A huge part of my life this summer; babysitting!
The perks: experience with children for my future job as a teacher, good money, and making my own hours (so I can enjoy visits to friends and to the Jersey Shore)
Amongst the diaper changes, crying toddlers, and never ending task of occupying the children, there is another highlight:
Discovering the silliness and simple joy of children.
These moments can often make for the best stories and I’ll share a few thus far this summer:
On Monday, I had my busiest job yet! At one point during the morning at my Spring Kids Camp, where moms drop off their preschool and toddler children at my house for playtime, I had five young children. I was bouncing from kid to kid trying to keep them all occupied and was finally satisfied to have each child happily playing, not crying and not getting into anything they were not supposed to. I had two children playing together with legos, one playing with trains, one admiring a bouncy horse, and one building with blocks. I was proud, I had successfully occupied my campers. Complete bliss!
Then, it ended, just as fast as it came. I was left to my own devices trying to keep a girl who missed her mom from whimpering, trying to stop the other children from throwing legos, and trying to convince another boy that if he saw the other children misbehaving he had to tell me, not boss them around.
Amidst the choas, however, there were some moments I could not help but stop and laugh and enjoy the ability children gain pleasure from the simplest things in life.
In one such moment, I went to check on one of my toddler girls to notice that she was busying herself with rubbing her lips back and forth across the glass door, getting slobber all over the window. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I tried to occupy her with a real toy.
Just before I found this girl, I looked over to see one of the boys pointing at two shiny knobs to one of my basement closets.
“There are two of me,” he giggled looking over at me. he thought it was completely hysterical and I joined with him in laughter, admiring his simple joy. He got a huge kick out of his own reflection.
Two of the children I babysit were able to entertain themselves simply with a glass door and golden door knobs. I stumbled upon this quote that sums up the incredible ability of children appreciate the simple things in life:
“A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.” ~Bill Vaughan