Saturday, November 22, 2014
Let's be real for a second.
I love kids. I love working with them, playing with them, listening to them tell me about their lives. Kids are fun. But they are also crazy.
Last night, my sisters and I babysat for 16 kiddos with ages ranging from 1 yr to 6 yrs. Now, don't get me wrong — it was marvelous animal-cracker-plus-puzzles-and-ring-around-the-rosie fun. Loud and crazy, with some Clifford stories thrown in. They were a great group and I loved all of them, but as always, there is a learning curve to working with children. So, in the hope that all of you will learn from my mistakes, here is what I discovered from babysitting 16 kids for three hours.
1. One year olds and five year olds have very different interests and attention spans.
For example, a five year old may quietly play with the kitchen toys for 10 minutes, while after two minutes, the one year old decides that the plastic bowl is made expressly for either eating or banging on his sister's head.
2. Crayons and toddlers do not mix. Or taste good.
When I saw a toddler shoving two crayons in his mouth, I was reminded of the fabulous memories of the one year old class at church, cleaning out chewed up green crayon from a kid's mouth. Let's just say we took them away pretty quickly.
3. On the whole, kids are attracted to VeggieTales. Not, however, when it is on a 12 inch screen and there are lots of toys around.
4. Speaking of toys, nursery toys are seriously the loudest things on the planet. And they do not have off buttons. I checked, several times.
The kids were good about it though. One kid kept handing me more toys saying, "Teacher, this one's a noisy toy!"
5. Even if you have taught a two year old how to swim, that does not necessarily mean she will recognize you on dry land. And she will most likely scream in your lap just like she screams in everyone else's. Bummer.
6. (This is the most important one.) Never, under any circumstances give a child under the age of three water in a normal cup. Ever,
A two year old tried to drink some water, poured it down his front, dumped it on the table upside down, took another girl's cup, poured it down his front, and proceeded to cry because his pants were wet. Go figure.
7. Tip: Fruit Loops necklaces are a lifesaver. Literally. Take 16 tired kids and let them make accessories they can eat? It works. Most of them stopped talking and just ate for the last 10 minutes. And if you think we were doing wrong in sugaring up the kids before sending them home, I saw that the vast majority of parents had given them some dessert afterwards, so it's not just us!
Anyhow, those are my tips for y'all! Hope this helps you in all your babysitting endeavors. And I was wearing a different sweater with this outfit originally, but when a one year old smears an animal-cracker-water mixture on your back, the sweater kind of goes out of commission :)