Being the second oldest of 10, you would think I had enough baby-sitting to last a lifetime, but I still remember how excited I was to get my first "real" baby-sitting job (it must have been the lure of $2/hr that got me excited). We had an amazing baby-sitter while growing up, Tiffany Taylor. We would play "restraunt" with her and serve canned peaches then run all around the house playing hide-and-seek. Our favorite thing, though, was when we woke up in the morning she always left a little treat for us. The bar was set high. I had big shoes to fill. I spent the years before in preparation, reading every single book in the "Baby-sitters Club" series, getting CPR certified and I even made this whole baby-sitting kit filled with puppets, coloring books, games, flannel board stories, etc. I spent the next several years working hard for my $2/hour--chasing wild boys, pacing the floor with colicky babies, playing countless games of Candy Land, digging play-doh out of carpet, washing all the dishes and cleaning the house after putting the kids to bed and staying up scared and alone in a quiet house just waiting to hear the sound of the garage open while replaying every scary scene I had ever seen in a movie. It's not that I was an exceptional baby-sitter, it was just the way I was taught and that was what was expected. It was the norm. So fast forward ahead to when the roles are reversed and I am the one leaving my kids in the hands of the baby-sitter. I had just assumed that the world of baby-sitting hadn't changed much, but I have been surprised. It's not that we've had horrible baby-sitters, but it's hard coming home to a house that is completely trashed and the kids are still awake. The last thing you want to do at 10:00 at night is clean the house and put kids to bed, especially when you just paid someone $30 to do it and instead they sat the kids in front of the TV all evening. (The best was the time when the baby-sitter wouldn't let Kylie go to sleep because they had watched ET and the baby-sitter was too scared to be alone). I had just come to the sad conclusion that baby-sitting had changed. Then our little neighbor girl turned 12 and all my faith had been renewed. Her mom enrolled her in baby-sitting courses along with CPR and first aid classes before she turned 12. She even made these cute little business cards to pass out to the neighbors. The first time she came, she showed up with a baby-sitting kit. I almost shed a tear. She only charges $5/hr and the best part is...she even left presents for the kids when they woke up the next morning. She was Tiffany Taylor reincarnated. She was so great, the kids loved her and we even came home to a clean house with sleeping kids and this official report:It just made me realize what a difference it makes when people go above and beyond what is expected. I've also realized what things are important to teach Kylie once she is old enough to baby-sit. When speaking of above and beyond there's no way I could forget to mention Kylie's primary teacher. I've never had a teacher that is so amazing. We missed church this past Sunday since we were out of town and so her teacher came to the house to give Kylie a little mini-lesson and bring her the homemade soap that she had made for each of the kids as part of the hand-out. She does this with every single child that misses each week. She does so much for her class and really makes each child feel special. I just feel like with my calling I coast along and do the bare minimum, and she has made me realize what a difference it makes to go the extra mile.
4 hours ago