Living the cottage life, Alaskan style!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

some of my best babysitting

Have you ever kept a journal?  If so, then you understand when I say I go back and re-read my own writing.  I'll find myself laughing out loud and snickering at some of the silliness I write about especially stories about the grandkids.

high class maid service
And I certainly have the hours invested to get some good ones.  When my hubby and I first agreed to babysit, we had no idea what we were getting into.  Back then, there was just one grandchild so, sure, why not..... How difficult can it be?  Afterall, I've raised two kids already..... when I was much, much younger.... But I distinctly remember the conversation:  "Okay, we'll babysit just until Hunter gets out of that Newborn stage and day care becomes cheaper."  THAT'S what I said. 

This is what my son heard:  "Sure, we would LOVE to babysit for the next upteen years!" 

Shortly after we committed to babysitting one grandchild.... a second one arrived.  Of course we had to babysit both now otherwise we would be accused of favoritism! 

Then a year came and a year went and a second year....  Then a third grandchild.... Yes, now we're up to three grandchildren.  That was three years ago we agreed to help get the grandkids out of the Newborn stage.... 
looking for a good home
Here we are, seniors, in our late 50s/early 60s watching three babies 40 hours a week. We gave up our retired life, our weekly lunch with friends, our freedom to come and go and do as we pleased.  I no longer stay in my jammies and sip coffee in the morning as have to be ready for the first to arrive.  My entire day is chaos with little concentrated time for myself.  Try going to the bathroom with three little ones wanting to know your every move! 

Those first two years were spent in a tired daze.  There were days I just wanted to cry.  There were days when I DID cry.  I remember a few days stumbling as I would be walking back and forth trying to get my grandaughter to sleep I was so exhausted.  I remember being so tired I couldn't function.  So tired I wanted to throw up.  So tired, I felt sick.  But we kept babysitting because we made a commitment to our kids. 

The other reason we kept babysitting is because I simply could not imagine any other person taking care of these precious little people.  It was that simple.  Would someone else give them the attention and love my grandbabies deserved?   
she certainly has the moves!
We've passed our three year mark for babysitting and I have to say, it's gotten easier.  At least I'm not so tired.  The days are still extremely long and there isn't a day that I don't watch the clock as it moves backwards in time....  Or at least it feels that way.  And then I wonder if the day will ever end.  But it does.  The kids eventually go home, my husband and I look at each other and give a tired nod and smile.  Yes, we made it through another day.  Then the next morning, we get up and do it all over again. 

But every morning, it's a joy to see them again.  Their happy little faces.  We laugh all day at their silliness.  We do crafts, bake, cook, do chores.  We read, watch movies, have quiet time.  We give love and we get love.  And, yes, there is yelling, screaming, crying, fighting, pinching, pushing, hitting, biting, and all that, but the good moments generally outweigh the bad. 
asleep in the chair
Two of our grandkids will start pre-school in a couple weeks.  I've been waiting for this day for a long time.  It's going to free our week up considerably and will give us some of our freedom back.  But then there's that part of me..... the heart part..... that is starting to tug at me..... My little grandbabies are growing up.  They're starting school.  They're being put out there in the big world of craziness.  How will they do?  Will they be scared?  Will they make friends?  Will the teacher like them best?  And then there's the, have we given them life skills to cope?  This IS a full-service day care, and we've been diligent about teaching them all the skills they will need in the real world.... But are my little grandbabies ready.....?  They seem excited when we talk about it, but today my little Sweet Pea started tearing up and her lip quivering as we talked.  She wanted to know if her mommy would stay with her.  "How long will she stay with me?" she asked....  Maybe they're not ready yet....

I know pre-school is the next step.  I understand that.  And I've been waiting for it.  But now.... can't they just be silly little kids for a little longer before they have to grow up? 

Here's some stories you might enjoy.  Yes, it's been a journey, these past three years and I have to say, we have three of the most incredible grandbabies ever.  Would I do it all over again if given the opportunity....?  You know, I think I would.....

Blueberry Boy
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Day Care Fun
No Babies Were Hurt

I hope you enjoyed getting a little glimpse of what really goes on here! 

Later!  Nancy


Georgia said...

I love your writings, and especially the photos you manage to grab when the kiddos aren't looking. Your blog brightens up my day. Just glad I'm reading about it and not experiencing it full time; I'm simply too old:( But I admire your tenacity and commitment. (maybe you should be committed:)

Nancy from the Weathered Pane said...

We have been, in more ways than one! :O

Jerusalem said...

you have done, and are doing a GREAT thing. Truly. All the kids- big and little are very blessed to have had you and Mike there to help. You are amazing and it is noticed : )