Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

Growing up the youngest of a bunch of kids, I didn't take much interest in babysitting. After all, I was the baby most of the time--so I didn't have much practice in taking care of little kids. I had a Raggedy Ann doll, but she wore the same stitched-on clothes every day and never needed her diaper changed. So caregiving just didn't come naturally to me.

I had some babysitting jobs in my teenage years, but only enough to count on my hands. It's just not my thing. I kind of feel sorry for my own kids, because even though I love them and enjoyed diapering, bathing, feeding, and playing with them, I wouldn't say it was something I'd relish doing every single day of my life. I was kind of relieved when the last one was potty-trained and could feed herself. I truly enjoy our kids at the age they are right now. I want to freeze them in these ages for at least another ten years!

I was always the game-organizer-aunt. The one who, before having children of her own, had the time and energy to organize games and play with all of my nieces and nephews who were old enough to stand up and follow a few directions. I got plenty of practice teaching little kids at Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and eventually through summer school classes. Then I graduated from college with a license to teach - gasp! - tweens and teens. Middle kids, my comfort zone. No diapering required. (Although sometimes I wish we could buckle them in a high chair!!)

It's different now. Now that my own kids are older (growing up way too quickly), I have the "wisdom" and "patience" to do some babysitting again. Actually, it's a group effort. The whole gang joined together to watch their cousin's daughter (my great-niece) Hollie the other night. It was fun. She brought out the best in everyone. The kinder, gentler side of my kids. We should make her a weekly addition to the house!

I think the best part about babysitting is that you know it's not going to last forever. At the end of the day, you get to hand the child back to his/her parents and go to sleep at night. If you're lucky, you may even get to sleep all night, uninterrupted by your own progeny's interruptions of bad dreams or vomit.

It's neat to see our oldest take an active role in the babysitting. Eventually, she will get to do some "outside jobs" which don't involve refereeing her younger brother and sisters. Ally has a patience and a maturity that I lacked when I was her age. She will make a great babysitter!

For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.--Acts 2:39


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