Baby-sit Before You Baby-make [Frankie Says...][Best of FaN]
Since I believe this is still such an important topic and the ONE thing I would tell people about to reproduce, it’s my favorite piece from the last year. Also because it has ‘prairie dogging’ it’ somewhere in there. How can you not like a story with THAT phrase in it?
Take care of someone else’s children before you have your own.
As a single female, frequent babysitter and auntie since the day I was born (complicated family make-up), I have the distinct authority to recommend that everyone, and I mean everyone should go through an overnight care-taking situation with friends or family prior to popping out their own.
This past weekend my sister and her husband took off to Miami for a wedding. They have never left their two children – Jay, age 4 and Lily, age 2 – alone before this getaway, so naturally my sister was freaking out. She still hadn’t weaned Lily and James still won’t sleep alone. I was pretty clear on what I was in for, but thank god I had my niece (from a different sister), Sydney, there to help out.
Wednesday night until Sunday morning I played mommy with Sydney, driving around in my Mom-Mobile, with my Mom music playing and my Mom outfits on. Now for me – someone who’s been a live-in nanny, traveled abroad as a nanny, babysits at least a couple times a week – this wasn’t a super stressful weekend. However, if I had put ten of my single, 20-something friends up to the task of Lily and Jay, I think 7 of them would end the weekend with a vasectomy/hysterectomy.
On Thursday, Day Number 1, both the kiddies were throwing tantrums because their parents were nowhere to be found. Understandable. They’d never been left alone in their tiny amount of time on this earth, so regardless of knowing that I’m their aunt and going to protect them, I still received the wrath of toddler-dom. I had hot dogs thrown around the kitchen (which answered my question of whether anything other than pasta could stick to a wall), water spilled multiple times, there were screams the neighbors one town over surely could hear, and this was all before lunch.
Then I found the magic button. The magic button, for all you idealists and do-gooders who think you’ll be the best parents in the world, is a little green button on a long and skinny black piece of plastic. Once you press it, the world calms and order restores.
I am not ashamed to say that those two watched about 15 hours of television/movies this past weekend. The magic button came in handy for so many situations that I began to use it even for situations where it wasn’t necessarily called for. But isn’t that what cool aunties are supposed to do? I give them dessert before dinner and let them stay up after bedtime and turn on the TV. It’s better than what my aunties did for me… red wine in my bottle and Freddy Krueger on TV. (No, I’m kidding. Sort of…)
The kicker for the whole weekend was when I heard Sydney screaming from the downstairs patio, “She’s prairie doggin’ it!!” Lily was holding on to her paddling pool squatting over and shitting out the last two days’ worth of my amazing cooking. By the time I could run down two small flights of stairs it was already all the way out. Sydney was laughing so hard she couldn’t do a thing, so I marched back upstairs to get paper towels. Picking up a small log-sized piece of human excrement is quite possibly the most disgusting thing one will ever do in their lifetime. And if you’re not prepared to do so (gagging is allowed), than DO NOT HAVE A KID.
P.S. It got worse. As I was walking her waddling bum up the stairs to the bathroom she looked up at me, pursed her lips and said, “Uh oh!” as another, smaller turd creeped its way out and onto the step. I bent over and wiped that one up too.
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featured image credit: evil erin