Many months ago, Ellen and I agreed to take care of our grand kids for the weekend of June 29-July 1. Annie and Edan, our daughter and son-in-law, claimed they were going to a wedding in Boston and thought they could trust us with their two most precious possessions.
Well, promises have a way of coming due, and so this past weekend, we were faced with three days of Eli (3 1/2) and Abby (1 1/2).
Nothing to it.
As long as…
- we didn’t need more than four hours of sleep ourselves over the 60 hours of grand kinder care-taking;*
- we didn’t need time use the bathroom ourselves other than when the two darlings were asleep;
- we were both totally available the entire 60 hours (but who was counting?) to divide our selves between the needs, wants, delights, and crises of the two tykes;
- we had enough food in the refrigerator to feed an entire summer camp of kids whose appetites were a wonder to behold, and to figure out;
- we had some (many) new ‘toys’ for them to fight over. In fact, the best ones were two sheets of bubble wrap that both kids delighted in popping and stomping);
- we had Courtney to spend a few hours Sat and Sun helping us ‘play’ with Eli & Abby, thus making the ratio almost even;
- we had previously learned to cook and do other kitchen ‘activities’ with one hand, while carrying around one of kiddies in our other arm;
- we had not forgotten our experiences in childhood dispute resolution;
- we had also retained our training in deciphering early childhood ‘speech;’
- we had ourselves survived, and perhaps learned from, parenting our own children at similar, and advanced, ages;
- we knew there would be an end to the weekend, although when a bad storm hit DC, we did worry a bit if Annie and Edan would return by late Sunday afternoon as promised;
- the damage from the storm mentioned above provided much interest for the young kiddies as well as some concerns about why would trees fall on cars, across streets, and on houses (Eli was fascinated by ‘tree eating trucks,’ while Abby wouldn’t get anywhere near them or their crunching noise), and, somehow we didn’t lose electricity;
And we were probably fortunate that both kids, once we had read 10 stories to each of them, were so tired that they were able to go to sleep long enough for us to clean up, wash (their clothes), and plan our strategy for the next day.
Probably, also of some importance, we were fortunate that the young prince and princess were happy, well parented kids who liked each other and were comfortable with their grand parents and somehow understood their doting parents would soon return.
Upon returning, Edan wanted to know when we would do this again.
I checked my calendar and said 2015/6 might be a possibility.
(*Note: Some, or all, of the above may contain ‘debatable facts.’)