Sunday, September 02, 2007


I know every parent who employs an in-home child care provider fears that they'll lose him or (more often) her, to another job, to burn out, to the proverbial "bigger and better things". We hear the stories. The caregiver who leaves to have her own child. The nanny who calls an hour before she is supposed to arrive for duty, to belatedly say she is not coming today, or any day. (This recently happened to a friend in Chicago.) We fear these things, and know they happen to the best of us.

But no one fears losing their child care provider more than I do. Why? Is it JP's loving care of my daughter? Her adoration and loving attention, her willingness to hear and tell "cute Ada" stories? To sing Ada to sleep when she balks at nap time? To cook her delicious lunches and second breakfasts? Yes, but... Is it that she's introduced my daughter to her family, making them Ada's extended family by proxy? Is it that JP's mom gives Ada gifts, including some awesome thrifted kid plates featuring Pooh and cavorting bunnies? Is it that her sister joins JP and Ada at least weekly for a picnic in the park, lunch at the local cafe, or other neighborhood excursion? That's a nice bonus, as is the psychic link that caused all three of them to wear the same outfit a couple of weeks ago.

But one day last week, on a (for Portland) blisteringly hot 91 degree afternoon, I took a break from working at home to bike down to the post office. Returning home, I collapsed (slightly sweaty) onto the couch. Just then I hear Ada and JP talking outside. The front door opened, and JP popped in. She'd taken a detour from her store-to-park route with Ada to drop by and offer me an ice cream. A delicious, minty, chocolate covered Haagen Dazs.

What would I ever do without her?


  1. Ooh. Definitely a keeper! Reminds me of a childhood babysitter who used to make us funnel cakes after school...

  2. That's cool.

    I need to find one that does KFC runs...
    That would be heaven.

  3. Oooh. That *is* a good perk. Even if she's just fishing for a nice, fat Christmas bonus or something, it's totally worth it. Give her whatever she asks for, then add $50 just to be safe!