Today I am looking after my two year old niece as well as my 16 month old twins. I’m a teeny weeny bit terrified as I’m not usually someone who is asked to look after children. The last time I babysat was about six years ago. My friend was desperate for an evening out and his daughter was 7 years old at the time – even I could manage that. It was great actually. We had a carpet picnic, played hairdressers and watched ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’. There was only one small incident. I had a glass of wine. My little friend picked up the glass and drank from it. ‘Erm…does your Daddy let you have wine?’ I asked. ‘No, he doesn’t. You’re the only one that does.’ What??? That’s not fair. I’ve just been played by a 7 year old. ‘Let’s keep this between the two of us then, yeah?’
My niece’s parents are blissfully unaware of the above. However, it’s quite unlikely that I’ll be drinking wine this afternoon. But there will be three little people under my charge. Maybe a small glass would take the edge off? I suspect that it’s this type of thinking that makes me an unsuitable babysitter choice.
I wouldn’t be so concerned if they were all a bit older and responsible for their own bodies. At least then they would stop trying to flippin’ well hurt themselves. Just yesterday I literally CAUGHT one of my girlies as she leapt head first off the sofa that they have just discovered they can climb up on. This is why I use a baby cage.*
My primary job is to prevent breaking my children. Every day they insist on trying to damage themselves and every day I try my hardest to stop them. They’re like lemmings. One discovers something hazardous and then the other one wants to try it too. No matter how clear a room is, they will locate the small choke-inducing item that is barely visible to the human eye. *Does best Liam Neeson voice* “I will find you (sharp piece of plastic)…and I will eat you.”
It’s not just plastic that they enjoy stuffing in their mouths, paper is another favourite. A pop-up version of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ was left in the baby cage. Mental note: Don’t let your 16 month old twins ‘read’ a pop-up book. The very hungry caterpillar is no longer hungry, because he no longer has a head. Well, that’s not quite true. The butterfly at the end is missing her wings. I just didn’t want to spoil it in case you haven’t read it before.
My ‘countdown to terror’ is telling me it’s now 67 minutes until niecey arrives. I’ve cleared the room of ALL small objects, pieces of paper, items that I’d like to keep in one piece and anything that could be used as a weapon. Let’s hope that my next post isn’t written from the Alexander Children’s Hospital.
*Not an actual cage. The marketing team, disappointingly, went with ‘Play Pen’.