Friday, April 25, 2008

Robotic Age

The technology we have today is amazing. Seems like robots are very popular. There are robot vacuum cleaners that sense with there's something on the floor and vacuums it up. A robot like that doesn't seem like such a big deal because it is still a form of an appliance to clean, its not taking over a humans job. However, robot babies and baby sitters are another story.

Robot Babies were already discussed. Then I found out about robot babysitters. But really a Robot babysitter can't substitute for a real one. It can't look after the kids and make sure they don't get into trouble. All it can really do is entertain them just like any other toy. Although its interactive and can have discussions with them so that can keep them busy. It even recognizes the kids names and ages through a bar code. But for caring about the children's safety it can do nothing.

Sometimes entertaining kids can be very tiring. There are 2 types of children. There are those that just talk on and on and they are just commenting about things they see. Then there are those that question everything and expect responses. For the second type you have to be more awake and have a lot of patience while the other type, the commenter, you can just tune out a little. Here the robot will never get tired of having conversations with the children. Although I do enjoy talking with the children, that can be the best part.

The safety part can be harder, cause you have to be constantly on top of the children, making sure they don't get into trouble. It can get tiring running after the children all over the place. But then if they are kept entertained they won't get in much trouble cause they are kept busy and don't have time to make trouble. Although, if it gets too quiet then its a bad sign, its usually a sign of trouble. Like pen on the walls, or a surprise they made with good intentions that ends up destroying things and not much appreciated.

Here is a cute little video with a robot babysitter of a different sort:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SHHH.....The Window is Open!

Most homes are one way while outside and they act another way in their house. Outside the home everyone acts polite. Mothers won't scream at their children in front of anyone else. If their child is crying they would get embarrassed and try to quiet the child so other people won't think that they are a bad mother. But yet in the house they could let the child cry for hours as long as no one hears. When a mother is rebuking her child she will first shut the windows so the neighbors won't hear.

One of the mothers of the kids I babysit was telling me that one time she was giving her kids a shower, and the kid started hanging on to the door. The mother was afraid the door would collapse on her so she screamed the kids name. Then she looked at the window and she was like "uh oh" the cleaning lady left the window open. Now the whole block heard her scream. She was worried people thought who knows what happened. Some families lock themselves in their house without opening any windows for fear anyone hear any yelling and come to the wrong conclusions.

There is a non Jewish family on my block and they would sit outside at night by the nice nights and they would laugh so loudly. I would wonder what their laughing at, then sometimes it would be really funny because as me and another person are talking about something funny, right when we're about to laugh, we hear the family on our block laugh and its a good sound effect, like right on time.

Then there are those that go outside to talk on their cell for privacy. I always wondered how it could be private, because now the whole world gets to hear them. They would be having business calls, and yell at the person on the other side and everyone would turn around to look at them. Unless maybe they are only concerned that their own family shouldn't hear them, and couldn't care less if the rest of the world heard them.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Travelling Babysitter

Today I went to buy new Rollerblades, I was going to take the bus to get there, but my father offered to give me a ride there and back. So after I got my Rollerblades I was walking down the street to go to our car when I see this girl with 2 kids waiting by a city bus stop. She asked me which bus goes to a certain neighborhood. I wasn't sure, so I asked my father, he said she would have to take 2 buses. So he then offered to bring her where she needed to go. Or at least so she will only have to take one bus.

So my father asked the girl where she was going, and she said to a pizza shop. So we dropped her off at the pizza shop. But meanwhile, before we got there the girl didn't seem to know where she was going or how she was getting anywhere. I asked her where she was from and she said Israel. So I asked if the 2 kids with her were her cousins and she said no, that she was their babysitter. She said the kids were going to their grandparents for Pesach, so she came on the plane to bring them here and she was going back to Israel before Pesach.

I've never heard of such a thing before, where a babysitter flies with kids to a foreign country and then entertains them there for a week. I can imagine it would be hard for her entertaining 2 kids in a country she's not familiar with. Although she did say she came here every summer for camp. But that's not in the same neighborhood. One of the kids asked if they were going to the zoo tomorrow. She answered that they only have zoo's in Israel, that they don't have zoo's in America. So she obviously didn't know much about this area and must have a lot of self confidence to take upon such a job. They had great English though, which was a good thing.

But it was interesting that when we were in the car I felt like I could relate to her, a fellow babysitter. She was worried the kids were making too much noise, so she kept telling them to be quiet and of course they didn't listen. But of course we didn't mind that they were talking. But it was funny how kids are the same all over. The kids felt very comfortable and were saying silly names and silly sounds and then laughing at it. The kids I babysit do the same thing, they would make up words and then laugh at how funny it sounds.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"I Need an Excuse - Pull My Tooth"

A lot of times children dread certain situations, and their way to get out of it is to make an excuse. The most common excuse is "I don't feel well". A child could be acting fine the whole day, then all of a sudden its homework time and they say they don't feel well so they shouldn't have to do it. When there is a test at school that their not prepared for, they will make their forehead hot and act weak so that they won't have to go.

Usually mothers can tell when their children are faking it or not, and they almost always end up having to go to school at the end. Once they are in school it turns out not so bad as they thought it would be, and they come home happy as if they hadn't been dreading school that same morning.

Although sometimes it can be true that they are not feeling well. One of the kids I was babysitting said he wasn't feeling well. He usually said it when it was time to do homework. It could be because that was when he started thinking about how he was feeling cause he didn't want to do homework. His voice was horse a little and he didn't look so good. But yet the mother figured he was just faking it, so she told him if he isn't feel well then she will take him to the doctor that night. He didn't want to go to the doctor so he did his homework. But then at the end he was sick, cause I caught it from him, it was just a cold though so it was okay.

It could be psychological, but you don't have to be a child to use this excuse. Most times when people want to take off from work they call up saying their sick which is usually not the case. In that situation the boss can't really check on the worker so they assume the person is telling the truth, although there are a limited amount of sick days. However, fireman and police man can't just take off whenever they want, the company actually calls them up to make sure their at home and not shopping. They have to give an exact schedule of when they are going to the doctor and when they will be home and then they send people to check up on them.

Anyways, a few weeks ago I had a project in school that I was dreading. My mouth was hurting me a little, so I hoped it meant I could get another wisdom tooth out so that I would have an excuse of why I can't talk. Usually I dislike going to the dentist, but here I actually hoped my tooth would be able to come out. I caused myself more pain, biting on my cheek so it would make a mark to fool the dentist. Then the dentist said the tooth wasn't ready to come out. I was a little upset, I ended up going to school and my group gave their project and it went alright. After that day my mouth hasn't even been hurting me, so it was all psychological.

Monday, April 7, 2008


As a child I remember missionaries used to come to our block on Shabbos. They would usually come when we were in shul, so then we missed them. However, I do remember peeking out the window, seeing them standing by the door ringing the bell, and then hiding till they left. Nobody ever opened the door for the missionaries to come in.

In school, my teacher once told us a story about a missionary. She was living in an apartment, as she was going to her floor, she saw a bunch of missionaries came into the building. They went to one family, where a little boy opened the door. The missionaries started talking to the boy and telling him all this non sense. My teacher decided to go over and talk to them, to get them to stop talking to the boy. She had an argument with them. At the end they went away without doing any damage.

Now today I saw some missionaries going to a block with a play group in it. I was concerned for these kids, I hoped no one opened the door. I watched from a block away and the missionaries kept ringing the doorbells for the houses on the block, and no one answered.

I think it should be illegal to have missionaries come to peoples private homes and impose their religion on them. If they want people to come to their religion, then they should have some sort of gathering where there are recruiters and such. But they shouldn't be forcing themselves on people who are uninterested. They know the area is mainly Jewish, they see the Mezuzahs and yet they still come to the doors.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Story Time

A few nights ago I was babysitting a 1 year old NA, a 2 year old SN and a 4 year old RD. It came time for bedtime, and they wanted to hear a story. I let NA play with toys while SN and RD picked out books I should read. We sat down on the couch and I started to read. But then NA started running away to a different room and I had to get up to get him. Then RD tells SN that she can't sit next to me when I read the book. SN starts crying, I told SN, don't worry you can sit next to me. We started reading the book, then again I had to get up to get NA. Again RD tells SN she can't sit next to me, and again she started crying, and I told her not to worry that she'll get to sit on on my lap. I don't know why RD kept teasing SN that way. There was room for both of them, after all I sat in the middle, so there were 2 sides for them to sit on.

Now this chair in the picture would be great for story time. This way both kids would be able to sit next to me, and be a little higher up so they can see the pictures. Also, the baby would be able to sit on my lap while I read the story.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Paid

I babysit for the most part because I enjoy babysitting and it feels good to be helpful. When I get paid, I think of myself like a teacher, that I'm not getting paid for babysitting, but rather for giving up my time to babysit. So no matter if its a night job or a day job, no matter how many kids, its all the same.

When I was younger I used to always go to my neighbors house and play with the kids, and that was every day for free, I used to go to them Shabbos also and play with the kids. Then as I got older I had less free time, I had more school work to do, and started going to them less. At this point is when I became their babysitter, because I was no longer going on my own, they had to ask me to come. Once they asked me to come they would pay me, it would be called a job. But I enjoyed it the same much as before. I love the kids there, their my favorite family.

Once I became a babysitter, people would ask me how much I charge. I always said just give whatever you want. I didn't have a set price. For everyone it was different. Like with the family I love, I charge them the least. Although now with new people I tell them all the same amount.

For those that pay me on a weekly basis, I keep an excel sheet with the info to keep track of it. I learned from experience, because one time I was babysitting this person an hour here and there and I didn't keep track, I thought she was, and then she asked me how much she owes me and I had no clue. So ever since then I keep track.

Problem is, one time I babysat by someone and then she was gonna write it down and I told her I'll keep track of it, then a month went by and I went to babysit there again, and then she paid me for that second time and she forgot about the 3 hours from the time before. I wasn't sure if I should say anything or not. So I let it go.

Also, now that I keep an excel sheet with how many hours and what people owe, I know the exact amount at the end of the week. So when its time to pay me, they usually don't know how much it is and give me a little extra, so I told the husband when he was paying me that he gave 10 dollars extra, so he said keep the money and to tell his wife. So I told the wife that I think she paid 10 dollars extra, then she says "'babysitter' why do you do this to me?" So after that I didn't correct how much they gave.

Although sometimes, I hear the mothers complaining about paying cleaning ladies, that they don't have money for it. Then I start feeling guilty about them paying me all the time to babysit. But then I reason to myself, if the mother is telling this to me, she obviously doesn't mind paying me.