would never judge someone who suffers from this disorder. However, as vigilant parents, we asked many follow-up questions about what caused the anxiety, the symptoms of her anxiety, triggers for her anxiety and how it would affect her as a sitter. Turned out, she didn’t have an anxiety disorder per se. She had gone through a stressful time a couple of years ago (when she was 17) and when she got down about it, her puppy was there to give her comfort. Again, I’m sympathetic, but if life was this overwhelming to her at her very young age, I would never be comfortable with her caring for my child. Later that night, the husband put the words to what I had been thinking. He said he wanted to yell at her, “You’re 19….it only gets sooooo much worse from here!” No judgment. But, no.

Next, we asked her about her CPR training, which she said was current, and we asked what she would do if our daughter choked.

“Well, I’d do CPR,” she said.

I tried to step in and save her. “Do you mean the heimlich?”

“No, CPR,” she asserted.

Again, the husband said what I was thinking.

“So if she was choking, your solution would be to force air down her throat?!”

We moved on to talk about her day job.

“I’m a receptionist at a marijuana dispensary.”

Alrighty then. On to Round 2.