Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

In the past week, I have stepped up my kiddie game tremendously. First came voluntary babysitting for my friend’s 1 and 3 year old. I felt that my time spent with the two kids over the past couple of weeks prepared me to tackle the job alone for an extended period of time. All went fairly well until bedtime…this is where I ran into a bit of trouble. I’m a bit of a pushover I suppose, since 10 more minutes doesn’t seem to be a big deal to me—certainly not worth an unhappy kid. Nor is stretching that time even more by reading a bedtime story. But then I got firm. Except when it came to the baby and screams—REALLY LOUD SCREAMS that I did not seem to be able to cope with correctly. So I just let her stay up until she tired herself out so badly that once I laid down with her in Mommy’s bed, she was out like a lamp. They could deal with the misplaced child when they got home I assumed.

After I survived that feat (yes, it was my first), I agreed to help chaperone my nephew’s fieldtrip today to an amusement park. Four full hours with exuberant 4 and 5 year olds. I am now more worn-out than I ever have been in life-- more exhausted than working out at the highest possible level. It was a full day of high-pitched voices at incredibly loud decibels, interspersed with screaming, crying, hitting, laughing and did I mention screaming? I understand we were outside, but I could have used a few moments of inside voices. Whew!!! I settled disputes, went on potty patrol AND made sure they washed their hands, fed crustables that were still partly frozen, didn’t lose a single kid…shoot, I was pretty darn impressive!

They always say that babysitting is the best form of birth control and I happen to agree. But my real hope is that I start to feel more comfortable around kids so that I am not so petrified of one day having my own. Even though I’m 28, I still am quite sure that I’m in no hurry. I can manage hours at a time now with no real catastrophes, but overnights for a full 18 years are something I can probably put off for a little while longer.

7 comments:

anonymousnupe said...

Criss cross apple sauce!!!

And what makes you think it ends at 18?

Oscar said...

the proper dose of childrens benadryl in juice makes good "happy juice" and a sleepy child ;)

you went from babysitting 1 & 3 to being a chaperone to 4's & 5's...wow talk about going from one extreme to other. i am glad to read you survived. enjoy it, have fun with the kiddies, you get to give them back to their parents if they act up.

Lucy said...

I hear ya!! Twenty-seven and in NO hurry. It's still fun to give them back after a bit, but I hear once you have them, you suddenly have this patience you didn't have before. I guess we'll see.

brit_brat said...

haha you forgot to mention that your nephew was the WORST ONE OF ALL!! I know he was happy you went. Crista came over later that night and he told her he went on a fieldtrip with Aunt Bri and you rode on the bus. See, you were even more memorable than the rides and the crustables!!

Anonymous said...

haha i feel that. Kids are cool tho

Marcus said...

You forgot to mention how Nicole set you up for failure by not even giving you a five minute class on bedtime protocol. It's really not hard if you know what to do.

How about a blog entry on your natural shooting ability and your awesome instructor.

joy said...

Even though no one knows really when the right time is, I say wait at least 7 more years. There's a natural progression of maturity that kicks in. You''re ready to be unselfish. Having to be unselfish was thrust upon me because I had my first early on. While he was a toddler/child I still envied my friends ability to "get up and go". My only get up and go was to Chuckie Cheese. LOL