Saturday, November 16, 2013

Benny's Babysitter

I am convinced that God intervened when we found Lorena Martin.
She's Benny's babysitter.

Lorena Martin & Benny on a recent morning. She's been in the day care business for 18 years; Benny needs a haircut!

It was late February 2013 and with only a few weeks before my return to work from maternity leave, all plans for a babysitter had fallen through.

A 3-month old Benny with Mama Lupita who lives too far away from us.

Initially, I had signed up to place Benny at the Royball Federal Daycare Center, across from my office. This daycare center has a 13-month waiting list. So as soon as my pregnancy test turned up positive, I placed my name on the waiting list. I figured I would undoubtedly secure a spot for Benny with that much time in advance. As it turned out, only three weeks before my return to work, the day care center contacted me and told me there wouldn’t be any space available because they had to give priority placement to the sibling of a previously enrolled child.
I panicked.
Holding my son days before returning to work
If I couldn’t take my baby to work with me and see/feed him during my breaks and pick him up after work every day, who could I trust enough to care for him??
I started looking for babysitters online since I didn't know where else to look and I figured that a legitimate sitter would properly publicize and invest in a website. I looked for places near my building. Heck, I even went to Craigslist. My mom lives too far away so I had to find someone locally. Fortunately, at one point during my exhaustive search, I found a website for Lorena’s Day Care near Baldwin Park. I called Lorena Martin, a hard-working, enthusiastic, well-organized and extremely clean, day care owner and it turned out she had room for an infant!

Paul and I went to meet with her and her husband one night (Lorena's husband happens to be a law enforcement officer too). The minute she carried Benny in her arms for the first time, Benny smiled so big, my heart melted. He wasn’t even three months old at the time. I had a good feeling about her since that initial meeting. This probably also had to do with the excellent references that other parents gave me about her.

My gut feeling told me Lorena was the right person to care for Benny. She, along with her assistant Susy have basically helped me raise him and provided a second home for my little rascal. They have watched and taken care of Benny incredibly well. They’ve taught him to be social and friendly with children from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They feed him healthy foods made from scratch and bathe him every day. They hug and kiss him and nurture him like a baby ought to be treated but they also discipline the children whenever necessary. Benny loves Lorena. That’s his daycare “nina”.

Susy holds Benny as he attempts to take his first steps while Lorena watches
Susy calls Benny "viejito" So cute!

Lorena has a dedicated day care room in her home for the children that's full of books, toys, and all the amenities to properly care for the little ones. She has them on a strict schedule of play, feed and nap times. Her business is legitimately licensed and she has all required state certifications as well as contingency plans in case of emergencies or crisis situations.

Dozens of blankets for all the kids
Her daycare pricing is very reasonable but the love and care she offers our son has no value. I trust her whole-heartedly and I feel so blessed that we found her even if she accidentally teaches Benny to say 'pinche'  (bad word in Spanish...inside joke...hahaha). Thank you lovely lady!... Hope you're around for baby number 2!
Benny's daily activity is to reach for the wind chime

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