There are two ways to search for a good, reliable baby sitter.
One. You can run a help-wanted ad, interview dozens of prospects, and discover you wouldn't trust any of 'em with your ant farm, let alone your kids. But you'll hire the one you distrust the least because if you and your spouse fail to attend that important dinner with your boss tonight, your career will end, your income will plummet, you'll lose your home, and you'll be shot to death while trying to steal a can of Spam to feed your alcoholic, drug-addicted children who are living on the river bottom in a cardboard box.
Or, two, you can simply ask all applicants to complete the following multiple-choice questionnaire. Glom onto anyone who circles the correct answer (a) more than three times, because he or she is as good a baby sitter as you're likely to find.
To date, the personal achievement of which I am proudest is
a) my scholastic record.
b) being elected class president.
c) the scorpion tattoo on my ass.
I choose to work as a baby sitter because I love
c) making free, two-hour long-distance phone calls to my boyfriend who recently moved to Guam.
What I admire most about toddlers is
a) their innocence.
b) their laughter.
c) the ease with which they're knocked unconscious.
Once the parents have left, my first duty is to
a) make sure the children are happy and comfortable in my care.
b) discuss the sort of behavior I expect from them.
c) load them into my car, drive to another state, change their identities, and force them to call me "Mom."
While baby-sitting in someone else's house, I would never invite friends over unless
a) I'd been given permission.
b) they're homeless.
c) the wet bar was very well-stocked.
Nor would I allow strangers into the house unless they were
a) police officers.
c) real cute with tight buns.
The best way to deal with a crying child is to
a) hold him until he stops.
b) buy him an ice cream cone.
c) lock him in a closet, crank up the stereo until his parents pull into the driveway, let him out, and then say, "Gee, I don't know what's wrong with the little tyke. He's been fine up to now!"
In case of emergency, I would
a) call the parents.
b) call 911.
c) stay off the phone because my best friend Bambi is supposed to call and tell me if she and Jeff, like, really, truly broke up or what.
If a child in my care were to choke on a small object, I would
a) try to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
b) try to say "the Heimlich maneuver."
c) call Bambi to see if she can say "the Heimlich maneuver."
In the event of a major house fire, I would
a) lead the children to safety, then call the fire department.
b) call the fire department, then lead the children to safety.
c) vow never again to freebase during paint-sniffing parties unless absolutely necessary.
The most effective method of handling outbreaks of physical violence between kids is to
a) mediate without taking sides.
b) scream, "Hit the little bastard for me!"
c) state firmly and sincerely, "If you smash his head into the TV before the Star Search model/spokesperson competition is over, I'm gonna show you what a punch in the face really feels like."
My favorite game to play with youngsters is
When a child requires a fresh diaper, I wouldn't hesitate to
a) change it immediately.
b) call Bambi and ask her to come over and change it immediately.
c) make gagging noises and drive to the mall for some fresh air and a little shopping.
If I were to discover that a youngster in my charge was missing, I'd
a) search the house.
b) go to the store and draw his picture on milk cartons.
c) keep my eye peeled for the lad during the next keg run.
When the parents return and ask how their children behaved, I will
a) think of something complimentary to say about them, no matter how difficult they were.
b) wildly distort the truth in an effort to get more money.
c) stare blankly and say, "How the hell should I know? Perhaps you failed to notice, but I've got a life to live, too!"
I'm setting aside the money I earn by baby-sitting for
a) my college education.
c) the last people I worked for, who accused me of making $3,426 worth of long-distance phone calls to Guam and convinced my Mom and Dad to ground me for life if I don't repay them.
I believe my baby-sitting experience will help prepare me for my future career as
a) a child psychologist.
b) a Hollywood snake wrangler.
c) a Mesa schoolteacher.