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Monday, March 17, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

Last Thursday, I started babysitting two kids during the day for a friend from church (Jamie, and husband Luke) who has just gone back to work. She's working at a school, so this is only until the end of the school year. The kids are very cute and as well-behaved as toddlers can be. :) Bekah will be 3 at the end of next month, and Levi is 16 months, born in November of 2006 (Bryn was November of 2005, and Shay was November of 2007). Yes, this means that I now spend my days with 4 children under the age of 3. We've had three pretty crazy days so far!

Bekah is ridiculously advanced with her language skills, and sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm only talking to a 2-year-old instead of someone much older. She will say things like, "Thank you, Bryn, for sharing your Care Bear with me" and "I am feeling sad because I am so tired." She is also fully potty trained, which is a huge plus, as I am already up to my elbows in diapers with the other three!

Levi is the sweetest, smiliest little boy ever. He just toddles around with this huge grin on his face. He doesn't really talk yet, although he did say "bye" today when he left, which was pretty much a big deal. He knows what all of Bekah and Bryn's favorite toys are, and whenever either of them is sad or tantruming, he will get the favorite toys and bring them to the girl in question to make her feel better.

As one might imagine, there have been plenty of funny moments with the kids; I'll just list a few here before I toddle off to bed at a pathetically early hour.

(during a playdate last Monday, during which Jamie and I were getting her kids used to our house)
Bekah: Look, Mommy, Bryn has a princess bed!
Bryn: MY bed!! (we have quickly learned that our daughter is absolutely terrible at sharing)
Bekah: Let's play with all the animals!
(Bekah pulls all stuffed animals out of Bryn's closet and arranges them on the bed, while Bryn watches suspiciously; Levi smiles and toddles toward the bed)
* THUD * (Levi falls off the bed)
Levi: Waaaaahhhhhh!!!
(Jamie and I race to pick him up)
Jamie: Don't worry if this happens again. When Levi gets older, we will legitimately be able to say, "Well, you did fall on your head a lot when you were younger."
Bekah: Mommy, are you going to spank me on the bottom?
Jamie: No, sweetie, why would I? Wait.... WHY WOULD I, BEKAH??
Bekah: Because I pushed my brother off the bed.
(timeout commences with much crying)

********

(Thursday afternoon: Shay is peacefully enjoying her swing while the other kids play)
Bekah: Whee! (pushing swing)
Shay: (look of terror)
Me: Bekah, don't push the baby.
Bekah: But why?
Me: She doesn't like it. Can you please obey me?
Bekah: Yes.
(five minutes later, Amy turns around and sees Bekah pushing the swing)
Me: Bekah! I told you not to push her!
Bekah: You told me not to push the baby. I'm just pushing the swing.
Me: (sighs at being outwitted by a 2-year-old) Okay, well don't push that either.

*******

(naptime on Thursday: I have tucked Shay and Bryn into their cribs, Levi into his Pack 'n' Play, and Bekah into her big bed, taken 2 minutes to go to the bathroom, and am now crawling into my own bed for a rest when I hear a musical toy being played downstairs)
Me (rushing to the top of the stairs): Bekah, why are you downstairs?
Bekah (tearfully): I couldn't come back up because Bryn closed the gate at the top of the stairs.
Me: No, I did that, after I put you in bed. Why did you get up?
Bekah: Because.... because.... I don't know.
(I tuck Bekah into bed again. Approximately three minutes elapse before I hear Bekah's footsteps in the playroom)
Me: Bekah, why are you up again?
Bekah: (pointing at the object she is dragging) I wanted to know what this was.
Me: It's a pillow.
Bekah: Oh. I don't want it.
(I tuck Bekah into bed again. Two minutes later.....)
Me: Bekah, what's the matter?
Bekah: I don't like that picture! (pointing to a painting in the guest room where she is supposed to be napping)
Me: Why not?
Bekah: Because it's scary!
Me: It's scary? (note: the picture consists of nothing more than yellow lines on a blue background)
Bekah: Yes. I can't sleep with it in here.
(I remove the offensive picture, tuck her in again, and return to my own room. Five minutes later....)
Bekah: What's that noise?
Me: (listening hard) What noise? I don't hear anything.
Bekah: That noise!
Me: Um, a car maybe? It's nothing to worry about. I know it's hard to sleep in a new place, but I need you to try. Can you do that for me?
Bekah: Yes.
Me: Okay. Bekah, I do not want you to get up again until the end of your nap. Do you understand? Can you obey?
Bekah: Yes. (goes to sleep)

*******

(upon arrival on Thursday morning)
Bekah: Can I play with Bryn's purple Care Bear now?
Me: No, sweetie, Bryn is still asleep, and it's in bed with her.
Bekah: Oh.....
(two minutes later)
Bekah: Can I play with Bryn's purple Care Bear now?
Me: No, not until Bryn wakes up.
Bekah: Okay......
(two minutes later)
Bekah: Can I play with Bryn's purple Care Bear now?
Me: No. Not until Bryn gets up. Do you understand?
Bekah: Yes...... Can we go get Bryn up?

As you may have guessed from the earlier conversation, Bekah has developed a bit of an obsession with Care Bears. It's so funny how kids at this age get fixated on one thing and then want it over and over again. The very first time that she came over (two weeks ago, when we were introducing all the kids), she saw Bryn's purple Care Bear(which she got from Andrea and Hannah for Christmas) and played with it. Ever since then, I think Bekah has viewed us as The Care Bear House. First thing every morning, she wants to watch a Care Bears video. Luckily, we have one which came with Bryn's Care Bear. She asks for the purple Care Bear every two minutes until Bryn gets up and I can get it for her. Under normal circumstances, Bryn likes her CB, occassionally sleeps with it, but isn't overly attached. While Bekah is here, Bryn holds it in a vice grip and screams "MY bear!" every time Bekah so much as looks at her. This is actually somewhat justified, since Bekah grabs up the bear every time Bryn sets it down. Those two girls are quite a pair!

On Thursday, I attempted to placate the girls by offering them various other toys in purple and bear forms, but they weren't buying. On Friday, in order to alleviate the fighting, Jamie brought Bekah's pink and green CBs when she dropped the kids off. I figured that Bekah might then want to play with her own CBs rather than Bryn's, or at the very least, Bryn would play with one of Bekah's instead of her own. Nope. Both girls spent the day vying for the purple CB. Both girls had timeouts--Bekah for hitting Bryn over the head the CB in an attempt to gain possession, and Bryn for screaming hysterically and having a tantrum when it was Bekah's turn to play with it. Eventually, the poor innocent CB had to go into timeout just to prevent me from having a mental breakdown. Over the weekend, Ben and I decided to give in, so we made a superstore trip and purchased an identical purple CB. I decided to keep it in the box until I absolutely could not make it any longer without breaking it out, as I was hoping that the girls would have forgotten their CB obsessions over the weekend. No such luck. That thing was out of the box my 9:30 this morning. It cost $12, but I don't care; that bear is worth its weight in gold. The girls played beautifully together today, both toting their purple Care Bears around with them all day long, creating many cute photo opps.

This blog is now about 10 times longer than I intended, but every time I thought I was done, Ben said, "But you have to tell the story about....." I really am off to bed now, or at least in the near future. I'll keep you appraised of the antics!

P.S. To all of those of you who are thinking, "Oh, thank goodness, this experience will cure Amy of her insanity and she will finally quit with the crazy talk about wanting to have tons more kids," I would like to point out that not all of my children will be the same age, so it will not be quite like this, and besides, frustrating as they can be at times, these kids are awfully cute. So you can just keep that particular comment to yourselves. :)

5 comments:

Kathy said...

how funny! You have your hands full.

Maria said...

I love hearing the stories of all these little kids - it makes me jealous since there aren't any little ones running around my law firm. I can't wait to see the girls in April!

SlyGly said...

I feel worn out just reading about all the action!

Melissa said...

good luck with the kids and hope there are no more care bear debacles!

Andrea said...

I (sort of) stole your title for my blog. I've been needing a new one. I was going to make another comment, but I see that I was told to keep it to myself. :P