Danielle and I recently had an interesting weekend, getting to play parents and see what having kids would be like.
Don’t go freaking out, we didn’t kidnap or steal anyone’s children. We just babysat a 5 year old and 1 year old for our Middle School pastor and his wife while they were on a retreat.
It was fun getting to pick them up from school, take them for a little treat on a Friday afternoon, then out to a dinner. A riverside walk capped off by a dessert of tasty ice cream brought our first half day together to a close.
I certainly learned that sleeping with a 1 year old in the bed is certainly no picnic. I think I’d been warned about that a few times before, but this was a first hand experience. Up every 3 hours to calm her down (which fortunately didn’t take long). And my body’s natural tendency to wake up at 5 am made for a rather short night and a very long day.
Breakfast, farmers market, puppy play time, maps for the little ones (and I think for Dani and me), followed by a baseball game completed Saturday. Sunday was breakfast, church, lunch, and taking the older of the two to the Y for some pool time before sending them home.
But those are the brief details. What I really remember of the weekend was the constant enjoyment I was having with the two little ones around. The one year old being somewhat clingy to me (the male stand in for her daddy) made for good hugs and cuteness all around. The sensation of being overly alert as to where the youngest was, the wondering what the older of the two was doing, and if she was sufficiently entertained, wondering if they were getting enough to eat, realizing I had to plan my day around their sleep/nap/feeding schedule instead of my own. Those are some of the things I remember most about the weekend though. And the fun I had watching them both laugh (and cry on occasion, as one year olds are prone to do) as they played around the house, or the park, or wherever we were.
I kept getting asked, “So is this making you want your own or is it making you want to wait?” My answer: I want my own. Two at once, probably not. But more than one; most definitely yes. Am I ready to have them? If we haven’t moved to a larger house before God decides to bless us with kids, we’ll make do. And we’ll make sure the budget accounts for another mouth to feed (and clothes to buy and toys to acquire and doctors to visit, etc). But the deepest question is; do I feel emotionally ready to have kids. Yeah, I think I am.
So to all you parents out there reading this (and to my own dearly departed parents), I say this. While I by no means think that a single weekend with two small children make me an expert on child-rearing, I think I now have a very small inkling of what you have gone through in raising your children. And I applaud you and have a new found respect for you. I realize that there are a lot more things involved (getting kids to and from extra curricular activities, doctor’s appointments, school plays, etc etc etc), and I think I can honestly say that I am looking forward to having my own and getting to have those experiences for my self.
And best conversation lines of the weekend:
me: You realize I have no idea how to entertain a one year old, right?
Danielle: What do you think you’re doing right now?
-while the one year old is calmly sitting on my lap at 5:30 in the morning watching our dog laying at her feet begging to be petted.