I was going to wait until tomorrow night after my week of babysitting was concluded to talk about it, but today was by far the most challenging and fun experience I've had all week. Let me start at the beginning. I took these last two weeks of school summer vacation off from work to be home with my boys. I felt it would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with them. If I'm truthful, I have to admit that I dreaded it almost as much as I welcomed the time off from work. I actually reconsidered doing it several times. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys dearly, but they are two active boys and I was looking forward to rest and relaxation. As you've probably figured out, I came around and decided I would keep them. I even decided to take two of my nieces on this week as well. Yeah, let it sink in. I've been keeping four kids all week and all of them under ten.
Today, I decided I needed to go back to town to pay the bills I didn't pay yesterday and while I'm at it, I would also get Shakir's school clothes. So my morning started around 6:30 when I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed to answer the door. I thought it was the older niece, Renee, arriving. It was not. Seems my kids had each called one of their grandfathers and asked him to bring them treats, so on route to work, he stopped by to play delivery man. Literally, five minutes after he left, Renee showed up, asking if it was okay if she opened her hair. I said yes (Renee's hair was plait in some chunky twists from two days ago when I hurriedly styled it for her so it really needed opening). She retorted, "good! Because I already started!" That should have been the first clue that the day would be an interesting one.
So fastforward to later after the hair is open and I settle her in front of me to plait it. Makayla hasn't arrived yet an Shakir is SUPPOSED to be doing some handwriting practice. I won't tell you what he was actually doing because I'm not sure myself. Anyway, so Jaheim rummages through his toy box and finds a block and decides to make up Renee. "Close your eyes," he instructs and then he appears to jab the block in her eye.
"Don't do that," I say. "You might injure her eye."
He doesn't answer, but a few seconds later, I hear her repeating the same admonition to him. Next, I hear him say, "Me coming back just now Boo-Boo." And again he rummages through his toy box. This time, he produces a red block and he is aiming it at her mouth. Mistakenly thinking that he is feeding her, Renee opens her mouth only to be told to close her mouth; it is lipstick. So it seems I had an apprentice today. Later, when I ask him how her hair looks, he declares that it's pretty so I guess we did good.
It was after ten when Miss Makayla arrived in her splendour, dressed to the nines in new sandals, if you please. She says to me that her mother has dropped her off so that I can put her in the pot to cook her and eat her. Okay. I should mention that I have been telling her I would do just that for the past few weeks. What was unexpected was how cheerful she was about the arrangement today. Now, I didn't mention it before, but prior to that and prior to the hairstyle and make-up session, Jaheim had told me and his father that he was going to cook Renee for us today. His father was going to eat her head in souse. So, I tell Makayla that I'll have to cook her another time, because Renee is on today's menu. My disclaimer: This is just silly games I play with the kids. I have never and will never actually cook anyone's children.
Now a lot happened today, so I can only give you a few snippets. Fastforward again to town. I went from between Cave Shepherd to Woolworth to Unlimited Collections trying to get Shakir's school clothes organised. My son is at a sort of in-between size where he is too tall for one size and too thin for the next size. Planning to custom-make for him next year. Anyway, in Woolworth, Jaheim goes from section to section searching for a helmet. I came across a toy hard hat, thinking that was what he meant. Nope! Baby Boy was looking for a helmet so he can ride the bicycle he now owns, courtesy his aunt. A special shout out to her at this point and can you hear the sarcasm? No. seriously, he loves the bike and I'm happy, but now everyday, I'm told I have to buy a helmet and today, he actually went looking for it himself. Thank God he didn't find one. A word to the wise, if you are a new mother and you happen to reading this, please be sure to keep your eyes on your kids at all times when shopping. Children grab. Three times today that I can recall (it may be more, since I already told you what my memory is like) I took an umbrella from Jaheim and attempted to leave Woolworth, and each time I moved off and looked around he had another one. It is by God's grace alone, that I do not now have three umbrellas sitting in my house somewhere.
I got pretty frustrated in town today. Let's blame it largely on my swollen ankle that slows me down most days, but also on the runaround I had to do to get school uniforms and then the children behaved like if they had broken free of their confines. Once I started to realise that the day was winding down, I made up in my mind that I was not going to carry those two little girls back to my house. It just wasn't sensible. So just like you have to do during playtime, I started to prepare them from early for the little change in plans. My attempts are met with smiley but stubborn resistance in the form of, "but Auntie, we left our bags by you so we have to go back for them." What was in these bags? Vitals the would surely perish if left at Auntie's strange and amusing house: Clothes for the little one and for the big one - a 3DS. Well, once I made sure that it was okay with the parents, I determined that these children were not going back to my house today. Town had completely worn me out.
But you know, in everything that happened, I had a beautiful day and I realise that I'm definitely in the wrong profession. Children are challenging, but they are a joy. The highlight of my day: going up the escalator, I had to discipline Shakir and this lady behind me commented that it was a rare thing to see. She said you hardly ever see parents discipling their children these days. I didn't explain to her that I'm actually a super hero and that I have a weapon of mass destruction so powerful that the mere mention of it renders the house silent. No. But I wanted to. I satisfied myself by telling her that I have to discipline them, because if I don't it means stress for me later. Anyway, this hero is glad to see the end of the day and I have to go and power-up for tomorrow's adventures.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.