The Ultimate Finder of Pinkie

There’s not much that phases me in the way of taking on responsibility. I’m not afraid of being the one in charge, the one who gets things done when no one else can, the one who takes care of people who can’t take care of themselves. When I’m babysitting, I’m basically the temporary mom. I cook for real instead of microwave meals, I do the dishes, clean up, get the kids to clean their rooms, and even tidy up the rest of the house for the parents when they come home. But an interesting thing struck me tonight when I was babysitting for Phoebe and Finn, the kids of my 8th grade social studies teacher. 

Finn is almost 13, so he pretty much does his own thing. Phoebe, however, is only 8 and in the 1st grade, so I have to take care of her, play with her, and cater to her various whims. Tonight she was especially difficult to get into bed, and once she got into bed, especially difficult to keep her there. I let her read on her own for a while (she’s actually a genius kid, she reads at a 5th grade level or something crazy), and then tried several times to get her into sleep. The first challenge, and the most memorable one, is the hunt for Pinkie. Pinkie is her ratty, ripped, dirty, terrycloth teddybear (we’ve all had one of those in our lives) that she won’t sleep without. This particular teddybear happens to disappear quite frequently, and tonight was one of those occasions.

We spent almost 20 minutes scanning the house for it, and during that time, I came to realize something: at the end of the day, while I’m sitting for Phoebe, I’m the one ultimately responsible for finding Pinkie. When I would (and still do) loose something around the house, I’ll spend about 5 minutes looking and then get my mom to give me a hand. She’ll spend hours organizing stuff in pursuit of whatever I’ve lost until she turns it up, and granted, throw a fit in the meantime, exchange a few expletives, but she will always help me turn it up. When I’m watching Phoebe, the responsibility falls on my shoulders. It’s interesting to think about— I can’t just go to someone for help, I’m responsible for what I do, and what others do, and I don’t have my mom as a safety net. It’s pretty interesting actually, just something I’ve been thinking about…

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