Monday, April 14, 2014
Pseudo-moms and single parenting...
I (very stupidly?) offered to watch my sisters children so she and her husband could go away for the weekend. Originally this was last year on their 10th anniversary. They took me up on it a year later...which happened to be this past weekend.
"But a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else." ~Emma, by Jane Austen
Until she is suddenly the uninitiated care-taker of three little children. Then her sensibleness and pleasantness no longer exist...
Thursday: Learn that children test you when their parents are gone. Pass test. Meanest aunt ever. Also learn that neighbors are going away so must take care of their dog. And my sister's dog. And my dog. Oh and the kids. Feed kids. Early night, school tomorrow. Brush teeth. Wash face. Bathroom. No water after 6:30pm...don't want wet beds. Wake up four times during the night to crying 2 year old who just wants his bot-bot. Give kid his bot-bot. Boy little falls back asleep. So does aunt...eventually.
Friday: 7 am get the big boy up. Feed, dress, pack lunch and then pile all the kids in the car to drive to the head of the neighborhood to meet the bus by 8. Don't miss the bus because you don't know where the school is. Return home, feed remaining kids, dogs, fish, etc. Load kids back in car. Drive to preschool. Drop off the girl. Go to grocery store. Come home and do laundry or whatever else real mothers do (I put Blues Clues on and then ran on the treadmill).
11:45 go back to preschool and get the girl. Take both littles to the playground. Feed snacks. When girl little bites boy little, time to leave immediately. Come home and have two kids fight for hour or so, go through 2 time outs each, and then threaten "no beach later" until boy little falls asleep for nap. Then play with girl until time to wake boy little up to go get big boy from bus. Do not miss bus. You do not know where school is and you would not be allowed to pick him up from there (my sister: "just smile and wave from the van and the driver will think you are me anyway").
Collect big boy and drive to the beach. Bring dog who is not allowed on beach. Play for hour. Return home and order pizza from parlor that delivers. Find out they do not deliver. Load all kids back in car and go get pizza. After dinner bathe all kids and then play exciting movie: first Dora for the girl and then School House Rocks for the boys. Put kids to bed. Stay up a few more minutes because adults do not go to bed at 8 o'clock. They do go to bed at 9.
Saturday: All the kids get up by 7:30 because it is Saturday and they don't have school so they WANT to get up. Be ecstatic because no one wet the bed. Make pancakes. Eat pancakes. Clean up after pancakes. Pack lunch, get everyone dressed and then climb in the car. Remember to dress yourself.
Drive to Children's Museum and get Aunt of the Year Award because you know how to program Pandora to the Disney channel and they play one million Frozen songs. Spend three hours at the museum and think how your sister's kids who seemed so bratty yesterday are actually perfect and make all the other kids seem bratty. Come home and wait for grandma and special needs aunt to arrive. Boy little takes nap.
Grandma arrives, one hour late, and head out for ice cream. Ice cream place closed. Drive opposite direction and find second ice cream place, this time open. Eat ice cream. Remember pizza and ice cream are not on diet. Eat anyway...being a pseudo mom is stressful. Go home and have kids play while making dinner. Eat dinner. Make kids go outside to play afterwards because the weather is perfect and get labeled worst aunt ever....again.
Now time for grandma to go home. Grandma trips going out front steps and falls down. Says she is okay but now boy little is coming around the side of the house with blood down his face. Grandma panics. Aunt is calm. Ear is cut but everything is okay. Hate it when 2 year olds run into walls. Having difficulty finding bandaids. Finally find ones with hearts on them. Boy little doesn't like heart bandaids. Use bossy voice and say "when you are bleeding you don't get to pick out your bandaid."
Hold pressure on ear until grandma decides to leave again, this time out back door. Send big boy out to walk her to car. Hear screaming again. This time it is because the dogs are loose. Grandma is at one end of the road and girl little at other. Call everyone back and dogs come too.
Finally grandma leaves and children change into PJs and wash dirty faces. Put on movie and make popcorn. Decide to go to bed at 7:30 and tell kids to put themselves to bed at 8. Told I am not allowed to do this. Who makes these rules anyway?
Time to go home. Big hugs and questions, "Can you come back next weekend?" Big hugs back and answer, "We'll do this again in another ten years!"