Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I need another kid

I'm not talking about an impending pregnancy here. I think that borrowing another 2 and a half year old girl for a few hours every day could prove quite rewarding.

My friend and I haven't been able to continue our babysitting swap since Madelyn started preschool last month. Natalia isn't in school yet, and because of the timing with naps and her older sisters' school schedules, it just doesn't work out to trade childcare every week. But I was available to help out with a last-minute babysitting need today, so Natalia came over for 90 minutes between lunchtime and naptime.

This is one of the most challenging times of day for me because I am not very good at (and in truth, do not especially enjoy) finding ways to entertain my little one. This is my glaring weakness as a parent--one that makes me wonder if I am truly cut out for the job and if having more children is actually a good idea.

From the moment Natalia arrived today the house echoed with giggles and singing while the two girls moved effortlessly from one activity to the next, all of their own volition. I helped them get started coloring at the table, but they were sharing and getting along so nicely and talking about their drawings, so I let them play while I worked in the next room. Before I knew it they had moved on to playing with puzzles. A little while later I found them making a picnic in the toy kitchen. They both helped clean everything up just in time for Natalia's mom to pick her up.

These girls used to play together every few days, but have seen each other very little in the past six weeks. They used to bicker quite a bit: fighting over toys, pushing and pulling, and the like. So the parent had to stay pretty involved in their playtime to be ready to intervene at a moment's notice. Toddler altercations go from zero to sixty in a matter of milliseconds, so you can't be far if you want to avoid ear-piercing screeches, pulled hair, and tears that are hard to calm.

So this 90 minutes of nearly conflict-free amusement was greatly appreciated. I stayed relaxed and actually accomplished some things knowing that Madelyn was having fun and interacting positively, rather than watching TV. Natalia is actually coming back for a longer stretch of time this Thursday, so we'll see if this was all a lucky fluke, or if their social skills have truly matured. I'm sure Madelyn's experience in Montessori school plays a big role. Only a couple more weeks before we're allowed to visit the classroom for observation. I am very excited for that!

1 comment:

Annie said...

absense makes the heart grow fonder!


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