I thought it would be fun to start a Writing Prompt series. It’s easy for me to ramble on about anything and I’ve started so many blog entries lately that just don’t add up to anything. So why not just focus on one question? That would be tons easier for this brain of mine. So I’m stealing these writing prompt questions off the Internet or from friends or from you! (P.S. Yes, the cutie pie in the picture is my son 🙂 )
Share a baby-sitting experience.
Honestly, I would say that I’ve only had one real baby sitting experience. I know that’s odd for anyone who used to be a teenage girl because it’s kind of just what you do, right? Well I was a very shy young lady around anyone other than my family growing up. One of my mother’s friends use to tell me, “You are seriously the quietest person I’ve ever met.” I would just laugh and red blotches would appear across my entire face within a few seconds. Still, she would say it every time she saw me, like she was trying to train my face to be less on fire. It didn’t work.
So I wasn’t the kind of girl who would post cute flyers around town with my home number to advertise a $5 an hour friendship with your children on date night and definitely not one who would want to pick up the phone to god forbid TALK to anyone anyway.
When I was sixteen, I had a part-time job at the local bakery and decided I wanted even more money. So I asked my mom to spread the word to the church ladies that I was open for hire. I even remember posting a Facebook status, declaring to my <50 friends, something like, “Hey guys! Contact me if you need a babysitter!!”
Months later, I was scared to death when a church lady called my cell and asked if I could babysit her two kids for a couple hours one night. I said sure! Like it was nothing. Like it was just something I did a lot.
I showed up at their country house with Betty, my old white station wagon. I went in and saw their kids and was kind of terrified when I realized how small they were. Like, I need to change their diapers small. A small boy and his older sister (who was also still small but talked a lot). SMALL.
Their mother was explaining things to me and how I would have to give them baths and such (No, it didn’t freak me out! Why do you ask!) and where she kept the boy’s milk (I couldn’t make them starve in just one night, right?) and then asked me, “So you’ve babysat before, right?”
“Oooh yeah. Yes. Yeah, I have.” It’s not like I could say no, right? She was leaving me with her two small children and I was a sixteen year girl. Her pastor’s daughter, for heaven’s sake! Of course I had to know what I was doing.
So anyway … we played outside for awhile when the parents left and I just listened to the girl as she babbled on about nothing and watched the boy play in the sandbox. I helped them with baths later and we went downstairs to bed. The boy fell asleep right away but the girl had tons of questions and storybooks for me.
So I stayed with her in her bed for awhile and read some books as she played with some Barbies on her lap. I made her set them down and lay back and told her to shut her eyes while I read. I read through a book and thought she looked content and asleep.
I left the room and sat upstairs in the living room, by the baby monitor connected to the one in the girl’s room. I watched TV for about 15 minutes when I heard the girl’s voice through the monitor. She was whispering.
“Daylaaaaa, oh Dayyylaaa …”
I let her keep whispering and hoped she’d just get tired of it and realize I wasn’t going to come.
She stopped and minutes later she started whispering again. “I know that’s you. Why are you here?”
I listened harder and wondered if I heard right.
“Oh nothing. I just don’t understand why you’re here with me.”
Um yeah! That’s freaky, right?
She continued whispering, “I just don’t understand what’s going on. I thought you just wanted to be friends and now you’re here but I don’t want you to be. Friends aren’t like that.”
I got up and went downstairs quietly. I was scared. She had her own room. She wasn’t talking to her brother. It was just her.
I opened the door slowly and saw the girl still laying on her bed by her nightlight. I walked up to her and sawing her holding up two Barbies.
“Oh hi Dayla! Did you want to play Barbies with me?”
She had just been playing with them and had been making them talk to each other. Phew.
So by the end of the night, I decided babysitting just wasn’t for me!
I do have to say though; having your own baby is way different than looking after someone else’s. I didn’t have any of these apprehensive feelings when we brought my son home from the hospital. When it’s your own child, it just comes natural about what to do and how to feel.
Those kids still say hi to me at church and the girl gives me a hug sometimes. Actually? You know what? It was their mom who gave us those gazillion tubs of clothes for our baby when I was pregnant. So my future daughter will someday be wearing the Barbie Whisperer’s dresses. Weird thought.
Do you have a baby-sitting experience you’d like to share?
Post in the comments!