The sweetest, quietest little pre-teen girl expressed interest in being a ‘Mommy’s Helper’ [read: babysitter while are at home] for us and we had our first meeting last weekend. She shared with me that she doesn’t have experience with babies and hadn’t ever held one but that she is very excited about the prospect of becoming a babysitter. She said that Rose is the cutest baby so she was hoping to spend time with her. She also researched babysitting on Wikipedia. That last bit was pretty cute and yes, made me feel old.
We are friends with her Mom and when they arrived, the entire scene was pretty adorable – complete with multiple presents for Rose, a video shoot of her arriving at her “first job”, some photos together and I think I saw her mom shed a tear when I told her how well she did afterwards. Talk about feel-good moments!
It was a fun hour getting to know our new friend, I’ll call her Sophia. She was just so cute with Rose and Rose was beaming at her the entire time and loving having a new playmate. I cooked in the next room over listening to them play and occasionally popping over to make a suggestion (“She likes it when you talk and sing to her”) or to invite Sophia to ask me questions (which she didn’t). Sophia got to watch me change a diaper, feed Rose and put her down for a nap. When her mom came to pick her up we chatted for a while, negotiated her rate (I talked her up) and made an appointment for our next play session. I’m excited to be able to do some gardening with my husband while Rose plays safely inside this weekend and the prospect of having a responsible and eager sitter for Rose in the years to come does sound great. Given our nanny has oodles of experience it is sort of eye opening and a little refreshing to be ‘training’ a sitter. I’ll be able to teach her exactly how I like to do things and something tells me her enthusiasm will ensure she remembers each and every thing I tell her…to a tee.
Afterwards I had so many fun thoughts about this sweet girl, how fun it was to get to know her, how cute it was to see Rose playing with her, how nice it is to build additional ties within the community etc. But one additional – and slightly random memory kept playing over and over in my head too.
When Sophia arrived, given she and I had never been formally introduced, her mother asked me what she should call me. I stopped for a second not realizing what she meant. Then it occurred to me. I am a mom now. That means I am a bona fide adult. Especially to kids! I don’t know why this revelation was so surprising but it was and I think I had my mouth open, frozen in thought for a couple seconds while my internal monologue assessed if replying with a joke about being “MumsySus The Great” or “Your Highness” would be appropriate. Instead I stuttered a response indicating my first name would be fine.
My mom always went by her first name to my friends but to this day, I still call some of my closest friends’ parents Mr. and Mrs. despite their repeated requests I use their first name. I can’t help it – it is a habit. I guess I better get used to the idea of Rose’s future school friends calling me Mrs. Mumysus. At least a have a while to age into that title…
Until then, I’ll be MumsySus, Awesomeness At Large