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Mommy's Little Babysitter

This past Monday, Cora and I dropped
Maddie off at school and walked home, at which point Cora turned to
me and said, “Mommy, can you call Miss Allison and ask if I
can babysit baby Paige right now?”

Here’s the backstory – we’ve got friends with a
daughter Maddie’s age and a baby about a year and a half old.
My friend and I have discussed exchanging babysitting during the
day so we can go have lunch with our older girls – I’d
watch Paige for her, and she’d take Cora for me. Trying to
include Cora, Alli said to her, “Cora, do you think you could
come over to my house some time and help me take care of baby
Paige?” Cora nodded solemnly, and the idea was planted.

Alas, Monday was no good for baby Paige,
but we set a date for yesterday and Cora put it on her calendar.

Due to allergies and various sleepless nights, our first foray into
babysitting was simply meeting up at the library for story time,
but Cora took her duties very seriously. As Paige sat in
Alli’s lap, Cora would solemnly hand Paige her lovey, or pat
her leg reassuringly from time to time. At one point Paige
restlessly stood up and started trying to roam; she turned to us,
looking over her options, and Alli said, “Do you want to sit
in Miss Jen’s lap, or with Cora?” Paige checked out her
options, walked to Cora, and sat down in her lap.

Words cannot describe the cuteness.

After story time the moms stood and chatted while the girls circled
around us. Paige once again began roaming down the book aisle, and
Cora turned to Alli and said, “Hey! Paige is walking away.
Too far.” Alli looked and told Cora reassuringly,
“Paige will come back when she sees Mommy’s not with
her.” Cora, unconvinced, looked from the grown-up to Paige,
sighed, and walked off after Paige. I didn’t hear the verbal
exchange, but I saw Cora bend down, hands on knees, speak to Paige,
then lead her by the hand back to us. Carrying an empty basked
Paige had acquisitioned somewhere.

As a final treat at the library, Paige was allowed to walk up the
flight of stairs before leaving. Cora wasn’t sure this was a
great idea for the baby, even with Alli holding Paige’s hand
above her, and Cora hovered behind Paige, hiney-level, hands poised
and ready most of the time.

Mention Cora’s terrific job babysitting and she’ll
smile shyly and duck her head, but I see how proud she is of her
responsibility, and she’s already asked when she can
“work” again.

Babysitter available – will work for chocolate milk.


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