Mrs. Robbo is away this week doing graduate work up at Johns Hopkins.  (Among other things, I understand that the certificate she earns in this course entitles her to borrow actual moon rocks from the Goddard Space Lab to use in her classroom.  How seriously cool is that?)

In order to cover the gels while I slave away for Uncle, we’re employing a young colleague of Mrs. R’s as a daytime babysitter.  I’ll call her Miss Mary.  She’s about 30 or so and single.

So this afternoon, the eldest gel called me at the office.  “Dad!” she said, “We really like Miss M!  Do you think that sometime this week – she could stay over at our house for a sleepover? You know – with us girls down in the basement?”

“Absolutely not,” I replied.

Later, the gel tagged me for an explanation.

“Well,” I said, “Miss Mary is not related to us, either by blood or by marriage.  It simply wouldn’t do to have her spend the night in our house if I were here without Mom, never mind whether she was staying downstairs with you kids.”

The gel more or less accepted this, although I could tell she was not totally convinced.

Now we have been fortunate enough never to have had to employ a nanny, au pair or other live-in help.   But this little incident got me thinking just how terrible a trap such an arrangement can be.  Indeed, from the anecdotal evidence I’ve picked up in my puff, the possibilities for mischief brought about by introducing an unattached young thing into a household are simply mind-boggling.  What I can never understand is why any sensible wife and mother would ever allow herself to be persuaded that such an arrangement is a good thing.