Driving to work today, I saw (as I often do) little kids standing by the side of the road, presumably waiting for the school bus to pick them up. Some of them look pretty darn young, not that much older than my 2.75 year old daughter. And I can't help but think, "What if someone snatches that kid up? What if she doesn't make it to the bus or gets lost? How am I ever going to avoid having a stroke when my daughter is the one standing by the bus stop?"
I had a small taste of that two days ago when our neighbor's kid, who is 13, was over helping my mother and I with my 2.75 year old and my 3 month old. This kid is just starting to get some experience babysitting and so she comes over and helps, both to get her and the kids used to each other and so we can assure ourselves that she'd be ok alone with our kids, which eventually she will be when she's older. I was downstairs then came up and noticed that my toddler was nowhere to be seen. I asked my mother where she was and she said that the babysitter had taken her for a walk around the block. My first thought was a huge worry - what if my daughter gets away from her, runs away, gets hit by a car? My daughter can be somewhat difficult to steer when walking with her out in public - she's very strong willed, and also getting just plain strong as she gets bigger and bigger. The babysitter was not all that big at 13 - I was worried she might not be able to handle it if it came down to a wrestling match to get my daughter home. So I sat there, worried, for a while, then was about to go looking for them when they came back home. No problems at all, my daughter was well behaved and enjoyed herself. But I still worry even thinking back on it.
Damn, being a parent is hard.
(P.S. My mother is over for a few days to watch the 3 month old during the day - my wife just started back to work this week after her maternity leave ended. Her mother comes here this weekend to watch the 3 month old for the next three months. In this way, he doesn't have to start day care til he's about 6 months old and we don't have to start paying for day care until then, either - though we did have to pay for her mother's ticket (1200 dollars) and will have to buy extra food, etc. while she's here. Still, we come out ahead and grandma gets to spend time with the kids.)
4 years ago