Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

Adventures with Children

No, no, no.  That was not my sneaky way to make a special announcement.  You can sit down, unclasp your hands, and wipe that silly smile off your faces now.  I will say this though, I’m gaining a whole new respect for parents.

J and I were asked by some good friends if we would stay at their home while they’re out of town this week and look after their kids.  There are 5 of them: 3 are teenagers (16 and up) and the other two are seven and four years old.  We’re not necessarily *needed* but having a few responsible adults in the house helps give the little ones a sense of normalcy, I think.

I’m into day 3 of 4 and a whole new world has opened up for me that’s so far from the quiet little studio that I’m used to coming home to after a busy day at the office.  A world of making meals for the adults and “big kids” and making something entirely bland and boring for the little fussy eaters.  A world of helping with 2nd grade math while making all of these dinners.  A world with mounds of dirty dishes and a laundry pile I won’t even glance at.  A world of 8:30 PM teeth brushings and tucking in to bed.  I couldn’t do it without J.

The teens are a God-send.  I couldn’t imagine doing this without them either.  They look after the little ones while J and I are at work.  They run interference when we just can’t get the youngest to eat his dinner.  And they’ve been great about stepping in to help clean up.

Nevertheless, I’m tired.  Last night after making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, and putting kids to sleep, I face-planted into bed around 9 PM.  Even with J and I double teaming on this one, we’re both exhausted.  I know that usually people don’t end up with 5 kids all at once.  Most of the time parents seem to acquire their children one at a time and build up to the chaos.  All the same, I don’t know how parents do it – I stand in awe.

But there’s all the reward too and that’s pretty cool.  I’m more of an adopted auntie to these kids so it’s not the same maternal instincts at work.  Regardless, I love seeing them succeed: to help the 7 year old with his homework and watch him “get it”.  The relief of seeing the youngest eat a meal despite his finicky appetite.  And I love the sweetness of tucking them into bed and hearing them ask how soon I’ll be home from work tomorrow.

J has softball games tonight and we asked the little ones if they would like to come with us to watch – they couldn’t have been more excited.  And I’m looking forward to taking them out, even if they are a couple of high-energy boys.  It will get a little crazy, I have no doubt, but that’s part of the fun!

My conclusion from the week thus far?  I’m definitely impressed with parental types.  To work an eight-hour day and come home to another full-time job is unbelievable to me.  Parents – you guys rock!  I’m still not sure if I want to join your ranks, at least for quite a while.  Playing “auntie” works so much better for me right now.

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13 comments on “Adventures with Children

  1. ethelthedean
    June 14, 2012

    Awesome and hilarious! I laughed out loud when you wrote about “acquiring” children. That’s how I plan on doing it – ordering online with express delivery!

    Kids truly to change your life. I know I’m not ready to embark down that road, but in a couple of years I may be singing a different tune. However, like you, at this stage in my life “auntie” is all I’m ready for!

    • Audrey
      June 14, 2012

      Haha, oh thanks! It seems so much easier to just place an order, doesn’t it? All this 9 months pregnancy silliness, I tell ya…. 🙂

      Auntie is great, it’s fun! All the pros of the job and you get to give them back at the end of the day. It’s a good place for us with all of our adventurous living!

  2. The Blissful Adventurer
    June 14, 2012

    great post Audrey! I always need insider info into kids as we do not have them yet 🙂

    • Audrey
      June 14, 2012

      Thank you! I hope my glimpse into the wide world of parenting is helpful, in that case! 🙂

  3. Clamina
    June 14, 2012

    Scary but truely rewarding.. So glad you’re getting your practice tho. 😉

    • Audrey
      June 15, 2012

      This practice is giving us enough of a reality check they we may want to wait a VERY long time before talking about having any of our own!! 🙂

  4. whatimeant2say
    June 15, 2012

    I loved this part – “I know that usually people don’t end up with 5 kids all at once. Most of the time parents seem to acquire their children one at a time and build up to the chaos.” Great way to describe it!

    • Audrey
      June 15, 2012

      I can see why you and the Cap’n only have Dimples and the pets, that’s plenty of a handful right there! Did I mention there are 5 dogs in the household I’m caring for as well? Crazy busy…

      • whatimeant2say
        June 15, 2012

        5 dogs, too! I’m surprised those parents didn’t leave for more than a week. In fact, I’m a bit surprised they made any plans to return at all! 😉

  5. Stuff I Can't Post
    June 19, 2012

    WOW! Yeah…. I totally feel you on this. I play auntie with the new nephew a couple times a week, and I’m always so flipping exhausted afterwards! Insane darling… let’s have a drink and celebrate the peace and quiet! Pinkies up girlie!!! 🙂

    • Audrey
      June 19, 2012

      Funny thing is that after J and I took the boys to the softball game we totally busted into the wine to calm our frayed nerves – and cleaned out the whole bottle, I might add. Kids are a ton of work! I love that you’re getting to spend so much time with your little nephew, you’ll save him from the farm-life yet! 🙂

      • Stuff I Can't Post
        June 19, 2012

        BAHAHAHA!!!!! NO FARM LIFE for Sprout on my watch! hehehe Yes, I’ve broken in the wine after Sprout-capades myself. TOTALLY get that. I hope it was a good bottle. 🙂 And I’ll have to email you with the reasons why I get Sprout so often. It’s always something isn’t it?

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