Adventures in Babysitting

Originally posted 16 August 2010 @ 10:57 pm

I’ve been a nanny for two months now this summer. I work at a daycare, which has taken summer hours including being closed Monday and Friday.

So, to supplement my income at the daycare, and to help out with a difficult childcare situation, I was hired to nanny for a sibling set on select days. It has ended up being one of the most enlightening periods, no matter how short it may be, in my entire life. I’ve worked at the same daycare for two years now, since opening in 2008, and I think I can safely say I’ve never been happier.

Watching these kids grow up from babies to crawling, babbling toddlers, to walking, talking, sharing-all-their-ideas-with-you, full-on preschoolers has been an amazing experience and I’ve gotten to work with a bunch of amazing children, who will grow up to be incredible, well-rounded men and women. I believe that education starts at birth, and it doesn’t stop after college. Education continues and continues throughout one’s entire lifespan.

I’ve gotten to work with an amazing woman, who also happens to be my aunt, and watching her teach toddlers and soon-to-be preschoolers and kindergartners has opened my eyes to how wonderful learning is; I really hope to be there for these kids throughout their lives, as she has done for countless children before. She is still in contact with families whose children have grown into teenagers and young adults.

She’s with these kids from beginning to end, and I think it’s fabulous. My aunt and employer is great at what she does, and I aspire to someday have the same sort of resolve as she does. I don’t want to lose contact with these kids, I want to watch them grow up and have the same bond that she does with the first children she taught and watched grow.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in childcare. I want to be a graphic designer. But, unlike the usual effect working at a daycare has on young people, working with kids has strengthened my want to have children. I want four biological kids, and, if I get to be picky, I’d really love to have a set of twins someday, and I also want to adopt children. I want to adopt all ages of children, from infants to the oldest children in danger of aging out of the system. I want to adopt multi-cultural children, children with disabilities, emotionally needy children, children with differences. I just want to have a houseful of giggling, babbling, talking, amazing children when I have the means to take care of them.

And, if they’re young enough, I will probably send them to daycare at least once a week until they enter school. I don’t believe the statistics that children who go to daycare are emotionally detached from their parents. I myself went to daycare and latchkey, and I feel no different than the people who stayed home with their parents as children.

Children in daycare can learn so much… every year, I see children learning about shapes, numbers, letters, colours. I heard somewhere that most children can’t recognise the difference between the colours purple and pink until kindergarten. Well, I can tell you that I have witnessed a two-year-old boy consistently point to both colours and name them correctly. While at daycare. It’s a wonderful learning tool. And no, it’s not right for everyone, some kids just need one-on-one time. But I’ve seen toddlers – some curled into tight little buds, much like flowers, closed into their own little world – blossom and bloom into beautiful, articulate, smart children, full of life, love and happiness.

I’m sure I could write about this for many more hours, but I’ll leave it at this. Working in daycare environment with brilliant children, each with their own differences and individualities, and working with one simply amazing woman, I have come to realise that I love life. I love children. And I hope I get to work with them, help others to learn and grow and watch them change, for the rest of my life.

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