I don't think you can put a price tag on a good babysitter. I was on maternity leave without a babysitter when I was told by a friend to check with Amy Taulbee. Her home was right across the street from the high school. She met with Jake and I and agreed to watch Jacie. With Jake's odd farmer hours and my FFA trips she became the constant in our lives. I would arrive in the front of her house around 7AM and drop Jacie who was then 8 weeks old off in her kitchen, where she would be making breakfast and likely starting whatever her family would be eating for supper. I left through the back door and an alley to the school. I came back for the next several weeks during my conference/lunch to nurse Jacie and then hand her back over to Amy. I'll never forget the day I had worked all day and showed up and Amy had a strange look on her face. I then realized I had forgot to come feed Jacie. I instantly started crying, thinking what kind of mother forgets to feed their baby. Amy never called the school, she thought I was stuck in a meeting, she just fed Jacie some extra cereal.
A couple years later I started that same routine with Jaelin. When we found out Jaelin had a cataract Amy was the best patch attendant ever. A couple mornings I dropped them off and Amy asked if Jaelin had a patch. I had forgotten to put it on. Amy always caught it. She deserves a lot of credit in Jaelin's eye correction and the fact that we will most likely avoid surgery. Jacie soon started preschool at the St. John's just down the street. Everyday rain or shine she walked kids to the school and picked them up. I think the kids who I often watched from the lunchroom window enjoyed that outside activity. They walked in the sunshine, rain, and snow like little mailmen.
At the end of the day I would walk over to pick the girls up. They often were playing outside, enjoying a snack. I would gather their things up in the house, where you could often smell something baking in the kitchen and we would head home.
I thank Amy nearly everyday for the good start she gave the girls. The girls had a little family at Amy's where they new rules and they had to wait their turn. They learned basic manners and getting along with their friends. They learned tantrums would not work to get their way. Mostly I thank Amy for the peace of mind I had so that I could teach someone else's kids while she was watching mine.