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Monday, July 16, 2012

Babysitting Toddlers... when you have none.

As a foster mom, I'm often called upon to do respite care, which is essentially babysitting for a few days to a week.

Mostly, I say no - because I've got so much on my plate with m kids & work.  As much as I hate to admit it, I'm just getting too old to run after the really short ones.

My "boy" is grown, my girl is almost 10 and Chickadee is almost 6.  No more babies here.  I've graduated from toddlerdom. I'm well beyond the bed time screams of protest, the wet or dirty diapers, bottles, temper fits (besides my own) - you know the gig.

So why am I watching toddlers you ask?  Sheer insanity?  Glutton for punishment?  Need to appease the biological clock?

No, it's none of that - especially NOT the biological clock thing.  I've smashed that things to pieces, put it into the grinder and cast it in many directions years ago, when my body kept letting me down.  Now I'm just too damn old!

As much as I love the wee ones, I no longer have any desire to have a small human grow inside my body.  No further desire, or energy to raise infants or toddlers.

I've embraced my newly recovered "big people time" that comes without the whole running after a short one, who is again trying to kill themselves and a new and different way.

Selfish?  Maybe.  I feel I've paid my dues & God has shut down my baby factory for a reason.  Who am I to question His judgement?

I have a small community of foster parents here.  We help each other.  When chickadee first came here & we went on vacation, I was helped out.  Now it's my turn to repay the favor.  (Truth is, I'd have done it anyway - because I like little kids & I like to help, but there's the actual reason.)

I know some of you reading may be in toddlerdom right now and are thinking...Wimp....
Go easy on me, will ya??  I don't have "stuff" anymore.  You know - those things that give you the opportunity to take a shower like the play yard or hi-chair that you can confine the short ones to while you shower.

I have A gate.  Yes - one gate - and that is keeping them away from the kitchen.  Call me crazy - but I think access to knives & fire is a really bad thing for a 2 & 3 year old.

Mostly, these kids are sweet.  They just play & smile & give hugs.  Presently the boy is sitting beside me watching me type this.  Last night, however - the wine bottle was calling to me.  (I did resist, of course.)  It started with tubby time.  I was warned they are no great fan of the tub.  I got the shortest one first.

She's this adorable little 2 year old with big brown eyes and a cute little smile.  She uses that smile well - though I'm not fooled, told her to save it for the hubby.  He's a sucker for that.

The boy just the sweetest little thing.  All smiles & hugs.  Yeah, he's got me wrapped.

Yeah, they cry - but I've dealt with much worse than this, bring it...To be on the safe side, I was sure that I rocked with the really cool ice cream after dinner.

Bedtime was tough on night #1.  The little one, not such a problem.  I cuddled with her an gave her a bottle until she fell asleep.  Of course as soon as I set her down, she cried - but I gave her a blanket and a dolly and she was out in no time.

Big brother a little tougher.  I put him in bed and he started SCREAMING.  Hence, the littler woke up & joined in harmony.  I went in to let them know they were OK.  Gave him a little motorcycle.  Her the dolly.  They sang in stereo for about 45 minutes until they finally fell asleep.  I felt bad, but they were dry, safe, fed & I reassured them as often as possible.  It was just a fight of wills.  Been there, done that.

Bright and early, the cutest little noises emerged from the behind the closed door.  Giggling.  These two are the cutest little siblings.  They take care of each other.  One cries, the other cries - they follow each other around & giggle & laugh together.  It made it really easy for me to go have my coffee and feed the cats before getting them.

My baby girl is away for the week, so there has been an opportunity for a change in the pecking order for chickadee.  For once, she gets to be the OLDEST and not the youngest! 

I started this as they were here - on as many moments of quiet time as I could grab on to (without someone trying to type as well).  I'm now down to one.  The house is quiet & I can finish this blog posting.  Boy am I tired!

So if I haven't hailed all you stay at home moms prior to today....All Hail the stay at home mom (or dad).

I'm gonna leave this pointy one out for you, Jenn!
I'm a member of the been there done that club.  I stayed home or worked from home until all my kids were in school full time and I'm back working again.  I'm reminded this weekend how very difficult it is to take a shower, cook dinner, keep the house clean - after you've picked up 17 times prior.  Oh, and those triangle blocks HURT when you step on them in bare feet!

I'm happy to have my quiet time back.

On that, I think I hear the red calling to me....  Can you hear it??  Jenn...Jennn....

I must be going.

Thank you, as always, for your support & for reading my blog!



1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you as a foster mom! I too am a Navy mom, my son just returned stateside.
    Popped in on the blog hop. Give me a visit some time ~


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