As I type this I am babysitting at my sister's house. She has four kids - Meghan in 4th grade, Daniel in 2nd grade, Katy and Matthew (the twins) in Kindergarten - and yes, she chooses to leave them in my care on occasion. I know what you're thinking right about now... "If you're on the computer, are you actually babysitting?" Yes, I see your point, but the beauty is that they went over to the neighbor girl's house to jump on the trampoline. (Man, am I glad Kath doesn't have neat stuff like that here, or I would be babysitting the neighbors' kids too. Ha!)
I bet you're wondering if I'm a strict babysitter. Not really. I see my role here as basically keeping them from killing one another. I will mete out punishment, though, for lying, talking back and general naughtiness, but we get along pretty well. I feel more like a snack vendor than anything else because that's typically what they're most interested in for the first hour after getting home from school.
I don't do a lot of babysitting. That's how it's been pretty much all my life from high school on. In order to fully understand where I'm coming from, you have to know about my relationship with kids. I don't have any. Any kids, that is, not a relationship. It's not that I don't like kids. It's just that I wasn't blessed with that motherly instinct that 99% of all other women in the world have. Why don't I have this? Is it something you learn? Is it something that's buried deep inside that I just have not nurtured? What? I think babies are sweet and kids are funny to listen to and watch grow up. But when it comes to that baby smell... oh, it makes me want to hurl. (No offense to users of that product. Honest...It's just me.)
People have a wrong perception of me relating to babies. Apparently, people think I don't like them. That's far from true. Granted, I am very nervous to hold newborns, so I often decline this privilege until they get a few months under their belt. The one thing that I don't like at all is having to give bottles or feed anyone under the age of 3. This is entirely due to the choking factor. Babies and toddlers choke - at least they typically do whenever in my care. I hate it! Scares me out of my mind.
So since my nieces and nephews are way beyond toddler stage, they are a pretty safe bet. Yeah, you would think that, wouldn't you? But they have other issues. Like the time one of them, who shall remain nameless, decided to experiment with the phone and dialed 911. Guess who showed up at the house... two very nice policemen, who wanted to come in and take a look around to make sure everything was in order. (Oh boy!)
So I don't do a lot of babysitting. Only under special circumstances. I thought I'd just clear up this little misperception about me and children. I love them...as long as a parent is within the vicinity.
(Somebody just walked in the back door crying. I better go see who fell off the trampoline and broke a body part....)