“Miss Mindy”

During my senior year of High School I worked at a daycare, my first official job (if babysitting is considered unofficial). I just worked after school hours, first with the school-agers, sometimes with the pre-schoolers, and later in the nursery. Three totally different atmospheres under the same roof.


I learned many things in my 7 months as a daycare employee.

Such as my true job description: snack-giver, swing pusher, mess cleaner-uper, coloring buddy, hug provider, noise volume decreaser, slide traffic patroller, book reader, diaper changer, bottle giver, baby lifter, bully stopper, nose wiper, provider of buttons to push, giver of time-outs, game referee, listener, direction giver, argument breaker-upper… Okay, you get the picture.

Some parents wait until the very last minute (or even past the last minute) to pick up their children and the day that they don’t, some other parent will run late. And the night that all kids happen to be picked up 15 minutes early, you guessed it, there’s a staff meeting.

Babies can’t talk back, but they do spit up. Don’t expect to wear that shirt the rest of the evening. But do expect to smell like babies.

Babysitting and working at a daycare aren’t really related, although they seem similar. They’re very different, in fact.

Kids are supposed to share their toys, but instead they share their germs. With everyone. No exaggeration, I had cold after cold after cold after cold…. I didn’t remember what it was like not to be sick.

Children don’t like to listen after listening in school for 7 hours.

School-agers have drama, and lots of it. Oh and so do daycare employees.

Working at a daycare is one of those things I would only do… well, once.

Sending my future kids to a daycare seems like less of an option.

Even after quitting, you may still re-live it in nightmares dreams.

And most importantly, don’t make assumptions….

One of the families that sent their kids there, the Hillyer’s, asked me to babysit for them one night after work. I agreed.

One day at work (day of babysitting job) their little girl (pre-school age) told me that their Grandma had been visiting her family. Just conversation she was having with me. Later that afternoon a man arrived to pick her up, and I had never seen anyone other than her Mom pick her up.

I blurted out, “Oh hi, are you her Grandpa?”

Must’ve been a long day for me, starting with early morning band and ending with an afternoon filled with bratty kids. I’m just not quite sure why I would say that, even if her Grandma was in town.

He laughed (oh, and so did she) and informed me that actually, he was her father.

Oh, and the President of the whole agency under which I worked. Good thing he’s a nice guy.

I didn’t live that one down for a while, but I did learn my lesson. And guess what? They even asked me back to baby-sit.

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