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Let's face it-- it's hard to find a babysitter. Often parents are quick to dole out unsolicited advice on anything from breastfeeding to vaccinations. But ask them for the name of their babysitter and moms and dads clam up quicker than Tiger Woods at a press conference.

This is why I was ecstatic to try out Louisville Zoo's new monkey babysitting program. For the small price of zoo admission plus bananas, monkeys will watch the little tyke while you enjoy some much-needed quiet, adult time. While I'm sure you've heard of a few zoos in other cities that attempted tiger babysitting services with disastrous results, parents of Louisville can feel free to unwind with the assurance of knowing that your child is being cared for by another primate.

I admit, anytime I meet a new babysitter for Jack, I'm always a tad nervous. But, the zoo wisely fingerprints and does criminal background checks on all animals that encounter children. It really set my mind at ease knowing that Jack was in safe and competent hands.

Upon arrival, Jack quickly warmed up to the monkeys and had a great time. He rode the fully operational train over to Monkey Island and was greeted with friendly screams from his new babysitters. They taught Jack many new things like how to swing on ropes and play the accordion. My husband was a little concerned that the monkeys' notoriously bad table manners would rub off on Jack. But, unsurprising to me, this was not the case. All mothers know that monkeys actually have much better manners than toddlers.

Space is limited (the monkeys refuse to work when its raining) so be sure to call ahead to make sure they have availability. Also, I highly recommend paying extra for their grooming service. For just one mango, the monkeys will bathe your child and pick off whatever dirt or bugs might remain. Jack came home clean as a whistle!

You might also enjoy: "Mamaste": my first mommy and baby yoga class

Photo: flickr: eclectic echoes 

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