With my new job in retail, I no longer get weekends off, so my "weekend" started Thursday and ended Friday (today). So just as the world begins their weekend of freedom and bliss, mine has ended and I'm forcing myself to bed before 12:00 and packing a lunch for work the next day.
I spent my "weekend" doing a little overnight babysitting for my friends Cori and Eric so they could enjoy a romantic getaway at a spa/resort, and let me tell you--after babysitting for 24 hours, I too need a spa treatment... and a therapist. I'm not cut out for this parenting stuff quite yet.
I have always been taught to return things in better condition than I found them--I can't say that I did the same with Cori's children. Quintin and Audrey were shiny and clean when I got them on Thursday morning and by Friday afternoon I had managed to annihilate their once precise schedule and instilled a few bad habits in them. So I returned them slightly damp, sandy, and dinged up, but kids are kids. Some unpredicticality should be expected.
Here is a quick overview of our time together:
Day one, we played in the sprinklers (Q wouldn't stop soaking me although I was fully clothed) and Audrey drew all over her face and diaper with a piece of orange chalk that was muddy wet. Outside time was followed by bath time and dinner. Up to that point, I was doing pretty well and keeping with the schedule. But we decided to get out of the house and go for a drive to my mother-in-laws to play with Chris' dog.
After leashing up Snoopy and giving up on trying to find the kid's shoes (which I wasn't even sure I had packed), I walked Audrey while Snoopy walked (mostly dragged) Quintin to the park. While we were there, Quinitin started whining that he had to go to the bathroom. Since we were a while from the house and there weren't any public restrooms available, I asked him "what kind" he needed to go in an attempt to measure the seriousness of the situation. His response: "Yellow kind." And this is where I went wrong--I told him that he could go on the grass if he was sneaky and fast. So he did. Then he preceded to run around the park pantless and underwareless until I chased him down and forced his cloths on.
Eventually, Chris came home from work at 9:00 and we wrangled both kids down and had them in bed by 10:30. (4 hours past their regular bed time.) Even then it took some time for both of the kids to fall asleep. Quintin kept trying to roll Audrey's crib into the kitchen and wouldn't stop saying "Audrey's awk--ward, awk--ward, awk--ward. Audrey's awk------ward." His commentary reverberated nicely off our tile floors.
Next morning: both kids were up and going by 7:00 a.m. Boo. We ate cereal (most of which ended up on the floor), had a quick diaper change, and made our second park visit. Different park; same "yellow" dilemma, only this time Quintin didn't bother with asking permission, he just stripped down and went right there on the sidewalk. Then, Audrey preceded to play in his "yellow" till I realized what was going on. It's fantastic to know that I have made such an impact on these children's lives. Quintin now has a chronic habit of peeing in public places and Audrey enjoys splashing in the aftermath.
Eventually after getting weirded out by one particular creeper who kept doing pull ups on the children's playground set near us, I packed up the kids in the mini van to head home. At some point during the process of fastening seat belts and strapping down car seats, Quintin got a wildly bloody nose which he managed to smear all over his face, so I sped home (hoping not to get pulled over in a car that wasn't mine with a bloody faced kid in the back), washed off, and were off again. Only 10 minutes after we arrived at the Jeide's, Cori and Eric follow us through the door. It felt good to be relieved of my tending duties.
I have a newfound respect for mothers. Parenting is a 24-7, highly stressful job. It requires constantly chasing kiddos. You are responsible to keep them out of trouble, stop them from throwing your favorite glass bowl, issue punishments when they bite each other, prevent them from climbing too high on the play ground, and keep them from chasing Gammit (Q did spot No Name at the park and was determined to catch him). I hardly had time to brush my teeth on Friday, let alone shower or put on makeup. Although I really did enjoy babysitting, I was thrilled to hand A & Q back to their mother.