If I ever come out to some friends as a blogger, I'm going to have to delete this. Anyway... So, a family I know: the wife works full time, the husband occasionally gets outside contracts, and their 3 1/2 year old son goes to day care. The day care was closed Thursday, Friday, Monday for spring break/Easter. Grandparents took the kid Thursday and Friday; I volunteered to take him today. The babysitting itself went relatively smoothly. Some fake crying when he wanted to watch a movie, and I probably could have done without the kicks to the abdominal region that came along with him using me as a jungle gym. Vaguely fun, and got me some exercise, but not a rip-roaring good time. The issue is, I got about the same amount of verbal thanks that I get after I give him a bath, or play with him while his dad is fixing dinner. Now, cash would be right out - either it would be small enough I would be offended, or large enough I would feel that I would have to refuse it. And maybe the guy going out drinking on Friday counts as payback. But at this point, I just feel like I'm being used. So, either I stop allowing myself to be used, in which case I might as well move to a different city. Or I continue this pattern, knowing they'll continue to accept whatever help I provide. Or I let them know how I feel, in which case I create some resentment with little possible positive change.