I got some parenting practice today. I am spending two days a week this summer with two kiddos who aren't very cute at all (note sarcasm). Tatum, 14 months and Isaac, 3 years. I'll try to get some photos to post soon. We had an eventful day today which I'd like to share with you now. Here's the play-by-play:
9:00 I arrive at the Anderson's. Tatum tosses her bottle aside and toddles toward me babbling. (My heart swells...nothing like a cherub-cheeked, curly-haired cutie-pie coming toward you with her arms raised)
9:08 Tatum is down for her nap after refusing her bottle and wrenching her binkie out of my hand then pointing to her crib. The girl know what she wants.
9:09 Isaac and I have all the cushions off the couch and we are building our fort. This is our routine; he bosses me around and I rearrange couch cushions to suit his fancy.
9:18 Isaac is a "snapping tuwtle" in his cave (formerly our fort) who is mean (he tells me), but I'm instructed to pretend that I am peeking into his cage so that he can scare me. Also, he periodically becomes a tiger and I'm a dog that is scared of the tiger. This generally involves him chasing me around the couch growling and I'm supposed to whimper and howl in fear.
9:24 Isaac suggests we play "wed lump" again - a game in which he hides under his red blanket and I'm supposed to comment on the strange noises and movements coming out of the red lump that has mysteriously appeared where Isaac once was. Oh my! What a big lump! Oh! It's moving! I hope it's a nice lump. Oh! There's a foot sticking out from the lump! That lump is giggling! What a wiggly lump!
9:38 We play Red Lump for the 28th time.
9:45 Isaac finds his cars and we build a tent for them to park in. It has to be "weally, weally dawk, okay?"
10:00 Tatum wakes up and is ready to go!
10:03 The fort is destroyed in less than 30 seconds by the Tate-zilla
10:08 I say "Be careful, Isaac" 87 times as we spend the next 13 minutes jumping around on the couch without the cushions.
10:21 It's raining and we're beginning to go a little stir-crazy. Tatum wants whatever Isaac is playing with and squawks with discontent when she can't have it.
10:30 We decide to go up to church to play in the famed Tree House Room. A little change of scenery will help, I think.
10:45 I pack lunches, grab a few diapers, wipes and sippy cups and throw them in my bag.
10:55 We're in the car and Tatum is "singing" something akin to "ee-i, ee-i, oh" but Isaac does not want to sing that.
11:00 At church we are looking for my dad, but he's not there. Instead we commandeer his office. Isaac makes him a "drawing" of stamps and staples. Tatum opens drawers and pulls out files (sorry Dad).
11:10 We decide to distract Jordanne from her work - a feat we easily succeed in accomplishing. I'm guessing it's probably pretty hard to focus when you have a toddler squawking and chattering on incessantly just outside your office.
11:20 We eat lunch. Isaac has a cheesy hotdog. Tatum has a spaghetti something which she spits out with every bite I shove in there. Stinker.
11:30 We clean up our lunch and Isaac's artwork and head down to the Tree House Room.
11:47 I change Tatum's diaper, much to her displeasure.
11:48 Tatum poops in her new diaper.
11:52 I change Tatum's diaper again and discover that we've had a bit of an explosion. Her cute stripey pants are the casualty. She's now stripped down to diaper and t-shirt.
12:00 Tatum hints at the beginnings of a meltdown.
12:01 Meltdown confirmed.
12:05 We head down the hall. I hold Tate's binkie in front of her to motivate our progress toward the car.
12:08 I realize it's raining a LOT harder than it was when we got there.
12:14 I enlist the help of Sara and Jordanne to play with the kiddos while I pull the car up as close to the building as I can.
12:18 Tatum and I make a run for the car as Isaac looks on with trepidation.
12:20 Isaac and I make a run for the car as Tatum looks on with binkie in mouth and therefore no discernible emotion other than contentment.
12:21 I pull the umbrella into the car and realize just how wet I am. Very.
12:22 We pull away from church.
12:23 It starts to hail. A lot.
12:24 I debate going back to church vs. driving through the weather, but Tatum, wearing no pants and now dangerously close to nap time, has dropped her binkie and the drama begins.
12:40 We get back to the Anderson's and nap routine promptly ensues. Prompt is not soon enough for Tatum who is now in full-on melt-down mode.
12:45 Isaac is watching Curious George, drinking his warm milk and Tatum's bottle is ready. We had upstairs and Tatum devours her bottle.
12:48 I put Tatum in her bed and she flops down willingly.
12:50 Clean up time. Isaac watches his show while I replace couch cushions and pull Legos out from under the ottoman.
1:20 Isaac tells me he's ready for his rest now. I am ready for my rest, too.
About 20 times today, I thought, "Am I really ready for this whole parenting thing??" Probably not. Is anyone ready before they actually are parents? The thing is, even when they aren't my kids, being with them, watching them learn, engaging their imaginations, cuddling with them...it's so worth it! Minute by minute, it's worth it. Meltdowns and poopy diapers are worth it. And if it's worth it with other people's kids, surely it will be worth it with mine - who, by the way, is now the size of a medium shrimp, though nothing about my body feels shrimpy these days. But even that, I'm sure, will be worth it.