I remember the first day I babysat Melanie. I was in college and a local family hired me to watch her four days a week. Things went really well during the initial consultation. The meeting was arranged to see if she liked me. I did her nails and then we did a puzzle. She did like me, of course, and there I was again the next Monday morning. We waved from the window as her mother drove off. This job is going to be so easy, I remember thinking… And then as soon as her mother’s car was out of site, she burst out screaming and crying. She was only four years old at the time and I was too ignorant to realize that four year olds are essentially the emotional equivalent of year old babies.
My eyes bugged out of my head. I stared at her unsure of what to do. I grew up as an only child and lived a extremely solitary existence for most of my young and adult life. I had minimal experience with children up until that point. Thankfully an inkling of maternal instinct kicked in. I picked her up and soothed her until she stopped crying.