Saturday, June 16, 2007

On The Lighter Side June 16th

As most of my readers know I sometimes deviate from the serious and post on that which is almost serious. Today is one of those times.

As some of my readers may also know, I'm a grampa and like many other grampas, have been pulling babysitting tasks in recent months. My granddaughter will be 2 on July 4th and grandson 1 on Aug. 4th and I enjoy babysitting them both. To me it's a real pleasure watching a new rational being becoming acclimated to existence. But I have percieved a problem. It isn't with anything above but rather the concept, or to be more precise, its name, babysitting. It is not just a misnomer, it's a miseverything.

I have become convinced that the person who first attached the word "sitting" to "baby" needs to feel some pain. If this individual is no longer alive, then perhaps some historical shame is in order. I don't know exactly what would serve justice here but surely some kind of corrective action needs to be taken.

Looking back to the days when I was young and raising my own 3 sons, I can now see that I was oblivious to the fraud I was foisting on my family and friends when I asked "Can you babysit little Robbie on X day?" After all, "babysitting" has a nice laid-back, piece-of-cake connotation to it doesn't it. The only thing that was missing was me going "hee hee" after leaving the sitter in charge, and that was because there was no awareness on my part of any con being perpetrated.

So, to prevent future sitters from being thusly mislead, I have decided that we need to come up with a new word which refers to what is really subsumed under the concept of babysitting. I have put together the following list of actual events as starting points.

>babyhawking (constantly)
>babychanging (diapers, clothes, bibs, etc.)
>babyfeeding (and burping)
>babysoothing (when something scares them)
>babyconsoling (when they clunk themselves on the head with their own toys)
>babyhumering (actually playing with the little tykes)
>babychasing (all around the house) and finally,
>babysitting (at naptime)

So, if we add all these up, what kind of concept can be induced? I have come up with the following possibilities:

1.baby maintenance?
2.baby nursing?
3.baby policing?
4.baby guarding?
5.baby intensive caring?

While I'm open to more suggestions, for now #5 gets my vote.

Perhaps there was a time when babysitting only took place at night and involved no more than an occasional changing and feeding. But such is no longer the case. Today, watching a baby all day long is a full time effort and I can assure you that the least performed activity is 'sitting'.

Thus it is incumbent on us to formulate a new name that's a little more realistic and relegate babysitting to the long list of logical fallacies.
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