I am the youngest of three. My brother is older by five years, and my sister by two and a half years. And when we were kids, we were out of control. We were "those" kids that you see running around stores and restaurants, wildly screaming and climbing on furniture.
My parents often hired babysitters to escape us, even if just for a few hours. However, we rarely had the same babysitter twice. We never went to bed, or stayed in bed once there. We even tied up a babysitter for our parents to find when they came home. Ah....good times....
When my brother was old enough to supervise us, my parents would leave, only saying, "You kids be good! We'll be home in a couple hours...." But the couple hours didn't come. They would call SEVERAL hours later and say, "Oh, we're in another state. We'll be home in a couple days." And we were left to fend for ourselves with TV dinners and endless hours of public television (we didn't have cable). But we survived, unscathed.
As I got older and more mature (age 12), I felt confident in my abilities to govern those younger than I. So I began taking babysitting jobs. Most were easy. All I had to do was sit for an hour or two and watch MTV while the kids had afternoon snacks. Then, I starting getting more serious jobs....babies.
Who in there right mind would let a 12-15 year old watch their baby?! Or more importantly, Who in the right mind would let ME watch their baby?! And I will be honest, I admit that I was not always the best babysitter.
As I sit and think about those days, I recall some very disturbing moments in my babysitting history. I remember trying to test breastfeeding on an infant, who was not at all interested in my mosquito bites. And I recall another instance with a different baby that happened to wander out of eye sight and subsequently fell down a small flight of stairs. Luckily, he was not injured. (I did tell the parents)
And then, there was the time that I THOUGHT I was an awesome babysitter. I had two older boys to watch, and we all had a brilliant plan to ride their mattress down the stairs like a sled. It was a blast. No one was injured, but the parents were none too pleased to come home as their six year old is barreling down the stairs on a Serta Sled. As you can imagine, I was not asked to babysit again.
Luckily, as I grew old enough to work legitimately, I was able to work with kids in a structured environment. However, that didn't seem to stop the antics. When I worked for the summer camp with the local YMCA, watching 24 five and six year olds, I used to get in trouble for napping when the kids did. Parents would sometimes have to wake me to pick their children up.
When I ran the Saturday Morning Fun Club at the local YMCA, I got in trouble for taping a kid to the wall. Now don't get all upset, it was a few single pieces of scotch tape, and the boy was all for it. But his parents were not nearly as amused. Nowadays though, I would probably be berated on national tv showing that my youtube videos of the incidents went viral.
Anyway, the point was, I sucked as a babysitter. I was a wild kid, that grew into a semi-wild teenager (only wild with fun, I never did drugs), and then a more subdued wild adult. And yes, I still do crazy stuff with my own children, and I MAY have broken that younger one, but overall, I'm a great mom. Luckily, I can't get fired from this job!