I love kids.
Not just my own, but other people's kids, too.
I've been babysitting since I was 11 years old. Looking back at that fact now, as a mom, makes me shudder. Who on earth left 4 kids (including a baby) alone with an 11 year old for 12 hours?
Babysitting was my primary source of income as a teen. Even after I secured a job as a hostess at The Italian Oven Restaurant, I kept one weekend night free so I could babysit for my special families. As soon as I arrived at college, I signed up in the office of Career Services as a potential babysitter/nanny for any local families.
I even worked at a day care. And that, my friends, is one of the main reasons I am a stay-at-home mom. I worked at one of the finest day cares in Atlanta that boasted an indoor sand box, an outdoor splash park, dance lessons, French lessons, gymnastics lessons, art classes, and a baby/caregiver ratio of 4:1.
When Jaina was 18 months old, I answered the call of a panicked neighbor who wanted to remove her 3 month old son from his daycare immediately... but had no idea who would watch him. I offered to take him from 7 AM- 4PM Monday through Friday until she could get out of her contract at work.
And so my husband dubbed our house, "Miss Jessie's Daycare".
I'm pretty used to it being my three kids plus an extra kid here and there. I currently babysit a 2 year old two days a week on a steady basis and have since she was 3 months old. My across the street neighbors started a church in their home and asked me if I would consider keeping the nursery kids (aged 2 and under) at my home during Sunday and Wednesday services.
Last week was a bit unusual since I had several extra kids around! It really did seem like I was running a daycare. I had two extra kids (all my van will hold since I have three kids of my own AND pick up Jaina's best friend from school as well) every single day last week. Boy was I tired at night! I have to hand it to the little kids though.... everyone did amazing! Even the little boy that had never been to my house ever before!
Because of privacy, I typically don't take photos of my babysitting kids or share them on FB or my blog. I'm making an exception for this cutie since her momma is a close friend of mine and her kids have appeared on my blog before.
I actually had a dream the other night that I opened up my own daycare down the street. It was pretty funny. I couldn't decide if the kids should be separated by age or left to play with each other, like in Montessori style school. I was hiring teachers that complained about clients using cloth diapers. And I couldn't figure out what the name of my natural parenting-style daycare would be called.
Ah, well, back to reality around here. We had a crazy busy weekend in ATL so there is a mountain of laundry and a bunch of blogging to catch up on. Thank goodness its just my three (and my one extra on Tuesday and Friday) this week.