Even though babysitting isn’t my ideal long-term plan, I have to say that it’s really been a good thing for our family. I’ve made a great friend in Mr. T’s mama, I get plenty of practice in juggling two children (which will come in handy someday), and Nora gets the benefit of having another child around. When I first started babysitting, last summer, I think she was too young to really know what was going on. She was aware of Mr. V, but didn’t interact with him much. By the time Mr. T started coming to our house last fall, she was just starting to get into babies, and was really interested in him and what he was doing. Or, at least, she was really interested in his toys!
There were some jealous moments, but overall, the introduction of a younger baby went well and the past seven months have been a blast. Now that Mr. T is more active, they do more than hang out in the same vicinity. She’s been “taking care” of him for awhile: she loves to get him toys to play with, went through a phase where she would give him his pacifier,
and is a great about going to get things for me that he needs. Like any good “babysitter,” she’s always watching out for his safety and is quick to tell him something is icky or “Not Ta” (not for him). She’s been saying his name for a while now, and always talks about him when he’s not here. She asks if Ta is at home, if he’s sleeping, if he’s with his mama; she talks about things he did the last time he was here, and she asks to “see Ta” and “play Ta.”
There are definitely moments when he bugs her,especially since he started crawling and she’s become more possessive of her things, but though all that it is abundantly clear that she loves him. In the last few weeks, I’ve really seen their relationship blossom. They’ve just started to truly to play with one another, and I’m seeing more and more of his positive influence on her (and vice versa). If it wasn’t for his fearless love of the water, I’m sure that Nora would still be afraid of the beach and water, but she’s been learning how fun it is by watching him. I guess there are somethings that just need to be taught by another kid, not an adult (not even, a parent).
I know someday sooner than we might like, Mr. T won’t need me to babysit him, and I have to admit, we’re all going to be sad about it. I just think he’s the cutest little boy ever and feel pretty attached to him (like an auntie or something). And Nora will probably miss him ten times more.