How one day scared me off babies…for now

When I was 14 I was given my first opportunity to really show my parents how responsible I had become. I was going to babysit someone else’s child- this was big news and a big step up from taking the poodle for a walk.

Now why this toddlers parents thought I would be the perfect fit for a watchdog over their precious Catharine is beyond me.

Prior to the milestone of that night I had only gone as far as to hold a baby for 10 minutes. I had no experience and was under qualified.

Granted, the family only lived about a minute walk away from my house- so if mom was needed for backup, it would be a quick commute.

As I walked over to their house, I was confident. How hard can it be to entertain a 4-year-old?

I was on time- and that’s the last thing that went right that night.

A few emergency numbers later and after a quick house tour, I was alone- Just my responsibility and me.

Our first activity was to take the Jack Russell for a walk. But my child for the evening decided it was best to just let the disobeying dog out- without a leash. I turned around just in time to see her standing there with the screen door open- the dog just running out of eyesight.


To make matters worse, Catharine refused to go outside. I was at a crossroad. I knew enough that she couldn’t very well stay inside by herself but the dog was probably already half way into the next township. So I had to do it- I picked her up unwillingly and carted her screaming, kicking body off in the direction of the dog- essentially ruining any relationship we were in the process of forming.

With dog retrieved and child consoled, bellies were growling.

Inside the fridge was a plate of cubed cheese. It looked like it was specifically prepared for tonight’s snack, so I put on a movie and gave Catharine the cheese. We were best friends again.

Not to be graphic but not long after the cheese was consumed, a horrible smell began to pollute the air.

Lactose intolerance! Why was I not informed of this? I guess mom forgot to point out that Post-it note out to me on the fridge. The one that specifically said “No dairy products for Catharine.”

It was an absolute mess.

When we went to the washroom to clean up, I was hit with another unexpected surprise. Diapers. I had never in my life changed a diaper. Why on earth was a 4-year-old wearing a diaper? This was all so new to me. Mayday Mayday! Backup needed.

My mom came, and like usual, made everything right. She calmed the lactose outbreak, changed the diaper and consoled my crying self who had at this point given completely up and surrendered to the sofa.

I decided then and there that my babysitting days were over. I was retiring. So now here I am, 22-years-old and I have yet to tackle a baby since. Truth be told- I think I’m ready now…maybe.

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