|Sip cups make it challenging to reach in and grab a 'real' cup.|
Since I've begun to welcome other people's little ones into our home, my stress level on Sunday nights has reached a new dimension. Knowing that I am about to trade my 'mom' hat in for a 'caregiver' hat, I begin to feverishly search the family room and kitchen for choking hazards, writing implements, and the relentless supply of dirty socks. I holler at my kids to grab anything they care about and stash it in a place where curious hands won't grab it.
My kids customary lack of thoroughness in this endeavor leaves me little choice but to personally survey the few rooms where the 'wild things' will soon roam. On careful inspection (translation: by standing in the doorway of the room and giving it a quick glance), my eagle eye spies the obvious: computer chargers, Lego pieces, books with real pages, mislaid homework, laptops, books on loan from the library that levies fines for ripped real pages, food remnants or wrappers (even though food is not allowed in the family room - EVER), basketball uniforms, favorite American girl dolls (with momentarily flawless hair), and abandoned piles of clean laundry. With the exception of the crusty food and the laundry pile, my kids don't want these items touched. Perhaps they'd feel personally vested if they had fought their own desperately heavy eyelids in order to stay awake long enough to sort the entire mound of laundry. Instead I'm the only soul disturbed when ignored stacks of clean clothes are toppled arbitrarily when the youngsters run pell-mell through the room.
|Bottom drawer tough to open minus handles!|
|Run down end table serves as Thomas storage.|
Coach detests tripping over the two eye-soar high chairs that I drag into the kitchen from the dining room and back again for every toddler meal I offer. My kids cringe each time I hand them a dirty diaper to toss in the garage's smelly garbage can. Laddie melted down, not unlike a tot, when he came home from college and discovered his mudroom locker had been re-purposed as a spare diaper storage unit. If the toys don't get put away at the end of a day, my we-didn't-make-this-mess crew end up being recruited to pitch in. With toddlers camped out napping in my kids' bedrooms each afternoon, I've fielded the occasional moan about not having access to their rooms right after school. Inconveniences aside, my kids can't get enough of the three entertaining shorties I sit for. The financial benefits help Coach and I overlook the added clutter, or perhaps the presence of baby gear makes us remember the good ole days . . when our kids still liked us, listened to us, and napped.
There have been a few unforeseeable issues caused by my offspring, and may prove hazardous to my children if I catch the culprits the next time they mess with my daycare equipment. One weekend the toddler potty collected a mysterious urine sample from someone. Perhaps one of my sons didn't think I would notice that he was experimenting with a little target practice. Since I had already washed out the potty for the weekend, the fresh pee was difficult to explain. (no photo- use your imagination) I have strong suspicions about who would stoop to this level. Recently, my pleased-with-myself feeling after I remembered to snag some animal crackers at Target over Christmas break crumbled into frustration when my children ate almost all of the bland odd-shaped snacks. Nothing is sacred!
|The march of the high chairs from the dining room into the kitchen|
|Huge animal cracker supply I purchased over Christmas break was eaten almost entirely by MY children!|