Sounds weird, I know. I have one child. He’s my one and only. So where did the sibling come from? I borrowed one.
My blogging buddy, Sue, had the great fortune of her husband surprising her with a day out at a concert in town. On the sly, he contacted a bunch of her friends and arranged for some babysitting services. They have two adorable kids that you can read all about on Sue’s blog, Motherhood and Me: Misa Misa and Queen B. I think her husband, in all his infinite wisdom, realized that two adorable kids on top of our own might be a little much to handle. So he broke up the Round Up gang and chose me to watch Queen B.
Queen B is an 18 month old little girl who is as cute as the day is long. And she knows it. For some reason, she loves me. Maybe it’s because I make funny faces and weird noises and giggle at her nonstop. And when I had the pleasure of watching her on Saturday from 3pm until midnight, I got just a small taste of what life with two kids might be like. In fact, I got more than that.
This was an especially interesting occasion for me. It felt like it was a trial run on a couple of fronts:
- I’ve never had the chance to mother a little girl. In fact, I’ve never changed a girl’s diaper. While I understand the concept, it just feels foreign to me.
- I’ve never been responsible for two kids at the same time. I have watched Misa Misa for a bit when he stayed to play with Evan. That was easy. They’re the same age. And I did babysit multiple kids in my younger babysitting days. But when you’re getting paid $3/hour, it’s not really the same. You kind of ignore the kids and sit and read the good parts of the mom’s romance novels. This is why I’ll never hire a teenager to babysit my son.
- I’ve never experienced the gamut of what it would be like to take care of two kids that are spaced appropriately to actually be siblings. What I’m trying to say is I got to watch Evan interact with Queen B as if she was his little sister. Be still my heart.
So how did the evening pan out? Like a dream. Queen B had no problem saying bye-bye to Mom (sorry, Sue). She was happy to follow me and Evan around. She explored every room in the house. She tried to do all the things she shouldn’t do (climbing dangerous things, putting small objects in her mouth, tormenting the dog). I was able to head her off at the pass. Every time. I’ve been around the block. You can’t fool me.
And off I went to finish my vacuuming. She was fine with that. Sue is a fanatical vacuumer so I knew she was probably accustomed to the routine. Then I pulled out my carpet cleaner. Yeah. Not so much. She was fine at first. Then she wanted me to hold her while I cleaned. It was so cute. I felt so needed. Then my arm got tired.
I set her down and continued on. She then made it clear that she did NOT want me to continue. And I felt like I probably shouldn’t torture her anymore. The carpet will still be waiting for me tomorrow. And then she accidentally pressed the ON button for the carpet cleaner. I think she thought she was bringing the house down. Poor thing.
We played outside with the water table. We ate an age-appropriate dinner (macaroni & cheese with a side of pizza). We took a bath. She still has the clean baby smell when she gets out of the tub. Then I read her some books and we cuddled and I laid her down for the night. It took an hour but she happily played and chatted upstairs until she conked out.
Sounds like a perfect day, right?
It was so precious to watch Evan act like a “big brother.” He kept an eye on Queen B, tried to get her to talk, made silly faces at her. Then he got mad at her when she accidentally got him wet at the water table. So he decided to playfully soak her. Completely soak her.
We went inside to dry off and started playing peekaboo. She giggled every time and so did I. And then Evan wanted to play. I hate to say it but it’s just not as cute when a 3 1/2 year old plays peekaboo. Everything Queen B did to make me laugh, Evan tried to do in an effort to make me laugh.
And on it went all night. At bath time, he tried to take charge. At book time, he kept butting in. At bedtime, he didn’t want to leave. He did NOT like sharing Mommy’s attention.
And as for Mommy? I definitely felt the novelty of a new kid in the house. I can break out all of my old tricks and they’re new to her. The laughs were all new. And the cuddles. Did I mention the cuddles? I think the toughest thing, though, was making sure I wasn’t giving the younger one the attention at the expense of the older one. You know what? It’s hard.
While I started the evening thinking, I could do this. I could totally handle two kids. I ended the evening thinking, gee, it’s nice to get back to my relatively simple life. And as for all you moms out there with more than one? I salute you. May your husband someday surprise you with a day out and a night off. You all deserve it.