This weekend I underwent the daunting task of…babysitting, all weekend. Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking yeah yeah big deal, but it was! First off you have two children; pint-sized, blonde haired, blue eyed, look-a-likes who happen to be my cousins.
We have two year old T on the one hand, an unbelievably cute and sensitive little boy with an adorable smile and a hidden temper (terrible twos right?). And on the other hand we have B, a four year old girl who you’d swear has ADHD and a hidden stash of speed, which at times I had seriously considered asking to dip into. Now think of that for a minute, a four year old with ADHD on speed…terrifying right? This little girl has the ability to run you dry in mere minutes. She is like an enhanced version of the energizer bunny, always going, always asking for something or touching something she shouldn’t be, always wanting your attention. Her big thing is wanting something until she has it. This applies to food, toys, going places and pretty much anything else you can think of. My best guess is that the asking for it and the initial getting it is her payoff in this. Another one of her things similar to the first is that she thinks about food, all day, everyday, nonstop. So, with B “I’m hungry” actually 90% of the time just means I want some food that I won’t really even eat, maybe play with for a bit, leave on the table and then go ask for the next thing because again, “I’m hungry”.
The first day we got there around 11:00 in the morning. The kids were wide awake and ready to kick their parents out the door. B would repeat “bye mom!” before they were even ready to leave. They were both happy and hyper knowing that I’d be a good playmate. I had gotten 5 hours of sleep the night before so I wasn’t quite as amped, but I’m also a kid at heart so I do like to play too. The day passed without too much incident. We took the kids for a walk (we being me and my mom who was babysitting with me) and bought them a few cheap toys from Dollarama (an amazing invention of a store I must say!). Water guns being one of them, though, I’m not sure who those were really for; them or me.
The first bump in the road came when I had to send B to her room. Once she was in there all I could hear was wales and sobs of “KATIE! KATIE! I LOOOOVVVE YOU!! KATIE!!” over and over and over. I waited until she calmed down a bit, came into her room (where she was still crying) sat on the floor with her and told her why she was in there and that I wasn’t mad but she needed to be good. Every time one of these incidents would come up she would go into an “I miss my mommy” mode or “I want mom”. So, we’d have to settle that before all was well again. Before I brought her back out of her room she did the cutest thing, something she does every once in a while. She looks me deep in the eyes and puts a hand on my cheek and brushes the hair out of my eyes with the other hand. I find it so cute because it’s such a motherly thing for her to do, and lets face it; most of the time B is not the gentle nurturing type, she’s more the awe look at that baby doll lets throw it out the window and see if it breaks type which is all well and good, that’s part of what makes B herself. But it’s nice to see the other side of her too.
Me and B have always had a special relationship. I’ve been the babysitter to her for most of her life and during then she’s gotten very attached to me and I to her. Sometimes when she was younger and I’d see her after a few days she’d immediately come to me and want to be picked up and once I did pick her up she would whimper, almost as if she were about to sob, and lay limp in my arms, patting my back like she hadn’t seen me for ages and thought she never would again. She’s always tended to ignore the company when I’m around. It’s my hand she’ll grab, my name she’ll call, my lap she’ll sit on. She’s my buddy and she knows that I’m her’s.
Before bed mommy called to check in. T was already asleep but B got a chance to talk to her. This didn’t go very well. Hearing mom’s voice made her start sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. After she hung up I cuddled with her for a bit until she was happier and then let her lay on our air mattress a bit before she was off to bed too. That night was not very good for sleep either. I was exhausted on the five hours of sleep from the night before and all of the running around during the day and I expected to be out as soon as my head it the pillow but that isn’t how it went. I was late getting into bed to begin with and then we had noisy dogs to deal with, a cell phone started going off and before I knew it it was 8:00 am and T had woken up. 3 hours of sleep was all I got that night.
Something about having responsibilities helps when you’ve had no sleep. Knowing you can’t stay in bed or that napping isn’t an option seems to help you forget about it. That day we took the kids to a playground and to see gramma. By the time we got to gramma’s T was pretty much a zombie from sleepiness, and one with an attitude at that. He was falling asleep on my lap with a popsicle in his hand. Every few minutes he’d slowly lift up his head to lick it, all the while smearing it all over the both of us. He didn’t really want it anymore but God help anyone who was brave enough to try to take it away. That day B ended up in her room once again and the exact same series of screams and protesting repeated itself. B went to bed good that night but T was an entirely different story. He was doing his best to make it difficult and it was pretty late by the time that he finally caved in.
I was beyond tired at that point but things seemed to keep needing to be done before me and mom could go to bed. Again, it was way too late by the time my head hit the pillow. And literally as soon as it did T started to cry. The kids share a room so we can’t just let him cry for a bit and hope he’ll fall back asleep without risking waking B up too. So, he ended up in our bed sleeping between us. Now this kid is a violent sleeper! He kicks, he throws his head, every roll he does makes me hold my breath and wonder if my nose is about to be broken. I didn’t fall asleep for more than an hour if even before he had woken up again for the day.
Now I was the definition of exhausted. 5 hours of sleep, 3 hours, 1 hour. I was officially a walking zombie. Luckily for me the kids were being calm and easy to watch so my mom watched them while I went home and slept for a few hours. When I got back almost immediately B ended up in her room. She seemed to be tired too and a bit out of sorts. I understood, this was the longest they’d ever been away from mom and dad. When her timeout was up I went and laid in her bed with her. I closed the door so that T wouldn’t come and bug us. I was thinking she probably needed some time to just be with me without my attention needing to be focused on more than just her, some girl time so to speak. We laid there talking about all sorts of things for a long time and she seemed really content. It makes me happy to see her like this because she seems like a stressed out little girl.
My gran had wanted to take the kids for the last night. We kept them until it was pretty much their bedtime and then drove them over there. At first neither of them were too sure that they wanted to stay there without us. I think they were out of place with being moved around and not having their parents. B seemed to think she was coming back with us but they both adore gramma so eventually they settled in and were fine with us leaving (apart from an evil look T gave me).
By the end of the weekend I was exhausted and my pain level had gone way, way up. Not getting proper sleep can make it much worse and not being able to have somewhere you can just go and lay down is also hard. Not to mention chasing after kids. But I was also sad that it was over. I love kids and those two are a big chunk of my world who I love so, so much. It was nice to play house for a few days and I will miss that.