10 Lessons Learnt from Babysitting

I’ve been babysitting since I was 16, and it’s been a lot of fun. Even though I’m in charge of small children for a couple of hours, and am supposed to be teaching them what to do/what not to do (e.g. hitting a sibling), I’ve also learnt a lot.

1) If the child is being a bit silly e.g. splashing some water while brushing their teeth, it’s better to not make it a big deal. Making it into a massive thing will just make them want to do it more, and before you know it, you’re trying to stop a full on water fight in the bathroom.

2) Take your time when reading bedtime stories. They can tell when you’re trying to rush. They’ll just keep telling you to slow down or repeat yourself, and you’ll end up wasting even more time.

3) I prefer to bring my own snacks. The parents always go “Help yourself to anything!”, but I’d rather bring my own food when the cupboards are full of organic toddler yoghurts and those healthy corn snacks for kids.

4) On the food note, I find that eating an entire 175g bag of Walkers Sensations while watching a film makes me fall into a potato chip-induced slumber.

5) Chips need longer in the oven than fish, especially since they’re on a lower tray.

6) That thing that defending football players do with their hands when another player is taking a free kick? That’s to protect their, um, bits.

7) Being hit by a football doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.

8) Children don’t always think before they speak

“You’re a really good defender because you’re really really big”

“Um, thanks?”

9) Washing up all the dishes, even the ones that were there before, makes you a godsend in the eyes of the parents

10) Arguments between children can sometimes be diffused by going, “Hey, teach me how to play chess!” and then you end up sitting there an hour later watching them play chess and only remembering that the horse shaped piece moves in a L-shape

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