This is for every parent, or asshole adult with no children, who has ever called me a babysitter. May your children not suffer for your lackadaisical approach to their care and education and become mouth breathing adults.
I woke up today contemplating how many minutes I can possibly trim from my morning routine so that I can wake up later. It is 30 minutes before my first Little arrives and I have to get moving. Shower, hair, teeth, and comfy clothes to crawl around in, achieved. Yes! Just enough time to get to the kitchen and get the dishwasher emptied and the bleach solution made for the day.
0645 (thank you to the 0530 kid who left my care) and the first Little knocks on the door and my day is moving now. Baby is sleepy and I celebrate my good fortune by sitting at the computer and catching up on Facebook. Just as the welcome screen pops up, so does the Little. Dang!
0700 and Little #2 is arriving at daycare. This is where the fun begins. The first Little of the day invariably gets the happy, calm drop off. Little #2 gets welcomed by a piercing scream and a let’s play toy thrown at their head.
And now between the hours of 0730 and 1130 (curriculum time as the Navy quaintly calls it) I have to manage to squeeze in the following items, which are all required by the Navy.
- Breakfast-needs to have a half hour window, no rushing those slow eaters folks, don’t forget the dishes that never stop piling up!
- Morning snack- to be served no later than 3 hours after breakfast, no earlier than two hours and remember, you must have the same break in between this snack and lunch, which comes at 1130 (or 1200 if you’re willing to have your ear drums pierced by the screams of the sleepy)
- Art- there MUST be art, we don’t care how old you are, you WILL try…oy vey
- Story time for at least 15 minutes in the morning- luckily the Navy sees reason and knows getting 3 infants to sit down in one spot for that long would be psychotic so they made the rule to say it does not have to be in a row, just cumulative before lunch
- Outdoor time, must meet a minimum of half an hour but the Navy says you should do a complete hour unless you’re a jerk and lazy, in not so direct terms
- Don’t forget song time, that’s another 15 minutes
- Diapering- must do every kid every two hours MINIMUM and you KNOW someone will poop right after you finish a marathon changing session
- Bottle time- don’t forget that everyone needs a bottle and you are never allowed to hand it off to the baby, you MUST hold them as they drink it-which is a fantastic bonding moment until you realize you have 3 Littles who all want a bottle at the same time and make you feel awful until all you want is your own mommy and a nice snack, preferably something with a processed cheese product in it
So let’s total up that time, shall we? In the period from the start of breakfast until lunch is over, we have a total of 4.5 hours. Adding up the meal times, which total 90 minutes plus another 30 for prep and cooking, you are now left with 2.5 hours. Outdoor time, now you’re down to 1.5 hours. Deduct diapering time, you are left with 1 hour. Songs and story time, you’re down to 30 minutes. That leaves you with art and a half hour. Ha, good luck, it’s never that easy!
In a side note I would like to mention that every activity requires hand washing. Before and after the activity. And trying to get an infant to wash their hands is like soaping up a baby seal and then trying to hold it in midair while singing “Wash, wash, wash your hands wash them everyday, soap and water does the trick and keeps the germs away” TWICE to make sure you hit the time required to get germs to die. I won’t mention how much soap gets up noses, in eyes and down the hatch to the tummy. It’s not pretty.
The major kicker of this whole morning, I must let the Littles decide what activities they will do and allow them ample time to do it in. If Littles are sleeping, they must sleep. If Littles want to do art for 2 hours, I’m supposed to kill myself making it happen. Littles lead the way…
So now that you see the numbers, did you notice the Provider factoring in bathroom time or shoveling food into my own mouth time? Yeah, there’s not really a whole lot of time for that.
You may choose this moment to interject that I get a nap time to take care of myself. I will fire back with the fact that Littles rarely cooperate by sleeping at the same time. Someone is always waking up, wanting a bottle or a cuddle or just their blankets put back over them. And I happily let my lunch go cold to make sure they get what they need to make their day the best it can be.
BECAUSE I AM A GODDAMN PROFESSIONAL!!!!
So the next time you think about calling a licensed childcare professional a babysitter I would advise you to stop and shank yourself. If I were a damn babysitter your baby would be crawling on the floor, in a dirty diaper, being completely ignored and unloved while I sat on my fat ass and ate bon bons while watching soap operas.
And I’d be making a SHIT TON more money!
And now that nap time (a very loose term) is over, we get to repeat the same frantic schedule that the morning consisted of, only in reverse.
So why do I continue doing this job?! So the next generation can have some sense of right and wrong- and hopefully return the butt wiping favor when I am senile. And because the parent who hugs you and cries when it is time to move on has truly understood that it takes much more than indifference and a paycheck to make a baby thrive.
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