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CJ Heck

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Grandmothering Toddlers
by CJ Heck   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, June 02, 2011
Posted: Thursday, June 02, 2011

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a babysitting memory ...

As some of you already know, I recently spent a week in Connecticut babysitting two of my grandsons while my daughter and her husband took a well-deserved R&R. I have seven grandsons, and two granddaughters -- and the two youngest grandsons, 1-1/2 years and 3 years old, are the ones that I babysat. Before I go any further, I have to ask, why do they call it babysitting? I can't remember anyone actually sitting during a twenty-four hour period, them or me. That is, unless I put "Dora The Explorer" on theTV so I could go to the bathroom, oh yeah, and when I had them safely strapped in their chairs for meals. Wait, and they also sat in the bathtub for a few minutes while they were being bathed, although that's actually not true , either ... did you ever try and wash a fish?

Ahhh, but I digress, and don't get me wrong, I had the time of my life that week. I love those little boys with all my heart -- but I have to admit that I've never felt so totally short on brain cells and such a lack of energy. I woke up the first morning to calls of "Gwaaammy, I'm uuuup ..." and it was suddenly like I had never had a child before -- ever. Before my first cup of coffee, I can say with all honesty that I had no idea, whatsoever, what it was that I was supposed to do. Thank God, my daughter neatly wrote everything down ... times for naps, meals, foods they will eat, bedtime, everything, sheets and sheets of blessed instructions, just in case, and that first morning, I knew the just in case had landed ...

I also didn't realize, or maybe I just forgot, that grandmothers have far less energy than young mothers do ... and we have muscles hidden in our body parts that working out regularly at the gym doesn't get close to. At the end of each day, I had a monumental decision whether to soak in a tub with a glass of wine, or just fall into bed sore and exhausted. Most nights, the bed won ...

Funny, when I was a young mother with my three daughters, I actually got pretty good at it by the time my youngest was a toddler. I could juggle everything that needed to be done, multi-task to get it finished, and still have plenty of time left over for playing with them. It was best the time of my life and I still consider raising them as the achievement I am proudest of.

I am happy to report that by the end of the week with my grandsons, things were running like clockwork ... of course, I still had my daughter's cheat sheets nearby, although the pages were wrinkled and just a little bit dog-earred. I had learned to get up a half hour before they did and have my coffee, which allowed my brain cells to multiply, organizational skills to reconnect, and it gave me time to recharge my patience. Even my sore muscles ceased their screaming a little, after my coffee ... I am totally convinced that toddlers don't have feet ... they have invisible wheels, but I'm already looking forward to the next time.

Oh, I almost forgot. Soon, I'm going to write about the new language I've learned, "Toddler-Speak" ...

Web Site:
Barking Spiders Poetry for Children

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