when i was 14 i started working at my church's day care center during the summer (limited hours). i kept that job all throughout high school. during my senior year, i went to school half a day and worked the other half.
in college, i began baby sitting for one of my favorite families in the whole world. it's absolutely impossible to think that i started watching their oldest when she was only one. now, BOTH their kids are in middle school! and then, of course, i became a nanny for another amazing family. the things i learned while watching their son are immeasurable.
what has been the benefit of all this life experience?
well, for one, the fact that i've been a tax-paying citizen since the age of 14 means that if i became disabled, or died, tomorrow, jeremy and harrison would get a nice little monthly stipend from the federal government. actually, if i died tomorrow, that's probably the only way they would see money from the feds. because, clearly, if i live to a lovely old age there won't be any social security left to pass around. but, i digress.
two...i have specific likes and dislikes regarding what we can name our children. this is based, of course, on the sweet, precious kids i've met along the way. and on the little rascals i've met along the way. i will NEVER name a child preston. sorry, if you like that name. when i hear it, i get terrible flashbacks of a brown-haired, booger-nosed, whiny little boy...again, i digress.
three...it goes without saying that caring for other's children prepared me to care for my own. while baby sitting and nannying could never impress upon me the deep love and responsibility that comes with having a child, they surely taught me some of the "tricks of the trade".
BUT...one thing all this life experience did not prepare me for...
i have never, in my 20 years of child care, seen a boy so heart broken because he wasn't allowed to play with a can of lysol disinfectant spray.
it would be impossible to describe the tragedy of it all.
i mean, really, i must be the meanest, most un-fun mother in the whole wide world. (another thing that baby sitting does not prepare you for).