Nick was so sweet to stay home with me today and help me take care of the kids. As of 8 PM tonight I'm happy to report that the kiddos are in better spirits though they aren't 100 percent yet. Today we discovered that GreenEyes is getting his first tooth. He hasn't shown any extra fussiness despite his new tooth and having the flu.
GreenEyes is very close to 9 months and I realize that my baby won't be a baby for much longer. I've got five month tops until this guy is an active toddler. At this stage I'm highly sentimental. I'd have a million of the little buggers if they weren't such figure killers. Really, I would. Realizing just how fleeting these days are, I'm spending every single moment I can really enjoying all the goo goos and gah gahs. I know I'm one lucky woman in that I get to spend these days at home with my kiddos and really take it all in.
My mother didn't have that opportunity. My parents simply didn't have the means and I grew up with babysitters. While I think this is a good option for some, it's just not for me. While I would trust my children to a family member, or even organized care, I have a lot of difficulty handing the care of my children on a daily basis to another stranger.
Just the other day I met a woman at a playground. She was a babysitter and had four kids with her all around the age of Ladybug (i.e. about 2 years), but one was younger around 12 months. While the kids went a muck on the playground, crawling up the big kid ladders and slide (for kids 5-12 years of age mind you), she talked on the cell phone and was pretty much completely disengaged the entire time. Perhaps I'm overprotective, but those are two year old's on the big kid equipment and you aren't at least going to spot them a little?
While she was on the phone she just let the little one sit in the same place until she'd fall over and whine and then she'd go over and help her sit back up. She'd yell, "Stop Whining!" Then, after a half an hour, I had a chance to speak with her. Come to find out she was a seasoned babysitter/daycare provider of 20 years and she offered me her services. Ha! With that kind of neglect? Are you serious?
If that wasn't enough, here's more. I decided to leave, and at that moment so did she. It was getting to be lunch time. I headed out to my car before her. I had two kids to strap in. Well, I'll be darned if it didn't take her half as long to get all four of her kids strapped in. I'm sure she's a seasoned veteran but do you really think those kiddos were strapped in properly? Why in the heck would I ever put my most precious possessions in those hands?
Personally, I have some of my own bad experiences with babysitters. I'm sure all of my babysitters looked great on paper... but paper and reality can be two very different things.
Once, I had a babysitter that had me sit in the hatchback/trunk of a car. I complained about it being really hot and I cried. I was in the second grade. I was told I was being a baby and to shut up. I ended up with a nasty burn on my butt. My mother confronted the babysitter about it and I wasn't put in the trunk of the car again. That same babysitter used to take her kids to McDonald's for lunch and then told us that we would get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when we got back home. Boy I was glad when that babysitter was out of my life.
I had another babysitter that just locked us in the basement every morning until lunch and again the rest of the day. Honestly, that was just fine by me. There was a TV. I just wished the cartoons would have lasted all morning long. Inevitably, at some point it would convert to the dreaded soaps or talk shows.
We had another babysitter whom I liked for the most part though I do remember that she used to make us clean a lot, dust, vacuum, etc. My parents knew her through church and she was a nice lady. All of a sudden her items started to "break" (due to my clumsy nature) and she didn't make us do that much anymore. My parents used to wake us at 5:30 or 6 in the morning to get dressed and get to her house. Then, all groggy, we'd sit and watch cartoons or cat nap until the bus came a few hours later. I couldn't wait until my sister was old enough that we could be latch key kids and be rid of babysitters all together.
Really, all in all, I just remember being really bored a lot. I felt short changed. Children know when they are a paycheck. I wanted to be engaged by someone who really cared about me. All I really wanted was my mother around. But really, in many ways, I was lucky. I was lucky that this was my biggest torment. After all, I always knew I was loved when I did eventually get home. Sadly, for many children, they don't even have that.