Saturday, July 26, 2008


This past week, I house-sat for a family I've also been babysitting for. The family went on vacation to Disneyland for the younger daughter's 4th birthday and asked me to care for their 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 rats. It was an interesting experience... culminating, on the last day, with the dogs running away and my mother's wrists being punctured by one of them as we tried to lead them back home. She had to get stitches, and it was very traumatizing, but she'll be ok.

I learned a lot from observing their house. Keep in mind that it's a pretty busy household, but here is what I noticed:

  • Box clutter: We had this problem at our apartment, too, of keeping enormous boxes for no reason. And I've talked about it a lot. :) This family had a four-foot tall empty box from a portable air conditioner just sitting in the master bedroom - they got the AC unit two weeks ago, around when I started babysitting! I know that they might want to keep it for the two little girls to play with, but big boxes should have a proper home, either in someone's play area, the garage or in the recycling.

  • Clothes: I have a feeling the little girls are a tad spoiled. I love them to death! But they haven't yet learned the value of picking up after themselves. Ok, fine, they are four and eight, but still! Keep those adorable hampers accessible, not jammed in an already-bursting closet. I do like their dresser system, though, when they use it! The eight-year-old has categories for each drawer, and the "star drawer" is specially for pajamas.

  • Garbage: It was difficult for me to find a trash can in most rooms of the house. The kitchen didn't even have one! So I used some Safeway bags that I assume were for that purpose. Even more sad, the recycling was hard to find as well. I admit, it may be because I'm not used to their system and they don't need/use labels. But I've found in my own living spaces that having a trash and recycling in each room (or at least most rooms) makes things a lot easier. It's funny how lazy we can be if the recycling is even one room away!

I tidied up as best I could (and as much as I dared, for fear of seeming rude), but I was depressed to see that all my work had been erased when I went back two days later to babysit. Toys and food all over the floor! Kitchen table hardly visible! I guess I shouldn't try to change them if all they're paying me for is animal care and babysitting...

Thanks to Housesitting for the photo. :)

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