Have you ever been in a situation where you have to take care of someone’s child? Being in charge of feeding them, taking them into nap time, and put them in a bath? Cause I did. Out of all of my six siblings, four of them have their own families. All of them bore kids and counting. And as a sister, I became the proxy parent, the “tita on duty” as they say.
Some people feel irritated being a babysitter. For me, it was the opposite. They trust me in taking care of their kids and, seriously, it felt great. Considering that I really love kids, I dreamed of becoming a preschool teacher. I love their innocence, their laugh, and the never-ending questions about something they are curious about.
Additionally, children have a gentle touch. It feels calming whenever they hug or kiss you. The feeling of them tucking in my arms makes me want to squish them. Also, the sweetness in their voice will give you butterflies in your stomach, especially when they learn to talk and call you ‘Tita’ or ‘Auntie’ for the very first time. It feels so rewarding.
However, despite me having a liking to playing with kids and babying them, I know how to discipline them too. It’s not always good to spoil them, it is better to lecture them when they do wrong. Yet, aggressiveness won’t do the disciplining. You have to talk to them calmly, as kids will learn from it and they will bring it until they get older.
Meanwhile, having the experience of being a Tita to 9 kids makes me feel like a real parent. It is great to have that feeling of excitement when they take their first step and say their first word, the nervousness I feel every time they are sick, and the proudness when they have an achievement. Funny, how I sound like a real mom, but that is how I really feel about my nephews and nieces.
Also, the joy I am feeling when they appreciate my simple gestures. Handing them the glass, the toy they want, or something that they cannot reach. And I love their reaction when they open their gifts from Tita. I also felt that I, too,received a gift: their smiles and their ‘wow’ expressions. What more when I hear their ‘I love yous.’ But, of course, they are too shy to say that, and it’s okay. Their action towards me is more than enough.
As a result of these, I became really connected to them and I feel we share the same feelings. Whenever they feel sad, I’m sadder, and when they feel happy, I am more than happy. Being a Tita can also be as tiring as the mother’s job, but taking care of them and seeing them grow into a good kid feels like an accomplishment. So, in the future, when we welcome another blessing, I will wholeheartedly accept the challenge. Let’s be a Tita on Duty once again!
May Ann Lorio Leanillo is a Journalism Student from Cavite State University. She loves writing but is still learning and exploring the world of pen and paper. Watching action movies, mystery, fiction, and fantasy genres is what she enjoys the most in her free time. Believes that hard work and determination works over skills.