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Dear Lola,

There is a teenager on my street who watches children for multiple families, mine included. I use her services three to four times each month and my children adore her. When I called her for another night with the children, she advised me that she had to raise her rates. She told me the new price and I happily accepted since it was still lower than I was willing to pay. After a month at the new rates, I was talking with another mom and found out her rates hadn’t gone up. I then asked a few other moms on the street and got the same answer – only my rates had been raised.

Lola, I am angry! I don’t think it is right that I am being charged more than my neighbors for the same service. I want to confront her over this, but the other moms cautioned me against this. What should I do?

Miffed Mama

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Miffed Mama,

I just want to clarify what you said, in case you haven’t completely thought about what you wrote. I’m also hoping that hearing it from a canine will help to clarify the absurdity of your position.

You want to angrily confront a minor and demand she reduce her babysitting fees.

Now read that statement again. There comes a moment in every Hominid Wrangler’s life where they have to come to grips with the fact that the Miniature Humans they birthed are not perfect. What you do in this moment will have a lasting impact on your family life and your Mini Human’s lives forever. That may be a slight exaggeration, but the next statement is not.

This is your Darth Vader moment.

I recommend that you take it as a sign that in spite of your Mini Humans requiring more effort from this teenager, they still adore her. This indicates that she isn’t mean to them, doesn’t lose her temper and demand complete silence from them at all times, and refrains from sending them to bed while it’s still light out.

Mini Humans complain about babysitters who do any of those things.

Instead, this teenager reacted in a surprisingly mature fashion – a rarity in her age group. She raised her rates to compensate for the extra work that your Miniature Humans obviously require. Instead of abandoning your family, she came up with a solution that allowed her to continue to provide you with services, while not leaving herself feeling completely frustrated.

Frustrated babysitters result in your returning home at midnight to Mini Humans who are hyped up on sugar and hanging from the ceiling like monkeys.

As I see it, you only have two options for this scenario. Pay her the new rate and never speak of it again – to her or to any other Hominid Wrangler on the street. Find a new babysitter and never speak of it again – to her or to any other Hominid Wrangler on the street. Please note that both of the options require you to not speak of this matter. Your babysitter made a mature choice, but she is still a minor child. You are an adult – it’s time to prove that.

To my other readers who may find themselves in a similar situation – Normally I would advise a Hominid Wrangler to notify the babysitter that a different person will be used in the future. This can be gently explained by saying that what you originally thought you could afford is not actually going to work for the long-term. This should be handled with care so as not to appear to put pressure on the babysitter to lower her rates – refer back to the hanging from the ceiling scenario. In this specific case, where talking amongst neighbors has already occurred, I thought it wisest to avoid creating more drama in the neighborhood. By simply using a new babysitter, the previous one will deduce it was the new rates that caused the change – a scenario she likely discussed with her parents before enacting this plan.


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