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I changed a diaper for the very first time the other day. I got the magical power to lose my appetite!

~~~

Anyway, I had my first official babysitting gig, and with my professor's kid. He's a toddler, and maybe he's close to a year old. (My professor is not a toddler, and he is 34 years old!!)

Toddlers are very angry, dead-set people if you think about it! Take a moment to imagine that every living moment you feel that irritating the-word-is-on-the-tip-of-my-tongue feeling. It's not just with talking though. It's any skill. It's trying to pick up a small object with your fingers. It's trying to understand what someone is telling you. It's trying to do something that somebody else is doing, but you just can't do it. Heck, I'd throw a fit too!

Toddlers see what they want to do, and they fight so hard every day to teach their body how to do what they want it to do. New tasks can be so frustrating, but the toddlers don't give up. If they gave up, they would never gain any higher level skills. It takes anger. It takes frustration and an inner drive that can't be quenched by failure. Toddlers are the most intelligent and motivated people in the world, and that's how they gain an extraordinary amount of knowledge and skills in a couple of years. They go from helpless slug to this fiercely independent problem-solving human entity. Toddlers are inspirational. They don't give up.

I'm relieved but also disappointed that I can't remember life as a toddler. Relieved because it would have been a darn frustrating time. Disappointed because what I wouldn't give to experience that life-changing motivation to improve, and then know that I was living out extraordinary success afterwards!

My professor's kid is pretty smart. He can screw and unscrew the tops of spice shakers, which is a pretty dexterous two-hand skill. He's learning how to do other two hand skills because his brain hasn't worked out how to work the fingers of both hands at the same time! I showed him how to fasten buttons in a book of his. Buttons are hard! He can't do it yet, but he's making progress. I tried to get him to use both hands for it. One thing he'll learn to be aware of is that you have to put down things you're holding so you can work on other things.

I showed him some problem-solving skills by trying to get some balls to fit inside a door of a toy. Sometimes things just don't fit, and that's hard to accept, even for me. Additionally, if you get a bucket caught around your leg and drop all your toy pizza, you don't have to be upset about it. Just pick it up and try again. (This will train him for the adulthood issue of getting a bucket caught around your leg and dropping your real pizza. That's almost worth crying about, but I still advise that you eat it off the floor.)

The cutest thing was when he wanted me to read my college textbook to him!! He likes books, and I showed him how my book didn't have any pictures in it. In order to encourage a healthy enjoyment of all books, not just picture books, I read him some of it. We pointed to the words of intellectual jargon on the page together. Eventually he sat watching me with a dreamy expression on his face, like I was saying magical incantations!

In true INFP fashion, I tried to teach him some values and morals too. He likes to hit things when they don't do what he wants them to do, and when the dog tried to run away, the kid would chase and smite the dog! Hitting dogs is bad. We only pet them. No hitting. That dog is such a good dog... He just puts up with it all! I've never seen a dog so chill about getting its paws grabbed!

It was a good day overall.

I definitely don't want to have kids of my own yet. Too much responsibility. The kid would find a way to kill themselves if you weren't watching them the whole time. Nobody has time for that. ...Plus, the contraptions people use to bathe children are downright intimidating. They look like torture devices. I hate touching the dish drying rack, and that's exactly what "Kid Bather 3000" is. Nasty, germy, scratchy plastic thing...
 
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