Monday, March 16, 2009

It's hard to trust just anyone...

It is so hard to trust a stranger with watching my daughter. My husband & I don't live near any family, so we have always had to depend on sitters if we wanted a date night, attend a business function, or just some basic down time. I admire the few who are able to call a new sitter right off the bat, and then walk right out the door without a second thought. I, myself can't do that. I am overprotected, miss my daughter desperately, even if I am only in the room down the hall and my husband is certain, that the sitter will sell our beautiful daughter to the highest bidder. Yes, we have issues. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful sitter, who is an LVN, amazing with my daughter and accepts that I text her every 30 minutes to see how "my baby" is doing. But I know we should have a few back ups. Now that the twins will be arriving shortly, plus keeping my daughter busy, I am beginning to interview sitters, again.

The scary thing is, that no matter how well you screen someone, how many references you check, it is still ultimately a leap of faith. I would hope that everyone out there wants the best for a child, and would do anything with the baby/child's best interest at heart. Unfortunately we've all heard stories where that is not quite the case. So what should one do? I don't quite know, but I guess the best we can do is screen as vigilantly as we can. Here are a few tips that I have found helpful when looking for a babysitter or nanny:

-Hire babysitters who are knowledgeable about first aid
and CPR.
-Always ask for and validate references. Check the experience of the babysitter. What age groups did the person work with? How much time?
-Babysitters with professional training in nursing or childcare are most preferable.
-Interview the sitter to check for sense of responsibility, temperament, understanding of children, common sense, ability to understand and follow instructions, etc.
-See how your baby reacts to the sitter. Even though a sitter may sound great on all comes down to chemistry.

Feel free to download a copy of my " Questions for Babysitters". Some of the questions are tough, but I figure that if it doesn't scare or intimidate the sitter, then she has passed the first step!

The Dora saga continues...

Today, I noticed that the change of Dora's appearance has made Yahoo headlines. So, as I read the article, it seems as if Mattel & Nickelodeon feel that the parent's outrage is because, they just don't understand. Apparently, they are not replacing "Dora the Explorer", but adding a new Dora, that will be an interactive doll marketed to 5-8 year old.

According to Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Mattel, "I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this. Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don't understand. ... I think they're going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn't what they are conjuring up."

The new doll does not wear a short dress, but a tunic and leggings. Although she looks older, with long jewelry and longer hair, she doesn't have makeup and seems pretty much like a 10-year-old girl. I guess I may be naive, sheltered or am living in the dark ages, but I hope our 10 year old girls out there, do not look like this new Dora. I also have to ask, if the new Dora is in Middle School, living in the city and living the typical lifestyle of a girl in Middle School, why is she being targeted to 5-8 year olds???? I guess I am still confused!