A typical first conversation with me starts with “Hi, how are you”, eventually we get into the kids, the husbands, wives, animals, and the inevitable “What do you do for a living?” question.
I hate, dread, loathe, and despise this question, not because I don’t have a great answer, because I do, but because I am never sure of the other persons response.
I usually say “I teach young children, I run an in home childcare”, the most common response to this is “Oh, you babysit?”
HELLS NO, I DO NOT BABYSIT! I do not sit in front of the tv all day watching mindless shows while children either watch with me, or destroy my house. I do not let the children do whatever they please, I DO NOT BABYSIT.
I went to school, I have a diploma, I have worked in this low paying, dirty, shitty (both literally and figuratively) thankless field for 13 years. I teach children how to use a toilet and cutlery, I teach them colours, letters, numbers, I teach manners, and give them a predictable and easy routine. I teach art, drama, music. I am a doctor, nurse, psychologist, and vet.
I DO NOT FUCKING BABYSIT.
Often the next comment is along the lines of not actually having a teaching degree, you know, from a university. I just have college after all.
If it weren’t for people like me, children going into kindergarten wouldn’t have basic math skills, reading skills, or listening skills. They wouldn’t know how to use scissors, how to share, or colour within the lines. Children would run amok and teachers would be pulling their hair out by the handfuls.
Granted, there are always a few kids that do attend childcare that are nuts, and there are some kids who stay home who are amazing, but GUARANTEED on the first day of school, in every kindergarten classroom in Canada there is at least one child who is insane. There is one child that all the other parents thank God for knowing that it isn’t their child who is currently running around the room tearing books off the shelves, and throwing Lego all over the floor.
All I’m saying folks is, don’t take your caregiver for granted, give her respect, treat her with kindness, and remember the little shit running around the classroom, then, thank your caregiver, knowing it won’t be yours.
Never ever call her a Babysitter.