There are people in this world who care for other people’s children and enjoy it.
I am so grateful for these people.
Last month I picked up my daughter from daycare that she’d been attending since the summer. We were moving provinces and it was her last day. I cried while saying goodbye to her teachers. There was one in particular who would greet my daughter with a hug and say “Good Morning ‘Baby G’! We are so happy to see you today”.
I could tell by the way that she spoke this everyday and by the way my daughter ran to her and hugged her that this was sincere, that she genuinely had affection for my daughter and the other children she cared for. I felt so comfortable leaving my daughter in the hands of this teacher and the others.
In our new space, I’m home with my daughter during the day. I love that I get to spend time with her. We read, watch (too much) Paw Patrol, and color. She rides her bike and I try to write something. I get out a few lines; a snippet of an idea. Starting from noon, I try to get her to nap so that I can actually write without feeling guilty that I’m paying more attention to my computer than I am to her. Let me tell you, this girl does not go down easy. In our old place, I would take her for a walk and she’d be out in 10 to 20 minutes. If she’s not in the stroller or the car, it mans I have to put in extra work to make this child sleep. And it’s not that she’s not tired, she’s just a high-maintenance napper! I’m envious of friends who say that their kids just lay down and sleep when they’re tired. How amazing is that?
The other day I was working extra hard to get this girl to sleep. I held her, rocked her, laid down next to her, stroked her baby hairs, sang Lavender Blue, and left her in the room so she could drift off. But nah. Girl just stayed awake and sat on the stairs to calling to me: “Mummy, come. Mummy, come”. I went once to re-settle her but when she started calling to me again, I left her alone hoping she’d get tired and just lay down. I though to myself “If it’s this hard to get one child to sleep, how could I get two or three to take a nap?” I sincerely don’t know. But I do know that there are tons of people out there who figure it out every single day.
God bless babysitters.
Especially the ones who do it alone in their homes without being able to tag someone else in. Especially those who, like my daughter’s daycare teacher, genuinely have an affection for the children. Thank you for making us comfortable leaving our kids with you. Thank you for giving us time to work or run errands or socialize for a few hours. Thank you for making sure our kids have clean butts, learn their ABCs, go for walks and practice sharing toys. Babysitters- the ones who hug your kids and pay attention to their personalities and who speak to them kindly, though sternly if necessary- have a level of patience and organization and endurance that many people, myself included could learn from. As a writer who is now working in the company of my precious littler girl, I of course, value spans of time and space where I can focus and put some words on paper. I am finding ways to do this in my day and thankfully, her father comes home in the evenings, and I can retreat.
But being at home again with my daughter all day, makes me thankful the wonderful childcare workers who once cared for my daughter along with about 20 other children all day. If cleanliness is next to godliness then caring for children is next to saintliness.