(Featured Image: Sakhorn38 at freedigitalphotos.net)
Amelia was encouraged to take a babysitting certification class this summer at our local hospital. It’s a great program, really and truly, and she’s twelve so I guess that bridge is right there waiting to be crossed.
I had a visceral reaction to the idea, though. I mean it made me a little ill to think about, and not because I’m sad Amelia is reaching the stage where babysat turns to babysit. It’s because I have a long and strange relationship with this thing that is Babysitting.
In fact, if I examine why bringing my first baby home from the hospital was so scary for me as a new mom, I know it is because of Babysitting, or the lack of it. I’d avoided it so completely as a teen that I didn’t even know how to change a diaper when I had Amelia.
Let’s zoom in for a moment on Laura’s history with the concept:
I was always most impressed with those moms who knew how to handle every situation with their babies. Nothing ruffled their feathers, even constant crying. They were calm and cool-headed, even when their little ones fell on the pavement and scratched their knees to pieces.
I stared at these moms, and more than once they would say, “What?” I’d swallow my heart and say, “How are you so calm?” The usual response was something like: “Oh, I babysat every weekend for ten years. Not much gets to me.”
So back to the certification class and Amelia. I really wrestled with it, knowing I should definitely not repeat my history and let her learn to sit and then actually sit for families. I’d just come to that conclusion when Amelia, the spitting image of me at that age, told me she had “zero interest” in that class and “sub-zero interest” in babysitting. Atta girl. Disaster avoided, for now.
In all truth, learning to care for children is difficult and exhausting but oh so necessary. Those of you who are babysitting now and enjoying it—good for you. I wish I’d had more positive experience before I became a mom. And, yes, I will encourage Amelia to put herself out there and learn the “best practices” of babysitting. Don’t worry.
Featured Image: “Smiling Baby” FreeDigitalPhotos.net