I've already written about the glorious child-free weekend CPod and I enjoyed recently.We were fortunate that Whitney, our favorite babysitter, was home from BYU for the summer and finished with her EFY counselor gig. For some reason, ConMan called her Apron for two days. We're still trying to figure that one out. But everyone was still alive when we got home, babysitter included, and, really, what more can you ask? I'm pretty certain, though, that Whitney/Apron will not be having children of her own any time in the near future. And by near future, I mean, like a decade. She may be scarred for life. Without further ado, here's what the babysitter needed to know to get through 28 hours with our brood, minus lists of food they can eat and ways to entertain them.
I can't tell you how appreciative we are . . . you're putting both your sanity and your desire to have kids in the future on the line here, and we're very grateful!
A few things you'll need to know:
1. The toilets WILL look like you've mysteriously been transported to a truck stop before 24 hours is up. Do not let this concern you -- seriously, it's CPod's job to clean them, as it's his job to correct aiming problems.
2. G-Dog is highly allergic to mosquito bites. I can't keep him from getting them, so we give him allergy medicine to prevent the reactions, but it still won't be a lovely sight if he gets one. Don't let this worry you, either -- just put a band-aid on it to keep him from scratching and make sure it stays clean. It seriously might make his entire leg swell up if he gets one, but it won't kill him, so don't worry about it.
3. Sometimes my kids talk about body parts. Don't be alarmed. Also, the big boys will need you to wipe bums if necessary. This is usual. BE ALARMED if ConMan doesn't ask you for help when pooping.
4. Sometimes they refuse to eat whatever dinner you put in front of them. If they do this, no treats. And don't worry -- they won't starve to death. Just be prepared for them to eat a lot of cereal for breakfast the next morning.
5. Feel free to administer time outs as needed. But -- they should always get an explanation for why they're being disciplined.
6. Bedtime: or thereabouts. No bath required tomorrow night -- we just did it. Clean diaper/"empty tank" (potty), jammies, teeth, hands & faces, family prayer (they will fight. I need to make a chart. If they're really arguing, just let everyone say their own prayer.), hugs, kisses, and dreams. Just ask each one what they're going to dream about tonight. G-Dog's will be totally off-the-wall, ConMan's will be about Fire Mario, and MayDay's will be about an assortment of Marios. Lights out (pull the chain on the overhead light in the twins' room), doors closed. Mason will probably want a drink of water. That's fine.
7. All three have been stung repeatedly by wasps and/or hornets this summer. This has made them wary in a BIG way of playing outside. If you can persuade them to go outside, please do. Use the "picnic blanket" (sunflowers, in the corner in the living room) and take lunch outside to sit in the shade under a tree; engage them in tricycle races down the driveway or relay races in the cul-de-sac -- anything to get them some Vitamin D. They are especially leery of the playground because the wasps keep building nests inside it. Check it out, and if it's still clear (you'd be amazed how quickly those nests go in) play pirates with the boys. They love this. They also love to pretend the bottom part is an ice cream stand. They love playing with the hose, too -- they call it a snake monster. Our wading pool has a big hole and, sadly, can no longer be inflated. It will be hot, though, so if you want to just hose them down, you can. They are also welcome to play with any of the neighbor kids whenever.
8. I don't care if you feed them snacks all day long and don't do a one of the things I've listed here. As long as they're still alive when I get back , I'm good with it. One day of different routine will not undo the whole system!
(And here are some things I should have included, but didn't occur to me until later.)
Please be advised that we have recently come to suspect that the house across the street from us, which is now vacant, was, in the not too distant past, a marijuana grow house. We're not certain, but when your neighbors who've been renting suddenly up and buy a house triple the cost of the most expensive one on your street, and when you smell pot whenever you are near the house, it's not so hard to put two and two together. And since the grass is so tall, there are certain to be snakes. Do I need to tell you to stay away?
I'd like to tell you that every night after the kids go to bed, I'm super industrious and get all of the cleaning done so we can get up the next morning and start the day with a neat house. But I'd be lying. Because mostly, I collapse onto the couch and hardly move until I finally drag myself to bed. And I will not fault you one bit if you decide to take exactly the same course of action!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
PS We'll leave you with keys to our van, just in case you need/want to leave the house. Or you feel like running away. But please call another babysitter first, and let me know where I can pick up my car.