Thursday, February 28, 2008

City Buses

This post doesn't really have to do with kids so much, although there's an important lesson. The lesson is, think of your kids before you do something stupid that could get you in trouble and take you away from your kids.

Tonight, when I finished my class, I came to the city bus stop to see an empty city bus waiting by the corner, and I wonder why no one is going on. Then I look around, and I see three police cars, with police men by the corner. I ask some people what happened, and they told me. It appears, this goyish lady was going on the city bus, and she had her sister and niece there. She went on first and she was halfway up the steps of the bus and she was waiting for her sister to come with her child on the bus. The bus didn't want to wait and was closing the doors. So the lady spit at the bus driver. The bus driver then smacked the lady.

Now I don't know who was at fault here, the lady was wrong to spit at the bus driver. The bus driver was wrong to hit the lady. But its a crime to assault a bus driver and the lady will probably go to jail now. Maybe the lady will sue the MTA now, I dunno.

As I was waiting by the corner, I stood next to one of the police man that was interviewing a witness to hear exactly what happened. The person confirmed what the other people told me. Then I also got to hear the lady telling the cops what happened in first person. So the information was confirmed by all of them.

Meanwhile, the bus driver was just sitting in his seat, calm, with one police man questioning him, which I couldn't hear. The lady on the other hand was screaming at the police man.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Crossing Streets

Today I was in the car with my brother driving and it was a two way street. The light was red, and it was turning green. A mother quickly crossed the street with a carriage and older daughter. The light turned green, and all of a sudden I heard a 3 year old crying. The mother had crossed without her daughter, she then told her daughter to wait there. Meanwhile, the car in the other lane had stopped when he saw the 3 year old on the other side of the street, giving time for the mother to come back across. Instead the mother started walking away. I had an urge to get out of my car and run across the street to the child to keep her company or cross her to her mother. The poor kid was crying. But it was a green light, and we had to go, and my father said "Don't get involved" that the kid has a mother, so I didn't leave the car.

Its an important thing when crossing streets with kids, to hold their hands, and make sure all of them cross with you. First of all, people shouldn't be crossing when they see the flashing red hand, signifying that its about to turn green for the cars. Second of all, the adult should walk behind the kids, making sure the kid gets across first, cause usually kids because their smaller are hard to see, and this way there is more of a chance that the car will see the adult and wait.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crossing Guards

There are all different types of crossing guards. Some are very friendly, and get to know the kids they see on a regular basis, then there are those that just do the job of crossing the kid. Then there are those that are really into their job and direct traffic in addition to crossing the kid.

As a side point, one thing I noticed is that all the crossing guards I know have blond hair.

The crossing guard by HS was really into her job, she would cross those that got off the city bus to the block of the school. It was a big street with cars always turning from a six lane highway into a 2 lane street. When the light was flashing and it was about to become green for the cars, she would tell us to wait and not cross the street. But there were always those girls who wanted to run across the street anyways, and she would give them an admonishing look.

The bus stop of the triplets that I babysit for are next to a public school, so there are crossing guards on both corners. One is very quiet, and just sees a kid coming and starts walking in the street with him. Then the other one is so friendly, she talks to the kids asking them how their day was, if she notices something in their hand she'll ask about it.

In either case, I always thought crossing guards had such an easy job, that they barely do anything. But now I realize in the winter its the hardest to have to stay outside in the freezing cold. Now that I know what its like from waiting by the bust stop for like a half hour or 45 minutes sometimes, I see its not such an easy job after all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"All Children Smile in the Same Language"

Whenever I go to a certain neighborhood, I always notice one Public School Building with a quote painted onto the side of the building that says: "All Children Smile in the Same Language". For some reason I always thought of it as such a smart quote. I would imagine its used by the public school because they have all different types of children there, from different races and nationalities. So this teaches them to be accepting of each other cause at the end of the day they all have the same feelings and emotions, they laugh and smile the same way.

I think this is a very important lesson to teach children. In could include the different types of personalities children have, the cliques, or the family background the children are brought up in. Even though there are differences among them, they are all children and should treat each other nicely.

This could be taken to every day life as well, not just with children, but all kinds of groups of people. Its something to think about.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time to Study

Although babysitting at night can be very boring since the kids are sleeping and there's nothing to do, its actually the best time to study. In HS whenever I had reports to do, I would save it for when I went babysitting and while the kids were sleeping I would be able to read the book for my report and write up a page or two.

At home I'm always procrastinating cause I feel like I have an endless amount of time, and I'm just not in the mood of studying, reading, and I always get distracted with more entertaining stuff. I always did all my studying the morning of the test, I would wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 to study for the test, and I found studying on the citi bus to be very productive as well.

Here, when I'm babysitting I'm forced to do school work, since there's nothing else to do, and I can't escape it. I'm able to concentrate cause the house is quiet, and I know I have to get it done within a limited amount of time. So now instead of dreading babysitting at night, I look forward to it, it keeps me in check with all my school work.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Surprise, Surprise!

Today, I was waiting by the bus stop after school and I was debating if I should take the limited or unlimited bus home. They were both there at the same time, I decided to take the limited.

I got off and as I was crossing a street to go home I see the school bus of the girls I babysit for. They started waving to me, so I waved back, then the bus driver recognizes me, so she opens her doors. I figured maybe she had something to tell me, but then she tells me to come on the bus. I feel a little embarrassed, but I go on the bus. Then she drops me off by the bus stop I usually wait by.

Meanwhile, the father was there waiting to pick up the girls, and then he sees me come off the bus. All the little girls, and mothers and everyone were laughing. It was really funny and unexpected. So then as I was walking home thinking about it, I wasn't looking where I was going and I almost stepped into a dead bird on the sidewalk. I saw it right on time, thank goodness.

Then the mother calls me up and she asks what happened, that I came off the bus with them and she wanted to know if I was alright, that maybe I hurt myself. I told her what happened, and she was like okay, just making sure you were okay.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When Kids are Sick

One thing I've noticed is that when someone is sick, all of a sudden everyone is nice to them. I see this a lot with siblings by the kids I babysit for. Now last night one of the triplets had a fever.

His sisters happened to have these doctor and dentist stuff, because that day in school a girl in their class's mother came to school as a community helper and told the class about her job as a dentist and the day before they learned about doctors and made paper stuff that a doctor uses, like a stethoscope, something to take the blood pressure, a stick for the mouth, band aid, and a needle. The dentist gave: a toothbrush, 2 types of toothpaste, the regular kid and the kind the dentist uses in that little cap, a blue paper bib, x-ray cards, floss, little blue cups to rinse your mouth. So now the kids wanted to play make believe doctor and dentist.
They also wanted to use their doctor and dentist stuff on their sick brother, but he didn't enjoy that part too much.

But they were so kind and caring to their brother who was sick, they brought him down his blanket and pillow so he can lay down on the couch. When they were playing Lego, they built him a ship and a robot so he can play with it. They made a puppet show for him, and brought him his microphone so he can sing. One of the triplets has such a cute motherly voice its adorable.

I'm not sure if this is just a triplet thing or its like that everywhere. I know by me (I have a twin brother) when we were younger I would feel his pain so much. When he would get punished because he wasn't doing HW or something I would cry and wouldn't let my father punish him. The connection still continues somewhat as we get older. But then again it could be like that with all siblings.

Even the kid himself who is sick behaves so much better, all of a sudden he is such a good kid, its amazing. But then again I guess its a Bracha when kids act up cause it shows their healthy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In the Car

Most times when I go to babysit at night, if its not my neighbors, then the father drives me home. Or sometimes even picks me up and brings me to the house. Now the question is, where am I supposed to sit? I never know if I'm supposed to sit in the front or the back, cause its a man driving. By one person I got in the habit of sitting in the back, cause it was the first time someone drove me. But then when its new people I never know. If there are car seats then I sit in the front because there is no where else to go. But I'm never sure if they'll feel comfortable with me sitting in the front. When my boss was giving me a ride to his house to babysit, I assumed he wanted me to sit in the back, but then he said I should come to the front, that I don't have to sit in the back.

Then there's another issue of conversation, I'm never sure how I'm supposed to speak to them, although because their married it makes it 100 times easier. I let them talk, sometimes they ask questions, like how school is going and then I answer. Some people put on the radio. Then others just talk about random stuff and I listen and comment here and there. But I never start conversation, unless I'm really comfortable with them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"I Want Candy"

It seems to be a universal thing, as soon as you walk in the house you get hungry. The triplets I babysit for, after I take them off the bus and bring them home, right away their hungry. They run to the cabinet with the nosh and they want to take candy. The mother doesn't want them eating candy cause its not good for their teeth...So I tell them they can't have candy and they have to wait till their Ima comes home to eat.

But their little and they don't have patience to wait that half hour. I get them to do their homework first, which the 2 girls seem to enjoy doing, and they finish their Kryah right away, the boy however doesn't like doing his homework, so while the girls do their homework, the boy goes to the kitchen looking for something to eat. He ends up finding a candy, now once he takes one, of course the other 2 want also, and I can't say yes to one and no to the others, so I end up giving them each some sort of nosh to eat.

The mother makes supper when she comes home from work, so there's no food prepared for them when they come in. I used to make them oatmeal or give them some cerial to munch on and that worked. But now all they want is candy. So they would go through all the candies, I would let them have chocolate coins or a wafer, or something with less sugar. Sometimes they want a taffy and I try to say no, but...

Back to the homework part, something I noticed is boys just don't like doing homework, could be because they have a mitzvah to learn. I see this all the time, girls do their homework right away, and boys just try to push it off and give everyone a hard time. I've seen this in many families. Maybe it has something to do with the boys school's too which is another discussion.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bed Time!

I find bed time the hardest part of babysitting. When it comes to putting kids to sleep time just flies by so fast. I'm always afraid that the parents are going to be upset if they hear their kid didn't fall asleep till much after their bed time.

There's always those last minute things kids think of to get out of going to bed, whether its a drink, home work, a game, bathroom or a story. It just never ends. I learned you have to be tough and keep to the rules so the kids won't take advantage, but its hard. I figure I'll read them one story to get them to come to their room, but that never makes them happy they always want more.

I keep the kids company so they won't come out of their room, I lay down on the floor and make believe I'm going to sleep. Sometimes it works and the kids become quiet and fall asleep, and then sometimes they just keep on talking and calling me, so I answer them and tell them they have to go to sleep...

One time when I was putting a 3 year old to sleep, she had been my camper that summer so she was attached to me, so I laid down in the bed with her, I must have been really tired, cause I actually fell asleep! I woke up just in time, the parents came in and said they tried calling, I said I didn't hear anyone calling, I didn't say I fell asleep.

B"H that never happened again, I lay down on the floor so its not comfortable for me to sleep. Once they fall asleep, I'm afraid to wake them, so I move slowly to get up and I carefully go out of the room not to make any noise. Then comes the boring part of waiting till the parents come home.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Knock Knock

One thing I've noticed from babysitting is that every house runs differently. One issue is with knocking before entering the house. I remember once hearing a halacha that you are supposed to knock before you enter a house even if its your own house.

One person I babysit for follows this halacha and she always knocks and waits to hear my response before she comes in so that I should be ready for her. Most of the time its night time and the kids are sleeping and I sit by the table doing homework or whatever it may be and its quiet so I hear the car coming so I know she will knock and I start to go to the door so she'll hear my footsteps and know she can come in.

A different person I babysit for, I have the key to the house so I can let the kids in after I pick them up from the bus stop and I stay with them for a while after the mother comes home. For some reason I never hear the mother come in, its all of a sudden I see her there and I'm like whoa where did she come from. Then I start to think of what I just said within that minute, maybe I did something wrong I didn't want her to overhear. (Like letting the kids have candy).

Then there's a different person I babysit for and she has a baby, so she doesn't want to come to the door with the baby, she's my next door neighbor, so she calls me when she wants me to come over, she leaves the door open a bit and goes to the living room with the baby till I come. So I usually knock on the door or ring the bell and she says I can come in.

Today, I don't know what I was thinking, but I saw the door open so I figured she opened it for me so I should just go in, I thought maybe the baby was sleeping so I didn't want to wake her by ringing the bell. So I go in the house, and I'm like "Hello". I thought she heard me but apparently not. All of a sudden she sees me and she's like "wow you scared me!". I'm like "oops". Everything was alright, but I think from now on I'm going to try to stick to knocking before I come in!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Jumping Elephants

This is a story I wrote in 10th grade for my creative writing class, we each got 2 letters and we had to think of a title with those 2 letters, mine were J and E, so I chose "Jumping Elephants". Recently I was reading a children's book and I realized how children's books are best at teaching lessons to kids, their the most educational books, and even adults can read them.

A new arcade game store was opening up for all the kids in the neighborhood. All the kids were so excited they all wanted to be the first one to play the new games. There was a huge line coming from the front of the store.

Inside they had all kinds of games but what was special about this store was the theme of the store: Jumping Elephants all the games had elephants in it. There was a bowling game but instead of regular bowling pins, you had to knock down little mini plastic elephant pins. All the games had something to do with elephants.

They were doing so well that all the stores wanted to put an animal theme to their store. The grocery store put the theme flying horses to their store. All the aisles were decorated with horses. The receipts had horses stamped on to it. This new idea attracted new customers. They were making a lot of money. Soon all the stores all over the world were named after animals, It literally became a zoo. All the stores had competition over whose animal theme was better.

One favorite animal that all the kids liked to act like was the famous monkey. Soon all the kids started acting like monkeys. At home, they were jumping on the furniture, making animal sounds, and eating like animals.

In school, the halls were filled with kids who just could not sit still and were making a ruckus. The teacher’s lost control over the students. All the kids wanted to learn about was animals and playing animal games.

All the adults got fed up, their children didn’t listen to them anymore.

They decided to make a rally against animal related stores. They went up and down the street closing down the new animal stores.

Later, the children came home and wanted to go play in the new store, The Jumping Elephants. When they got there, they saw it wasn’t there anymore, it closed down. They didn’t know what to do now that there was no animal stores. Then they heard a new game store was opening. This one, however, was a regular game store, just like the old ones used to be before The Jumping Elephants came to their neighborhood. They had a lot of customers, but at least it didn’t turn the whole world into a zoo.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Major Irresponsibility

Today as I was coming home from my 3-5 babysitting job I passed by a van with the door open and I saw a little girl in the car seat. No one was with her, and there was no one outside. I figured I'd wait there a little just to make sure someone gets her from the car. I reasoned that maybe the mother went shopping and had a lot of bags so first she brought the bags in and then was gonna come back out to get the kid. Five minutes passed, then ten minutes and still no one appeared. The kid saw I was waiting there, so she started crying a bit. I moved closer to the van and I asked her if her mother or father was driving, she said no each time I asked. I asked her which house she lived in and she pointed in the general direction of a house. I asked her if it was the one with the arts and crafts on the door and she said yea. So I took her out of her car seat, got her library books which she had in her hand and brought her to her house. I rang the door bell, no one answered, I figured maybe its broken, I tried knocking on the window, I knocked a few times and no one answered. Meanwhile I knew someone was in the house because minutes before while I was watching the kid in the car I saw the door of that house shut. Just then a neighbor of that house goes to his door. I said "Excuse me" and told him I found the kid in the car and no one was answering the door. He went inside, got his wife to call the girl's house and then her siblings came to open the door.

This whole thing got me really upset, I was crying inside for this little four year old girl. I kept conversation going with her she she shouldn't start crying and get scared. I asked her what school she went to and other questions, she answered all of them. Now imagine if it was some stranger off the street, a kidnapper chas veshalom could have came and this kid would have went with them. It really scares me. I don't understand how a parent could leave a kid in a car and forget about the kid, she was seat belted in her car seat she couldn't have gotten out if not for me passing by and taking her out. I can't imagine how a parent could not realize that a kid is missing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ice Cream Time!

The kids I was babysitting decided they wanted Ice Cream. I called the mother and she said they went to bed nicely the night before so they could have Ice Cream. I took the Ice Cream out of the freezer, got bowls and spoons ready. Then the kids decide they want sprinkles, so they go to the cabinet and take out sprinkles. I let them put it on their ice cream. Then I swept up the sprinkles that fell. One kid takes a lick of her ice cream then she's like "ewwww I feel sick". I'm wondering what happened then she said she ate seeds. I looked at the label for one of the black "sprinkles" and I saw it said poppy seeds. So I gave them new scoops of Ice Cream, without sprinkles!