Confessions of a 50-Something Dad: The child care

We felt very lucky when moving to Philomath to find a wonderful babysitter. She takes very good care of them, lives on a rural property just south of town with a cool playground area in the back and she’s experienced with all ages.

A couple of weekends ago, we lost our babysitter for an undetermined number of days because of an injury she sustained that forced her into the hospital. We wish her a speedy recovery and not just because we want her to watch the kids again, but because we honestly want her to feel better.

The situation forced us to find another babysitter to temporarily take care of our kids. My wife reached out and set up interviews in our home. We originally had a candidate that we were leaning toward who would watch our kids in her home. But when I started to do some checking on her background, I found that her significant other had been in trouble with the law, including drug and domestic violence offenses. Although she said that was over, you can’t take such chances with your kids and was crossed off the list.

Two others we interviewed checked out though and they were both good candidates. And we’re actually using them both — one comes in most of the time but we also have another backup now. They both watch our children in our home.

My 3-year-old gets excited when we tell him that the sitter will be coming over — apparently they have a great time playing. Earlier this week, Jude had a bad day and had the sitter on his heels with a screaming fit. But he handled it effectively and I like that he talked to us about it at the end of the shift.

It can be scary trusting your children to other people, so it’s been a stressful stretch. My own childhood was filled with babysitters and families that I would even stay with for a week at a time because of my mom’s job. She was a foreman at a meat-packing plant and worked overnight — when the sitter wasn’t available, I’d actually sleep on the floor of an office … I’ll never forget the “aroma” of a meat-packing plant.

Anyway, I didn’t really have any bad experiences and in fact, one of the families I stayed with during the week, asked my parents if they could adopt me. My dad told me this years later but it makes sense because I remember they could not have children of their own. I liked both of them, they went to my Little League games, they taught me about the Bible, they were good people.

They ended up adopting and among my personal photos, I have a shot of the mother with her just-arrived child. A few years ago, I ran down the dad living in another state and I was saddened to learn that they ended up getting a divorce. Such is life, I’ve been down that road myself, but it provides an unexpected conclusion to the picture that you can have about people you loved from your childhood.

I know how babysitters can affect you — good and bad. Oh, and just so you know, I do not expect our kids to be at the sitter’s house so often that she wants to adopt them.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News and spends what little free time he has with his wife and two young sons. Do you have a fun story to share about your kids or grandkids? Email it to me at [email protected] and it just might end up in a future post).

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