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I love to babysit. I always bring toys and books and a craft or puzzle or game to play. I was paid 25¢ per hour. It was so much fun I would have gladly worked for free. These three sisters, aged 2, 4 and 6 were the first family I learned to care for.
A pattern to my childcare was developing. It seemed that when a family was rigid, I allowed more casual play. If a family was scattered, I imposed structure... I drew on a growing store of songs, games, quiet and active play, language development, imagination and brought variations of learning-through-play to each encounter.
'Mary Poppins' they called me. (Yes, that's me at about age 14.) The balance of fun creativity and steady reliability was enjoyable to me and of value to my employers. The realization that each of these couples trusted me with their most precious children was an honour.