I was also obsessed with The Babysitters Club books and their spunky, entrepreneurial spirit. I would have been Kristy.
Needless to say, I was itching to begin babysitting. Before I could start, my mom signed me up for Red Cross babysitters training at the local fire department. We learned how to save a child from choking, how to hold an infant, and some fun games for kids of different ages and stages of development.
More than anything, I learned what it was going to mean to be in charge. If something scary happened, it was up to me to protect the kids and myself.
I used those skills in my long career of babysitting, mostly caring for the growing family across the street that (I think) peaked at 10 kids. While reading countless bedtime stories, changing diapers, giving baths and heating up zillions of bowls of mac ‘n cheese, I became a pretty great babysitter. And I grew up quite a bit, too.
This summer, kids can sign up for a two-day Babysitters BootCamp through the Greater Chicago Red Cross. They’ll learn a lot of the same skills I did, and they’ll be fully certified in First Aid and Child and Infant CPR. To learn more, visit www.chicagoredcross.org/babysit