Moving Forward

June 1, 2011
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Mature. That is what I thought I was for the longest time. My mom tells me all the time that I must be the most mature person she knows. Trustworthy, responsible, and dependable were words my mom reminded me of constantly. But now I know that, yes, I am mature, but it is much deeper.
I got my first babysitting job 6 months back. I was so anxious . It was only the next day so I had barely any time to gather all of my toys and book for the kids. I woke up the next morning overjoyed with excitement.
When my mom drops me off she goes over the RULES. Like I didn’t know, she says “Lock the doors, honey and don’t answer the phone unless you know who it is…” Although I wasn’t really listening to her I pretended I for her sanity. She drives away and I walk to the door.
Jen, the mom answers the door and welcomes me in. I walk three steps into the house and I am swarmed by hectic children ready to have a great time. I can tell she isn’t used to having a babysitter because she is over detailing every subject she wants to go over. She left so quickly I thought the kids might be monsters. The day goes by very quickly, quicker than I thought it would. I think that babysitting is over-rated. They say you have to make sure you get all the training but it is just like looking after your younger sister or bother. All I had to do is make sure the hyper three year old doesn’t flush his plastic dinosaurs down the toilet and make sure the adventurous 8 year old didn’t start a fire in the backyard. Other than that it was a piece of cake.
Then came lunch. Jen wanted me to make hot dogs with chips. Simple is what I thought when she told me her request. She also said that I could feed their dog Annie a hot dog. I don’t have a dog so I didn’t question it. So I plop a hot dog on the floor and let Annie, their dog, attack. Next came the kids. They all want different kinds of condiments on their hot dog so I try not to mess it up. I’m pretty sure I got it right because next thing I knew the kids were swallowing hot dogs and scarfing down chips. I take this opportunity to go sit down and relax.
I was about to take out my phone and check if I had any missed calls when I heard all three children holler “Ewwwwwwww Annie! Grrooosss!” and call me over. I walked in to see Annie hovering over her freshly chewed hot dog with other food she has eaten in the past hour.
I now realized why my mom said there may be some stuff I have to do that I don’t want to. I also realize that none of these kids are volunteering to clean it up so the responsibility falls on me. I grabbed as many paper towels as I could, get down on all fours, and start picking up that hot dog I should have never feed her.
In that moment when I was picking up dog puke. I realize something: I am not a kid any more. I may not be an adult quite yet but I have passed the stage of me being a child. I couldn’t let those kids pick up the dog throw up and I could only blame myself. I understand there is no turning back. Only moving forward and I think I am okay with that.

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