Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

For the last 8 weeks I have been teaching gymnastics three days a week. Gymnastics and teaching are not new to me as I spent 8 years as a gymnast, taught a little in high school for my uncle's gym, and then spent another 6 years after college coaching track. But, I've never really had a whole lot of exposure to children in general. I didn't grow up babysitting and although I see my niece and nephews quite a bit, I rarely watch them on my own or even with Dave.

Some of my classes I teach are heavenly and others are very painful. I have one class in particular that has been probably one of the most challenging thing I have ever done. I have had to seek assistance from other instructors and parents. I've had to write incident reports. And for someone who likes to cuss and throw fits, this class has really pushed me to the limits.

Last week I thought I had the class finally in control. We were in the last five minutes of the class and following all the rules on the trampoline. One of the girls was sitting next to me. She hadn't been feeling really well and had been coughing the whole class. Suddenly, she starts throwing up! I think I jumped higher than I ever had and ran on air to get to the office for help. The girl's mom and my manager come out to help me as I gather the rest of the class and escorted them somewhere else. Luckily that class is a bunch of three year olds and everyone will recover and it's a good thing I'm not squeamish.

I have never had a job as hard as this.


Anonymous said...

Kind of sounds like some of my days as a parent (including, unfortunately, the propensity to want to cuss and throw fits, which I've been working on curtailing. Okay, the "throwing fits" still needs work . . . . I wonder what you'll think of this job looking back in a few (or many) years. Just curious--does it give you any new perspective on wanting or not wanting kids of your own? As you say, it definitely seems challenging in a different way than anything else you've done. I'm so impressed that you were willing to leave behind your old job that made you so unhappy and go out on a limb and try these new things. I'm pretty much a big wimp when it comes to doing things like that.
Michelle (having problems with the sign-in again--ugh!)

Val said...

Music to my ears as someone who went to school to teach! ;) I used to think that everyone, everyone should have to serve in a food service area at some point in their life so that they wouldn't be rude to servers. But I am also thinking that people should spend time w/ kids, even if it is just to learn how freakin' long it takes to actually accomplish anything. My mom visits and says, "whew, I'd've taught 3 college classes by now, and here we are lucky to have them dressed and eaten breakfast!" =/ Too true...

Jen said...

Ewwww. Someone must have thrown up on or around me as a child and it must have traumatized me. It is one of my biggest phobias now. Ewww. It's so gross. And the funny thing is, I am a nurse. When the patients get sick, I go into "nurse-mode" and then gross out afterwards. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Jen, that's too funny. I'm a nurse as well (although not currently working as one). I can pretty much deal with any other bodily fluid, but vomit still grosses me out, too.


ECrunnergirl said...

You just described what is like to be a teacher :-}

I will never forget the first time a kid puked in my room.....I froze in my shoes while the stupid trash can sat right beside me....I was just so stunned it was happening I couldnt move!

Being around/instructing kids is soooo much fun!!!