Friday, April 18, 2014


I have a confession to make that may make me seem like an awful, petty person:
I'm not crazy about babysitting. Sometimes, I even feel a little resentful. I think back to raising my three kids four hours away from the closest family.
But then I remember what it felt like to be a young mother at the end of my rope.
And, whether I'm there to play or to babysit, I always enjoy my great nieces.
In the midst of a stressful week (I think I'll be able to write about the stresses next week, and you won't believe how mafia-esque they are), I had agreed to babysit from 9-2 on Thursday. Then I had a mammogram. Then I had to go teach.
So, deep breath, and I got to their house at 9 with a coffee in hand.
For the morning, it was just me and Regan, who is 21 months old now. She has these big brown eyes and eyelashes so long that she had oatmeal stuck in them when I arrived. It was just me and her for the morning while her big sister went to pre-school.
Regan loves to play in the water, so I set her in the bath for about 45 minutes.

She played happily until an itsy bitsy spider came out the water spout. Then she screamed.
I took a tissue and squished the spider then threw him in the trashcan.
Regan was still hesitant.
"Spider take a nap?" she asked.
I agreed that the spider was definitely taking a nap.
We had to walk to pick up 4-year-old Caroline at preschool and I noticed that the preschool was near a chocolate shop.
Regan and I went to the chocolate shop.
Little kids aren't sophisticated enough to enjoy chocolates, so I got the girls suckers called PushPops, which made a sticky mess, but that's what indulgent aunts are for. I got myself a salted caramel chocolate.

When Regan went down for a nap, Caroline and I made no-bake cookies. Their whole family is gluten free, so I made sure we used gluten free oatmeal. Caroline made sure to get every bit of chocolate out of the bowl afterward.
In spite of my hesitation at the beginning of the day, I enjoyed spending that one-on-one time with the girls.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

No Paulita , it does not make you an awful petty person. I feel the same , when asked to look after my grandchildren. My sons believe that I should do it because my mum did it for me. Difference is that my mum asked to have the children as we lived far away and she loved doing it , at some point having not just my children but my sons too and my step sisters,, TOOK them all caravanning. I do have my grandchildren as you know , one or two at a time. And it is getting easier for me and for them I believe. Does that make me weird or awful for feeling like this. As I said to my sons, "Nanna is Nanna and I am ME!!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oops didn't see the last sentence .. exactly like me too. I have just taken one grandson home to Scotland , took the other grandson with me and back , then had middle granddaughter ,, I think I do a lot for them.

Paulita said...

It sounds like you do plenty, Anne. Your kids are lucky to have the break. I don't want to do the daily babysitting gig. My sister-in-law does. She watches them 3 days a week. She has to enforce lots of rules.

grammajudyb said...

I was glad I was a working grandma so I did not have the every day gig as some of my friends do. But we all feel the same. You may feel a bit differently when you own grandchildren come along, but it is OK to want to be Grandma and not sitter.

Just Me said...

You are pretty darn awesome. I know you are a natural with kids but you still have a lot on your hands with all those young adults in your life. You may feel differently after you've truly experienced a couple years of being an empty nester.

Just Me said...

Makes me think of all my babysitters; aunts, cousins, neighbors, siblings and virtual strangers for that matter. Ha!

Like the one that tended to make me late for school. Even as a kindergartener I was not pleased and must have never forgiven her. smile.

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