A nod to the parents

Looking after kids is really hard. Ok, not outside the realm of doable but it’s pretty full on. Today I had my 3yo niece while her parents had a rare day to themselves.

She’s a great kid. Very bright. Very full of energy. She mostly listens to me. Ok some of the time. We had a great day but I was relieved when she was in bed.

Yep that's a white leather jacket. This kid is way cooler than me.

Do all parents feel like that? I suspect so. There’s just so much noise and wrangling involved. And butt wiping – I swear I see so much of this kid’s butt when we visit, when I’m around I’m the perferred butt wiper (go ahead joke amongst yourselves).

Obviously I’ve looked after her a bit and a spent a lot of my late teens and early 20s babysitting so none of this is new but when you have them 24/7 you appreciate why parents are so jolly tired (and why they are in bed at 10:30pm – hello miss 6am). The fact that Madam considers me her personal climbing frame probably doesn’t help either – it’s exhausting.

Today in an attempt to give her a bit of a chilled day before we tackle the aquarium and the zoo on the next couple of days, our only outings were to the park. Twice. Two different parks actually. I thought it would wear her out. Well it did but the benefit was only felt when she was in bed (down without a peep for both nap and bedtime), the rest of the time she was livewire city.

Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with her and I love having her stay but I have a new appreciation for why parents are tempted to plonk them in front of telly just to get anything done.

It also makes me feel particularly for those doing it on their own. Single mothers. Single fathers. Possibly worse, mothers with husbands/partners who do not participate. That would be awful. No help, no rest, no one to back you up or take over. My heart goes out to you.

Fun in the park

Still, I can’t complain. I’ll enjoy the rest of their visit. I’m excited about both the aquarium (which I haven’t been to) and the Zoo (which I just love). It’ll be fun to explain, no she can’t pat the animals and no the shark can’t get her. And I’ll be grateful each night when she goes to bed and there’s a little down time. As will her parents.

And so, dear reader, I’ll take my leave to enjoy the quiet. I’ll leave you with one of the very many funny things that Miss Three comes out with.

Me: Three more stops and we get off.
Miss Three: and we’ll be at Sydney?
Me: We are already in Sydney
Miss Three: I don’t see any cupboards.

Nope I have no idea what it means either.


2 thoughts on “A nod to the parents

  1. Shaggygirl, you are a better person than I am. I have changed nappies on precisely two people in my life – my daughters. I thankfully have never been in a position to change anyone else’s nappies.

    Yes, all parents are relieved when their children are finally in bed, and then 5 minutes later we miss them. 😉

    And you are spot on – the ones who do it toughest are the single parents and the parents whose partners don’t help.

    Having just left my wife temporarily to look after our 2 daughters while I travelled halfway around the world, I have all the guilt that I deserve. The only thing that stops me from feeling like a total arsehole is that my wife will be attending a conference in Washington DC in October and I will be totally responsible for the girls 24/7.

    • Well girls tend to babysit more than boys as teens plus I had two younger siblings so I’ve done plenty of the nappy bit (happily Miss Three is way past that now but finds it funny to wave her butt at me).

      I dont think anyone can begrudge a trip here and there and being left responsible but I guess it’s nice to have it work both ways. I probably should also have pointed out in the blog that I’m only dealing with one and the pain is expanded with each child.

      I love having her but am always relieved when she goes – and yep then I start missing her 🙂 crazy isn’t it.

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