Meet Ryan Tschetter, aka "Ryan the Manny." He's just another Minnesota native and current Williamsburg resident trying to make his way in the world—in his case, taking care of the hood's adorable tykes for $12 an hour. True, that may seem a paltry sum. But who can put the right price on the guy that Babble calls the "Hippest Babysitter in America"? Come, let's find out what makes Ryan the Manny tick and whether he feels a special kinship with other famed mannies of yore, like Britney Spears' former manny, Perry the Hot Ex-Lacrosse Player. Oh, and also: Little kids in Williamsburg are totally bisexual and also like to masturbate, a lot!
Do you find that you have a lot in common with the parents whose kids you watch? Yes! It's so weird. Where I'm from, I babysat kids and it was so different. That was probably the hardest thing when I moved here — getting used to families who weren't insanely conservative and clashing with me on things. I've always been kind of paranoid, because when you don't get along with parents, babysitting is a lot harder. But here, all the parents I deal with are so cool. They're just trendy Williamsburg parents — really, really nice and sweet. It's made my job so much easier.Er, okay then. We feel a bit ... unclean now. That $12 an hour is certainly well-earned, we'd say.
Are parents more permissive here?
Yeah, I think that probably is true. Not all of the parents are, but definitely more so in the city than in Minnesota, where parents are really strict. Too strict, usually. I think it all comes out in the wash, though. I was just walking with a boy I was sitting for and we passed a girl from his class and he called, "Sadie! Sadie!" and when she walked by he said to me, "That was my girlfriend." And I said, "Really? That's cool." And then he said, "My boyfriend's Hayden." His mother told me he came up to her once and said, "Mom! Someone at school told me I couldn't marry Maury." And his mother said, "That's not true. You can marry anyone you want."
What's your social life like? Do you have a girlfriend?
No, I don't have a girlfriend, because I'm gay. That's another thing. In Minnesota, if parents knew I was gay, I wouldn't be babysitting their kids. Most of my parents now know and don't care. I don't ever talk to my kids about it, obviously, not that I think they would care, because they're, like, four. But I'm still awkward about it, even though the families that do know are so great about it. Like, I'm really close to my ex-boyfriend and he's in the hospital recovering from cancer and they ask me about him all the time. It's really nice.
Do you have any babysitting horror stories?
I had this one little girl who's three years old. She wanted to watch a movie. I don't let my kids watch movies all that often. I'd rather be creative with them. But I was like, "Okay, you can watch it for ten or fifteen minutes." So, we're watching Little Bear or something like that. And she takes her shirt off and is in her underwear. That's not unusual for little girls, but as a guy I feel like I have to be really careful. I have to be smart about things. And I said, "Okay, let's put our clothes back on." And she said, "No! I don't wanna!" And then she took her underwear off and I was all, "Uhh . . ." Because I don't want to make her think it's bad to be naked, but I also want her to put her clothes back on. So I'm thinking, "Be clever, Ryan." Nothing was working. And then she got up on the ledge of the couch and started humping it. I called up my friend Jamie, who's a nanny for some girls up by Central Park, and I said, "What do I do?!" And she said, "Oh, my girls do that sometimes. They're just curious and exploring." And I said, "I know that. But I'm a male babysitter." She said, "Just talk to her." By now, the girl had moved up to the upper part of the couch and was really getting into it. And I said to her, "What are you doing?" And she said, "I don't know, but I can't stop!" I said, "Fair enough," and I made sure she wasn't going to fall off and I left the room. Eventually, she got down and put her clothes back on. When her mother came home, I told her what had happened. And her mother said, "Oh, she does that all the time!"
The Hippest Babysitter in America [Babble.com]