Thursday, March 04, 2010

Value of Time

Today I didn't have work. Parent/teacher conferences are this week district-wide and for preschoolers they do conferences Wed/Thurs/Fri during the day. We had kiddos Monday and Tuesday, and then us para's prepped all day on Wednesday. That was actually really nice as we got most of the prepping for all of next month done. We are doing a new unit on dinosaurs that I have a pretty good feeling our kiddos are going to go NUTS over!!

Anywho, so today I didn't technically work and the mother of two of my favorites asked me to babysit. So of COURSE I didn't refuse :-) One of my favs is autistic but I am not above admitting that he's my favorite of them all. His hugs are like the sweetest candy you can imagine and his smile is to die for. He's so cute and though he has his needs and can't talk quite yet, he's just one of the cutest and smartest little boys you'll ever meet.

I actually can't wait until he starts talking. He chit-chats ALL the time but he hasn't quite fully caught onto words yet. He's saying more "real words" more and more but it's amazing to just watch him talk and talk and talk. I want to hear his voice. I want for me to be annoyed that he won't shut up. Much like his brother Duggan who is another fav.

Duggan is a typical boy. He loves anything dirty and boyish. He knows more about cars than most 20-year-old men do. He can point out almost any car on the street and tell you what it is and of course his opinion on whether it's cool or not. He's too smart for his own good. He's a negotiator to the core (I'm sure influenced by his lawyer father) and he's stubborn. He has holes in his pants, that smirk that tells he's going to try to get in trouble somehow, and an adventurous spirit. He never stops talking and the only qualm I have with this is his adament refusal to say the first 's' in most words....not that he's not capable, he'd just rather say 'top it' instead of 'stop it'.

I love these two. And I got to spend the afternoon delightfully babysitting them.

Of course Patrick was super excited when I walked in the door....playing shy and then proceeding to spin and do tons of cartwheels and jump on the couch and cuddle up next to me.....his special way of showing his excitement....with that ever present cute smile. Duggan was super excited to tell me all about his new cars. I played Clue with Duggan, Connect Four with Duggan and then Patrick, Cariboo Island Treasure Island with Patrick and then both, and then Elefun, and then we went outside and played soccer and I pushed {atrick around on this tonka truck backhoe thing which he was THRILLED on. We had a snack halfway through my 3.5 hours there, Patrick of course had fig newtons (he only eats goldfish, applesauce, chicken nuggets and fig newtons) and Duggan and I enjoyed Oreos with ice cold milk.

It was simple yet fun. Especially since it was a peaceful, bright, sun shiney, warm day today!! It was perfect.

When Lora and Henry came home, they paid me well as they usually did. But almost too well. They paid me $80 for 3.5 hours!! Which of COURSE I'm happy about, especially since my financial situation is SO tight this month. But I feel guilty about taking their money.

Lora and Henry love having me. I'm one of Patrick's favorite people, I play with the kids the whole time I'm there, I love em and hug em and kiss em. The boys actually want me to stay and play afterwards!! And Lora and Henry really seem to appreciate that. But it made me wonder, is my time really that valuable?!?! Am I really worth that money?!?!

Time is a valuable thing. And I hate that time always needs to be measured by money. But at first I didn't feel that I warranted that much value for my time spent with the kids. But at the same time it's a testament to how good I click with the kids and how valuable it is to have me there with them. It makes me feel good that my time is valuable in that way!!

However I did tell Henry that he could have paid me $40 and I will still jump at every chance to come back and babysit the boys. He told me I'm a horrible negotiator and I shouldn't say that to anyone because I am great with the boys and they love having me come to babysit.

Henry is also going to write me a reference letter for my application to volunteer at Children's Hospital :-) Considering they spend so much time there (due to all of the therapies) I'm excited to have such a great reference!! I really want to get my foot in the door there!!

Time is valuable but most importantly is what you do with that time. Such an important lesson. And the funny thing is, my time spent with those boys wasn't work nor a chore for was fun!! Sometimes my life is just pure bliss :-)

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