Today saw my first baby sitting duties for a friend with two children. And they all survived! Hurrah!
I was really pleased to be able to help out my friend as she’s always there for me. She’s kind, funny and generous. (She left the best ‘welcome home from hospital’ gift on our doorstep after we had Miss Belle – pâté, stilton and posh crackers. Best friend ever!) Plus, it’s lovely to feel trusted to look after another’s offspring – even if it’s just for a little bit.
My friend has a little boy who’s recently turned two and a four month old baby. I knew the baby would be a doddle – she’s super cute and laid back, and when you have a toddler you realise how much easier babies are! I was slightly apprehensive about looking after the toddler and Miss Belle too, but we see each other a lot, and they are fast becoming great friends. It’s only really been over the last month or so that I can see a proper little friendship forming between them. They look and laugh at each other, hold hands, play peekaboo and generally have a hoot.
I was only supposed to be watching them for half an hour or so, and I mostly concentrated on making sure the toddlers didn’t squash the baby. It’s only been in the last few months that Miss Belle has been bothered by babies. Before she wasn’t fussed by them at all, but now she wants to stroke and kiss them and says “baby baby baby” which is super cute. She’s got a bit of a cold, so I tried to stop her actually kiss the baby and pass on her germs. My best trick for interrupting a snotty kiss? Playing ‘Where’s your nose?’ of course!
I felt the baby was getting a bit fed up of having the toddlers in her face, so I moved her to the play mat. What a fool I am! They just crawled in under with her and tried to lie down on top of her and squish her again. It was at this point that I made a beeline for the sofa and just sat and cuddled her for the rest of the time whilst the toddlers played on the floor. They didn’t need me, just each other.
My friend came back and made us breakfast. She said she had a doctors appointment later that morning so I offered to stay and look after the kids again. She decided to take the baby with her because she could be easily restrained in a car seat. So then it was just me and two toddlers – baby sitting take two. Things got a bit more fun.
I had to change the boy’s nappy after some stinky whiffs came my way. It was the first time I’ve changed his nappy and actually the first time I’ve changed a boy! Man, there’s more to contend with, if you know what I mean. Despite an initial protest to lie down, I was swift and he was off clean and happy. Go me!
The rest of the time was spent encouraging ‘sharing’ of toot toot farm animals, which after 15 minutes were switched to silent. There’s only so long I can stand the ‘I’m woolly and white – Baaa!’ commentary. They played pretty nicely together until they wanted each other’s panda/goat/sheep/cow. I did wonder why the panda was on the farm. She’s ‘black with white spots’ don’t you know? But then it dawned on me what my life has become, to be sat pondering this.
So, my first baby sitting duties were short and sweet. It was probably only an hour and a half in total, but I did wonder at one point if this is what it would be like with two year old twins and a baby.
People keep asking me when we’re going to have another baby. Although half the time I want to say “it’s none of your business” what I usually say is, “oh not yet!” because, well frankly, having two small people who depend on you, looks like such bloody hard work. I know lots of people do it, hell, some even have three or four! I know baby sitting for one and a half hours will not give me an accurate picture of what it’s actually like to have more than one child, permanently. But I left feeling for the first time, that maybe one day, I could manage with two small people. Just so long as there is minimal toot toot noise.