Ok. So, maybe it wasn’t a complete war zone (although judging by the amount of toys pulled out it could certainly pass for at least a mine field) but it certainly was the night they let a single woman be in charge of the nursery. And it was not without obstacles.
Once per month, I signed up to volunteer for babysitting. I get to watch precious kiddos while foster parents take the classes they need to qualify for fostering. It’s a GREAT program called The Call. I am so happy to get to be a part of helping families open up their homes to sweet kids who have become a part of the system for whatever reason. So far, I have only had one night of this and it was with one sweet four year old boy who was very low maintenance. For my second night, I was given the babies. The following are the happenings of that adventure:
1. I had 5 children that ranged from the ages of 4 months through 2 years. I also was fortunate to have a young girl as a helper. I cannot remember a time in my life that I was ever around this many children of these young ages. I am confident in my ability to handle this situation because I manage million dollar programs in my job, kids love me, and I have all this new found energy with my detox challenge. I accept my mission gladly.
2. I quickly learned that the average attention span for this age is about 4.2 seconds. I have always wondered why parents buy this age so many toys. How will they remember them or why would they care how many toys they have? Now I know. Because with the attention span of 4.2 seconds, you need at least 8,000,004 toys to go through. It is rare that they go back to the same toy twice. Or it was tonight anyway….believe me, I tested this theory to the fullest.
3. Even though these kids could not talk well, that did not keep you from seeing the 5 completely different personalities. The more I think about it, fitting those little and widely different personalities into a closed room is much like a lot of the adult meetings I have on a daily basis. Too bad when one of the adults takes my toys, I can’t say “mine” and hit them like these kids do so freely! : )
4. For the ones that could speak tonight, the common sentence stated was “mine”. Yes, that is a sentence to them. It states boldly a noun, verb, adjective and so forth : )
5. At first, when little miss two year old had her melt down over not getting anymore Goldfish for snack (after she had already had two helpings and some cheese puffs) I wondered what on earth had gone so wrong in her day that no more Goldfish warranted this kind of melt down. Then, I realized how eery it was that I could relate. I am on day 7 of a 21 day detox and sat and watched coworkers eat Chuy’s Mexican food at lunch today (my fav Mexican in this area). Inside I was having a melt down of my own and restraining myself from stealing food off of their plates. We have more in common than you know during this melt down princess.
6. This age group has zero interest in my Mega Bloks tower that I strategically built. All I wanted was a little praise and all they wanted was to destroy it with their tractors, trucks, and precious little hands. I will address with my therapist, it’s already on my list : )
7. Actually no. No I cannot work the child safety door knobs. But thanks for making it look so easy sixth grade girl helper. She didn’t know I couldn’t work them. I just secretly watched her and copied.
8. The mom of the four month old stated that the baby will not drink the bottle unless it’s warm. Lucky for me, there was this gadget on the top shelf that looked like it might be a bottle warmer. I have no idea how I even knew this but I just had a feeling (maybe that’s code for my biological clock?….oh…wait…..). I plug it in and push a button and expect it to work. When it doesn’t (after several pushes of the button), I resort to pulling out my phone and googling it. I watched a YouTube video as well as read two articles in order to learn this gadget. The bottle was warmed. The baby was happy. The end.
9. You cannot ignore the smell of a dirty diaper. You can be in denial about it but you cannot ignore it. I feel like the fact that I located the source (since I had three in diapers to choose from), changed the diaper (even though the kid WOULD NOT be still), and knew where to dispose the diaper (in those tube like things that seem to work like a bank drive through), that I can definitely conquer the world like I have planned.
10. I have helped pick up friend’s kids at daycares and such before and am always barely getting in by the last minute if not late all together. I completely understand why these places charge you by the minute if you’re late. When you are given a time that you are to be in a room with wild banshies, you start watching the clock for the countdown of your relief. It’s the moment you know that your sanity may return. Every minute past that proposed end time and you feel like you may never know what it’s like to talk to another adult, wear a spit-up free shirt, wear other scents besides hand sanitizer…….I completely get it now and will be a loud advocate for being on time to pick up your child. Should a parent be late for any reason (which I have seen those reasons on other volunteer projects be something as simple as standing out in the lobby chatting) they should show up with chocolate, prozac, or a massage gift certificate for the worker staying late to keep their child. Especially if that care is free. : ) *please note* this did not happen during this particular session I am speaking of. It just made me think of the times that it has happened to others I know as well as me being the late one sometimes in the past.
11. They did enjoy my singing them a few little songs which is more than I can say for my coworkers who never seem to fully appreciate the daily desk concerts I give them.
Overall it was a fantastic time. I love kids so much more than I could ever convey here. I gladly take most any opportunity to be around them. I only had them for two hours or so and am already wondering how on earth you parents do it full time. I worked all day, did baby duty, worked when I got home, and am barely staying awake to type this. Being a parent is a super power of it’s own. If you’ve read this far, thanks for hanging in there. I am too tired to even give this a thorough spell check, grammar check (not that my grammar is ever great on this blog) or format check. I’m having a hard time even talking myself into changing into my jammies. I feel more like it’s been one of those nights back in my old party days where I just went home and passed out on my bed “as is”.
I finally understand how no sound can be an amazing sound as I sat in silence for 5 minutes after they all left soaking up the peace and thanking God for the chaos that came before it!
Life is good. I am so blessed with people who are willing to let me share their kids in absence of being able to have my own. This post was meant for humor purposes from my random mind only and not to offend.