When our babies are young,
we watch them like hawks.
New mothers stare for hours at the faces,
of their newborn.
The idea of leaving them for even a short time,
fills us with angst.
Eventually we have to loosen the ties.
Initially we trust only our husbands for babysitting,
but in time we get the courage to move on.
We entrust our kids to grandparents,
or babysitters or a creche.
Much thought goes into our choice.
We carefully research our options,
and even when we make our choice,
we are watchful.
Are they doing a good job?
This is especially true for first and second children.
However, those of us who decide to have more children,
become a little lax to say the least.
It is a fact that the more children I had,
the less conscientious I became as a parent.
Eventually my choice of babysitter was my “free” eldest child.
Was she suitable? Who knows, but she was “free”.
My own parents had also had this attitude,
and as I was the fourth child,
the babysitting was done by one of my “free” older sisters.
I can remember one day my older “free” babysitter,
called myself and my always hungry younger brother in.
She was sitting in the kitchen,
with what seemed to be grated chocolate on a plate.
“Here try some”, she said.
I was no fool (and a very picky eater),
so I refused.
In a flash my brother had consumed a handful of “chocolate”,
which turned out to be tea leaves out of a tea bag.
She was highly amused.
But my favourite memory of her babysitting,
was the day my brother took his friend home to play after school.
They were about eight years old at the time.
My sister about sixteen.
Lunch was uneventful,
and the two little boys were playing happily.
They decided to make a den under the table.
Whilst settling themselves in,
our little visitor reversed himself into their den and sat on our dog!
Naturally our usually peaceful, child friendly dog snapped.
She turned quickly and in a flash,
had embedded her teeth into the arm of my brothers little pal!
He lost his reason.
Screaming as loud as was possible,
he began to roar.
My sister was horrified.
She did all in her power to
shut him up comfort him.
To no avail.
The roaring wounded child,
raced out the front door,
and legged it in the direction of his home.
I can still remember the sight from my upstairs window,
A small crying boy running home,
being chased by my older sister shouting
“Come back, I’ll give you sweets!”.
So if you are reading this,
and are in the throes of trying to find a babysitter/childminder,
for your precious child,
those of us who have been third and fourth children,
all survived the “free” babysitters,
with no long term side effects!