They beat TV any day.
We had babysitters as kids.
I’ve Google-stalked the ones I can remember and either there’s something wrong with my computer, or they’ve all got a block on anything Daddo.
As I remember it, we were good kids. “Robust,” is how mum described us. And, “spirited.” I don’t know if our babysitters would remember us quite that way…
Now I’ve got kids of my own. Angels, they are. Absolute angels. Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, and that’s not just because they prefer margarine. Honestly, they’re happy and healthy and we think it’s because they’re pretty good at looking after themselves – something we put down to training.
As little kids, we gave them words. Specifically, words in books. Books to play with, books to draw in, books to open and close and sometimes chew – nourishing books, but for the mind, not necessarily the tummy. From time to time the books were even read.
There were the books they could get into traditionally with pages to turn, and later, those new fandangled ebooks – it didn’t matter. If ribs are the delivery system for barbecue sauce, books were our delivery system for stories of worlds nearby and a long way away. We just loved the idea of our kids knowing there’s more to life than what happens on the TV.
Madness? Of course, but there was some method in there as well. And it wasn’t related to the memory of most of my childhood babysitters hiding in dark rooms sucking their thumbs after one of us kids had tried to blow up a brother or sister.
The theory went something like this – if you can teach a kid to entertain themselves with something that didn’t always require batteries or an internet connection, the fun would last a lot longer. Pretty simple, eh? And a bit old fashioned, but then, this was over a decade ago when things like iPad and smartphones were swimming in the minds of their creators, not an actual reality.
But I still feel it holds true today, with a little technological tweaking.