My Only Way Out

(is to go so far in)

I make a good dinosaur

Posted by Cauri on October 24, 2006

School is slowly sucking up my soul, but I’m more than halfway to the end of the semester.  Three major tests this week, a fourth next week, but I may be able to throw a final in there and actually be done with one of my classes in the next two weeks.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually worked like this before.  Maybe I should have.

Babysitting has really picked up.  It’s crazy that two years ago I stormed out of my nanny job and swore I would never go back to working with kids.  It’s too tiring, stressful, and there are way too many heartwrenching, emotionally draining moments…It’s too hard to walk out that door and away from the kids you’ve come to love when you aren’t being valued by their parents.  So I took a break, I filled in a month here, a month there, for one nightmare family after another, and then I worked at Starbucks for a year, and now, now I’m back to babysitting.  Six different families this week.  And you’d think that I’d have money.  But I don’t.  I’m just breaking even.  Which is fine.   Because the babysitting thing is working for now.  Because I come into every job valuing myself.  And I’ve found parents who understand me and who aren’t threatened by me and who actually respect me.  I’m building amazing relationships with these kids who are becoming more like little brothers and sisters, and their parents are friends. 

I’ve always been great with kids, and I wish that I learned this lesson years ago–to be myself around both the kids and the parents, so that they can see exactly what I’m doing with their kids when they’re not around.  When a 3-yr-old boy comes running to the door when I pull up to see if I drove my “helicopter” (that magically turns back into a car as soon as i pull into the driveway), I know his mom leaves feeling confident that he’ll be having fun the whole time she’s gone.  When S & G excitedly plop down onto the couch as soon as I walk in, anticipating all the silly stories I’ve brought with me, their mom can wave and run out the door, knowing her daughters are fine.  The adventures N (2 yrs) and I have in the two hours I’m there every week range from being pirates out at sea to “singing karaoke in the spider house” (which consisted of us singing a variety of songs on a couch covered with halloween spider rings).  And with two older boys in rockaway, (well, 6 & 4) we usually make some popcorn, play mariokart, and talk about our days. 

I’ve gotten very good at relating to kids differently and developing an individual routine with each of them that we’re all really benefitting from.  School has really been stressing me out, and this little break in the afternoon, to freely romp around and just be a dinosaur for a little while, is what’s keeping me sane.

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