|Photo courtesy of Seemann via morgueFile|
We had just moved to a small town which sat on the border between Alberta and NWT. The town has since grown but at the time it was very much out in the boonies. It wasn't uncommon to see bear and moose roaming down main street. Our first week there, my parents met a young couple in need of a babysitter for their one-year-old son. Knowing I was itching to prove how responsible I was (and to earn some money) my mom caved and allowed me to offer my services.
The evening finally came and I packed my backpack with homework and snacks and hiked through the woods to their house. The couple handed me their son, some instructions and off they went to enjoy their evening.
The baby and I played for about an hour. Eventually, he became tired and I put him down in his crib, said night-night and shut his bedroom door. My job done, I settled down in the living room, turned on television and proceeded to do my homework. About an hour went by with not a peep from the little guy so I decided to check in on him. As I walked down the hallway, I heard a "click" at the same time I saw the light go on from underneath his bedroom door.
Okay, about a gazillion things went through my mind at that point.
1) The baby couldn't get out of the crib and wasn't walking yet
2) Even if by some miracle he had started walking between the time I put him down in the crib and now--he wasn't tall enough to reach the light switch
3) Which meant somebody was in the bedroom.
The light turned on and off twice more before I quietly started to freak out.
I could call the police. But by the time they got there (I argued with myself) whomever was in the bedroom with the baby could easily hurt him. I was in charge of that baby. Me.
In retrospect, I should have gotten the hell out of the house and called the police. In fact, in telling my daughter this story, I told her exactly that. But at twelve, I was trying to prove myself and felt like it was all on me. So what did I do?
I opened the door.
Those that have babies know that even when they cannot walk yet, one-year-old's are ingenious. This little guy was no exception. The little munchkin had pulled himself to standing and quietly rocked the crib (which was on wheels) back and forth several feet along the wall to where he could reach the light switch. Best. Toy. Ever.
I don't think he was expecting me to burst into tears once I saw there was nobody else in the bedroom with him. Which got him crying as well. *sigh*
The parents got home late that night after Mr. Happy Light Switch had long dropped off to sleep. When I told them what happened, they laughed it off with a, "Oh, he does that sometimes."
Parents. Please tell your babysitters if your children do weird s**t like this because you may not be so lucky. Your babysitter may decide to run screaming from your home and leave your kiddos to fend for themselves.