Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Ultimate Cure for the Babysitter Blues

The first time Mrs. Dude and I left the Little Dude with a babysitter was on our 3rd wedding anniversary. He was almost 8 months old and a friend offered to relieve us for a quiet and diaper-less night out. Long story short, he was asleep for the night before she arrived, we went out and had a lovely meal and upon our return learned that he’d woken up 30 minutes after we’d left and proceeded to cry for the next 2 hours until we got home. That evening pretty much set the tone for almost all of our subsequent babysitting experiences. 

From my experience, in addition to being conscientious caregivers, most sitters we’ve used have been generally at least 1 of 2 things: expensive and/or late, both of which are more environmental issues than anything else.  For those reasons, among others, we don’t splurge on babysitters as often as we might like and usually reserve them for special occasions.

For our recent wedding anniversary, which was also the 5th anniversary of the experience mentioned above, I decided to spin the wheel again. This year, our big day fell on a Tuesday, which further complicated things as reliable, and available, weekday sitters are infinitely harder to find.

As we’d just gone out for a nice dinner a few weeks earlier for Mrs. Dude’s big birthday, I came up with another idea for our anniversary: a night at the movies. I know that may sound a tad pedestrian, but it had been quite a while since Mrs. Dude and I had been to a movie without the boys, so I splurged and picked a movie at a fancy theater with reserved leather-recliner seats where they serve dinner while you eat!

We’ve gotten used to going to movies and seeing somewhere between 50-90% of the film due to kids’ myriad bathroom breaks, snack requests and questions about what’s happening onscreen, so this time it was going to be feet-up, 3D glasses on our eyes and plates of hot noms in front of us. My biggest concern was our sitter. Not that I don’t inherently trust her to treat my children as her own, but would she be able to successfully battle the L.A. freeways to get to us with enough time for us to make it to the theater?

Thankfully, I could relax due to Fandango’s worry-free ticketing system. I booked our tickets and picked our primo seats via the Fandango mobile app, as always, so I knew we weren’t going to be shut out at the box office or stuck in the front row craning our necks to see the dinosaurs flying toward us. But sometimes life happens and your babysitter gets stuck in traffic, or their grandmother dies or the dog eats their homework and you can’t make your movie. Fandango takes care of that for you, too, with their Worry-Free option to return or exchange your Fandango tickets at least 2 hours before show time if you change your mind or if your babysitter changes theirs.

So how’d it go? As I’d planned (and prayed), our sitter arrived promptly, we got to the theater 5 minutes before the lights dimmed which was enough time to order drinks and dinner, leaned our dead-center seats back with our feet up and enjoyed an uninterrupted night at the theater. Plus, I can’t forget the gold star for our sitter who reported two sleeping boys and zero tears when we returned home a few hours later.

Needless to say, we fared much better than the dinosaurs we’d just watched onscreen.

Disclaimer: I wrote this post as part of my participation in the Fandango Family Digital Network. I was compensated for this post, but all content and opinions contained within are mine entirely, for better or worse. Come hang with the FF team on Facebook, too. 


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