you can’t even hold a baby good.

I quit my job at a chain steakhouse where I sat overweight families and gave them butter bread and started working as an assistant teacher at a daycare down the street from my house. My first day on the job, they stuck me in the infant room with another new teacher. She was experienced, I was not, and I was asked to feed one of the babies, who couldn’t have been more than two months old. I sat in a rocking chair and the little bundle was handed over to me. I squirted some milk all over his bib trying to get the nipple in his mouth, and when I finally did, the rest seemed like a cake walk. The kid fell asleep and I was doing great, or so I thought. 

After twenty minutes or so, the bottle was drained so I awkwardly tried to straighten out my stems and get the kid to a crib without waking him. Once he was in position one of the directors called me on the loud speaker. I thought it was weird they had a loud speaker but what came next was weirder.

I walked into the office of the two daycare directors, middle aged high school buddies who decided to open up the center with their Daddy’s money. They looked concerned and told me to have a seat. Behind them were four TV screens which gave them access into each room without having to be there. These motherfuckers ran this place matrix-style. It was then that they told me I looked “a bit uncomfortable.”

They rolled the tape. Footage of me in my argyle sweater–I thought it was appropriate baby watching fashion–showed that the my cradling skills were less than par. What I thought was comfortable rocking chair positioning was really not so. Technically, I was holding the baby, though it looked more like the little dude could’ve rolled off my lap at any second. I held my elbow high over my shoulder as the baby drank from the bottle, a position that could only be acceptable if I were feeding a fiercer animal. My other arm under his head looked like it had been crushed by a boulder. My face was contorted and so was his. It was obvious I had never done this before, although I wrote a different story on my application. They reminded me of this.

Needless to say, I was shuffled off into more familiar territory shortly after that. My next job was to work with eight and nine year old kids after school, gluing feathers to paper and breaking up fights between boys and plastic dinosaurs. The closest I got to the baby room after that was sitting in while the teacher had to “go potty.” I was instructed not to touch anything. 

— 22 y/o female from Philly, PA


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