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Things you only know if you’re a teenage babysitter
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you’re a teenage babysitter

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…according to Gloria, 17.

Free stuff is a serious perk

‘The first thing I do once the children have gone to bed is look in the fridge. Sometimes people will cook you really nice stews or leave a pizza. Also, TV subscriptions are pretty cool: at one house I got to watch “Twin Peaks”.’

North London’s vegan population is growing

‘When I started babysitting around Crouch End and Wood Green three years ago, there was only one vegan family. Now, a good percentage of the families I babysit for are vegan or gluten-free. I find a lot of stuff in their fridges like vegan cheese, which is disgusting. It tastes like cardboard or the rubber from trainer soles.’

The best way into babysitting is through family

‘When I was 14 my mum said she wasn’t going to pay for my ticket to Latitude Festival, so I decided to get a job. I practised on my cousins, who were about three years old, and I learned a lot. My dad works in a primary school, so most of the mums already knew of me and they told their friends about me. That’s how it goes!’

Being the sole responsible person in a house can be scary

‘I was in a house once and the kids were in their room when a big bang came from the pantry. I was really scared. I got a knife out of the drawer, went into the pantry and turned on the light – and there was this little cat sitting in the corner. The parents hadn’t told me they had any pets!’

Little kids can cause big damage

‘One time I was babysitting in Tufnell Park and the two children wanted to make up a dance. They went upstairs to practise and were stomping around so much that the ceiling light fell down. It was really fancy as well, like a chandelier, and it fell into a bowl of pasta on the table. I never got asked to babysit there again.’

Now discover the things you only know if you’re a Tower Bridge controller.

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