Things I Thought About While Babysitting These Past Four Days

1. How in the hell can tiny feet smell that bad? I thought my dog had an accident in the house the smell was so gross. (I gave them an instant foot bath, a lesson on toe cleaning and the importance of fresh socks. Then I loaded them into the car and bought them new shoes and a bag of cartoon socks. They were really excited!)

2. How do mothers find time for sex? Kids sure seem like a sex killer, I am usually up until 1 a.m. or so, but while the kids were here, I was climbing up into my bed by 8 p.m. like I had just circled the desert and finally found a lake of cold water.

3. Saying, “don’t touch that” to a 7 and 7 1/2 year-old is the same as saying, “please play with that as often as you’d like.”

4. Kids can’t resist stacks of peanuts piled up in bins at farmers market. I’m so thankful for the lady that smiled and refused to let me pay. She must be a mother, patience of a Saint!

5. I let the kids make fury mustaches and matching eyebrows, it was so cute! Then we made glittering miniature hats, we wore them on our walk to the playground and did you know that the cliques start so young!? The kids were rude, made fun of their mustaches and hats, and didn’t want to play with my little friends. The parents didn’t even respond when I said, “hi” or told their children to “stop saying things that were not nice!” The children were miniature snobby versions of their parents, it made me sad. However, if they were trying to make us uncomfortable it didn’t work! We thought they were boring, unfriendly, and little 7-year-old “Bea” said, “she would pray for them.” lol (I was so proud of her.) We broke the kids down and eventually became a hit, because they had a grown up with them willing to push everybody on the merry-go-round!(So glad to see those making a come-back those were my favorite as a child.) None of the parents were playing or pushing the kids on the merry-go-rounds? They were on their smart phones or zoned out, it was all very strange. I didn’t know public playgrounds could be so tough or segregated!

6. Little kids love going to the mountains and exploring! That was fun. (and exhausting wow.) They also make great gardeners!(Hole digging for perennials.)

7. I love finding things hidden in my curtains, smashed crayons shoved under my furniture, and lots of new drawings on my fridge and hidden under my pillow when they go home, it made me laugh. Not looking forward to cleaning it all up, but it is really cute.(My bathroom smells like kid pee. Why can’t little boys hit the water bowl? ew.)

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8. Silence is all you want when kids are around but then again, silence was bad. I would panic and imagine they had escaped the backyard and were headed for the next town or picked up by a giant eagle. How do parents relax?

9. My animals have been passed out all day! I didn’t realize how boring and calm our daily lives were until the kids left. My animals were ridden, chased, pulled, tugged, kissed, hugged, colored with chalk, and dressed up. lol (They loved it but they are tired. I’m especially proud of my old cat Gladis she didn’t claw anybody and if you knew her that is kind of a miracle. Bea probably prayed over her. lol)

10. Kids want real band-aids. You really need those, they look at you like you are insane when you make a homemade cotton and tape “band-aid thing” I was not fooling them. They didn’t feel better until they had a real band-aid. lol In my day, my daddy would smother my boo-boo with reddish-brown iodine, slap a cotton ball on, and then add masking tape! (I miss that man) What ever happened to those iodine bottles with the little glass ball on the end? Those were cool and healed everything! 🙂

11. I really respect the way my grandmother and my mother matched all my socks, kept our house really clean, and cooked homemade meals all of the time. In four days, I managed to bake one batch of cookies, but I turned to take-out, my house is shot, and I threw all of their socks into one bag. But I know I gave those little munchkins some great memories and made them tired. If I learned anything in the past four days, its that if you make children tired enough to sleep eight hours and you heard a lot of giggling; you’ve done well.

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I’ve underestimated mothers everywhere…

I have to apologize, I’ve been a judgemental jerk.  I’ve looked at mothers before and thought to myself, ” How can they let their child behave that way?…Why can’t they control their children?…Parents use television as a babysitter…etc.”  Well, I humbly stand corrected.  I’ve been babysitting successfully for years, I am a Godmother, and I LOVE children, but I’ve never been around ill-behaved/hyperactive children until this past week.  I tried to live up to my own expectations, I made sure we spent time at the library, worked on the interactive computers, learned new words, did crafts and pondered the sciences, but by the time evening rolled around, it was all I could do to turn on a cartoon for them and try to collect my thoughts as I zoned out and scurried to make dinner.  As I tried to remember what my own thoughts sounded like in my head, I was interrupted every few minutes to be told of something funny that had just happened during the cartoon the kids didn’t want me to miss; how sweet! My brain would quickly return to mush as they ran back to the living room and I focused on the safest way to serve dinner, thought about the adult things I needed to get finished before bed, and how to serve that dinner while still preserving my furnishings and dishes.  To every good mother out there I say, ” You are kind of taken for granted? You just quietly do this stuff day after day and will continue, because it’s what love and a mother does.  Please accept my apology, I’m sorry. I’ve judged some of you and underestimated just how much work you do everyday.” 

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In the future, I promise to babysit more often for each of my friends with children and to think of creative ways to help mothers during the busier times of their life, work, etc.”   All I could think as I collapsed into bed each night the children were here was, “How do mothers do all of this everyday and still have it in them to give time and attention to their jobs, parents, family members, friends, the dog, a lover, marriage, and self?”  “How do you do that?”  How do you find the time to go to the gym, look beautiful, put make-up on, stay on trend with stylish clothes, and still take care of a spouse while keeping house and your sanity? I’m talking to real moms, not those of you with a nanny, you don’t count!….lol That is miraculous in itself, there should be an award for the ability to make it to the car without acquiring stains while placing the kids into car seats. (I managed to get a day old Caprisun squirted at me and silly putty on the knee of my pants.)  You guys make it look so easy?  I have an entirely new perspective, I found myself wanting to mail money and a thank you card to Disney and Pixar after dinner.  Because of those wonderful companies,  I was able to organize the children’s clothes for the following day and grab a quick bath for myself.  It was a “Praise The Lord” kind of moment that made me think Christian mothers should be exempt from tithing, they should be sending a few bucks to Disney, Pixar, and Veggie-tales every month with a note that reads, Please keep up the entertaining work!  I really think God would understand! 
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I also realized why people reference that verse in the bible that says something to the effect of, “We need to have the heart of a child to enter heaven.”  They are so pure and forgiving of you when you lose it because they started to pull the roof fabric down on your leather interior car, they think you are beautiful in sagging, twisted pajamas, and wild hair when you got up long enough to turn cartoons on for them because they couldn’t reach. As you crawl back into bed, begging God for mercy, and just 15 more minutes of sleep, you hear the sweetest little voices singing along to adorable cartoon songs, without a care in the world, in complete peace, and you find the energy to get up on 5 1/2 hours of sleep, untwist your Pj’s, and make pancakes.  Children genuinely want to make things better, they are sensitive, humorously explorative, and they love you in a sincere,unconditional way, they’ll quietly hug you just for making pancakes or making them happier in a moment….it is a beautiful thing and anyone that has children that love them in their life in any capacity, is lucky indeed.  

I can admit that I do not think I am woman enough to ever become a mother, but I am woman enough to be the best babysitter my friends have ever had, to be more attentive when I notice my friends needing a break from child rearing and I vow in those moments to say , ” Let me take those rascals off your hands this weekend, so you can sleep in!”  I’m a single person, I can suck up not having even 6 hours of sleep every now and then, besides Kung Foo Panda was really funny, they wrote “I love you” in chalk on my orange tree, and I’ll be needing somebody to decorate Christmas cookies with in a few weeks……Did I mention that they also broke the light switch in my living room? The darkness is giving my computer screen a nice clarity though… 

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