While not every parent goes to such extremes, you will need to provide sitters with basics like your contact information and itinerary, along with cash or a debit card for food, gas and incidentals. It’s also important to plan for emergencies. Leave contact information for doctors and dentists, along with copies of medical insurance cards and a note authorizing emergency treatment or a health care proxy form. Notify schools, sports teams and carpools that someone else will be picking up your child. Finally, consider what would happen if you and your spouse were incapacitated or killed: Does your sitter know how to reach your child’s legal guardian, and does the guardian know where the original legal papers are kept?
What do the caretakers think about all this?
‘‘Micromanaging does get tiresome sometimes,’’ admitted my 81-year-old father, Jerry Schwartz. But he added, by having everything laid out, ‘‘I don’t have to really work at it. I can just enjoy the experience.’’
My father said some of his friends ‘‘say they don’t have the patience’’ to spend extended time with their grandchildren.
Now that he’s had the experience, would he do it again?
In a heartbeat, he said: ‘‘She’s growing up so fast if I don’t do it soon, I won’t have the opportunity.’’
I think I'll go pack.