I started babysitting on my own when I was about 13 years old. But for years before that, my younger brother and I went to a babysitter every day after school and every day during the summer. It wasn’t a huge babysitting company – only one woman who worked out of her home. Our play areas were the living room, the ktichen, the hallway, and the unheated mud room/porch. I was older when I began going... About seven. And when you’re that age at a babysitter’s with about 3 toddlers/babies still in diapers, it was occasionally easiest to seize the moment and change diapers yourself rather than calling for Di every half hour. Not to mention the fact that for a short while, I was convinced that I wanted to be a babysitter when I “grew up”. Turned out what I really wanted was children. To be a mom.
My point for all this is that I’ve changed my fair share of diapers in my life. Looking back on it, my sitter had a pretty good gig. The older kids were content to entertain the younger ones, leaving her free to clean up behind us, cook us our meals and snacks, and do the thousands of dishes that go with the territory by hand. I distinctly remember her lack of dishwasher. Poor woman. But it could have been worse. Without us to change diapers and rock babies with a naptime bottle, she would have had to do housework all night to keep up with the chores.
The plus side for me is that I already know how to do all of those mommy things. I know how to change diapers, get a bottle ready, spoon feed baby cereal, give baths, etc. I was doing it when I was still ten years old. I’ve also inherited a knack for putting cranky babies to sleep when they’re overtired. In fact, I did it for my friend, Serena at our friend’s wedding two years ago. She was a bridesmaid, and her little girl (Emma) was only about 2 months old. Long day + No Naptime + Lots of People = Overtired, Fussy Baby. I offerred to hold her, and was able to rock her and whisper to her softly until she was out. Like a light. Took about 3 minutes in a crowded reception hall.
Let’s hope my little one responds to my momma magic. =)