In the Minds of Children

There’s not much in my life right now that I feel is worth posting about.

I do realize that that sentence makes me sound a little suicidal/depressed, but I promise you, I’m not.  I repeat: I AM NOT SUICIDAL.  Ok- just wanted to get that out there so nobody called my parents being all concerned or whatnot.

But back to the “nothing worth posting topic.”  Truth is, I haven’t been doing anything at all, really.  Since babysitting is my job this summer, whenever I don’t have a babysitting gig, I can fill up my days with whatever I want them to.  Which makes for some very boring days that nobody wants to hear about.

But since I really want to blog today, I’m going to rack my brain for some remotely interesting tidbits of what I’ve done in the past week or so.

Are you ready for an entire post about whatever I can think of in the next 10 seconds?  Awesome!  Ready…
9… I’ve got it.  Yes, that quick, because this is awesome.

I got paid to go swimming and read a magazine.  Yes, those are the perks of being a professional babysitter with awesome families.  Last week I got to hang out with 8 kids in their backyard pool and play silly pool games for 3 hours…  and totally got paid for it!  Because I know you want to know what 5-10 year olds think is a fun pool game, let me explain what we did for a good 30 minutes.

Step one: everybody get out of the pool and stand about 15 feet away from the deep end.
Step two: the leader will make up a way to jump into the pool and demonstrate it for all the other kids.
Step three: after the leader swims to the side of the pool, the other kids will copy what the leader did jumping into the pool.  the leader then judges who copied their jump the best and the winner becomes the new leader.

Pretty straight forward, right?  Well, if you said yes, you’d be dead wrong.  Like, wronger than the restaurant I thought I was being hired at saying they were sorry but I couldn’t have the job because “they didn’t know it was a summer position.” boo.

Well the magic of children’s’ brains comes into the creativeness of how you jump into the pool.  These kids aren’t doing any boring cannonballs or belly flops.  No.  Those are old school and too boring for these kids.  Animals are the name of the game for these creative kids.

For instance:

  • the squawking goose
  • the dying turtle
  • the slippery penguin
  • the dying/living flower

Yes.  You get to name them.  And then you act it out for the rest of the kids to follow (sounds optional).  How awesome are these kids?! PS: I came up with “the squawking goose” and it was an immediate hit.  Flapping your arms wildly, squawking like your life depended on it, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off before you walk straight into the pool makes for an amusing show.  You don’t become the most awesome babysitter without arsenal like that.

That was only one of the games played but by far the most amusing.  Almost every time before I go to someone’s house to babysit, I take a second and remind myself that I’m here for these kids.  I had some amazing babysitters when I was little.  Some were outdoorsy, some were crafty, and others were more the let’s-make-fools-of-0urselves type.  But the best babysitters were always the ones who trusted me and my sister and played games with us not because they had to or because we begged them to or because they were being paid but because they wanted to be friends with us.  Kids can always tell if the babysitter’s there for them or the money.  I could always tell growing up.

I distinctly remember sitting in the living room of my old house thinking “When I grow up and I become a babysitter, I want to trust the kids I babysit because so-and-so didn’t trust me enough to get my own food.”  And I always remember my babysitter Cheryl because she brought art projects to do with my sister and I.  I remember then thinking “I’m going to be like Cheryl and bring stuff for the kids to do because she’s so cool.”

So going back to the pool story, I always try to check my “old-kid-know-it-all vibe” at the door for both the kids and myself.  It’s no fun to be the babysitter that will come to babysit at the pool but “doesn’t want to get her hair wet” or is too afraid to act like a child that they won’t play games like the crazy animal one above.  Because truth be told, they’re usually pretty fun!  And you might even get a compliment from the parents like I did while playing the animal game.  (One time while getting out of the pool, the mom pulled me over and said “You’re really good at that game!  The kids love it.”  That’s when you know you’ve gained the friendship and trust of the kids and the parents.)

So all in all, I love kids and I love babysitting.  Can you tell?!  But I know that even for those of you out there who don’t work with kids, this applies to basically every relationship out there.  People can always tell why you’re doing what you’re doing.

I’m so thankful that I have families that I can truly let loose with and hang out with their kids.  In fact, this summer I’m going to the beach for a week with one of the best families I know.  I’ve been babysitting for the family for almost 7 years which is saying a lot since the oldest child is turning 8 this summer.  So. Excited.



Filed under Babysitting, Fun

2 responses to “In the Minds of Children

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