by Amelia Kanan
I miss all of my little friends.
I miss squeezing their cheeks as much as I want. Holding them. Reading stories to them. Making up stories for them. Doing art projects outside in the sun. Taking walks and making them into adventures where we find treasures. I miss pretending. I miss laughing with them. I miss picking them up from school and talking to all the parents and teachers. I miss cooking for them. Snuggling them. Dancing with them. I miss bike rides around the neighborhood with them, naming every animal and flower we see. I miss taking them to Menchie’s. I miss singing for them and watching their reactions. I miss hearing their stories and their ideas. I miss grocery shopping with little helpers. I miss teaching them things. I miss chasing them and getting chased by them. I miss helping them learn how to swim, throw and kick a soccer ball. I miss learning from them, even if it’s the wrong information (Once I repeated a football term that a 5-year-old had taught me while watching a game with friends and quickly realized that the 5-year-old was a little off on his info). I miss listening to their frustrations and excitements. I miss watching movies with them. I miss getting woken up by the sound of little feet before the sun is up. I miss the feeding games. I miss pretending to be a kid so they can feel grown up. I miss their little faces, their expressions and their smiles.
My arms and lap feels empty. It’s funny how quickly I already miss the days when I would have to say “I need 5 minutes of personal space. No touching me for 5 minutes” or “I’m putting the timer on and until we hear the ding, we’re going to have quiet time. No one can talk, unless it’s an emergency and in that case you whisper.” I never thought I would think my life was too quiet but it seems that way.
All that said…
While I was applying for jobs, writing my e-mails, sending out my stuff, contacting businesses, posting Ad’s, yadda yadda, I got this little tinge of annoyance with this job thing. In this moment, I went to sittercity.com and just to see, what’s out there. Then I realize, I could easily be working by next week. So, I clicked on an Ad of a family with two kids. Click on the “Apply” button, then began writing my spiel. “Good morning! My name is Amelia.” I stopped. What am I doing? You don’t have a smile on your face doing this. Red flag when working with kids. I don’t miss babysitting. I’m done. I love little munchkins and absolutely love being around them but it just cannot be my money-making industry. I don’t miss feeling dirty. I don’t miss the dry hands from constantly washing my hands and dishes. I don’t miss the tantrums. I don’t miss the lack of adult interaction and conversation. I don’t miss the fact that my biggest problem of the day was getting a 4-year-old to eat or explaining why it’s not okay to throw something at someone when they’re not looking. So, yeah, even though I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again: I’m done being a babysitter.