A Budding Babysitter ...

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Benjamin woke up later (8:00 a.m. instead of the usual 7:30), at the same time as his sister. While this isn't my ideal morning (I prefer a staggered start to the day!), it did make both breakfasts finish at the same time, both diapers/clothing changes happen at the same time AND put them on schedule to take their noon naps around the same time. Normally, chaotic, but ... I had a plan. On Tuesdays, I try to get Steve coffee and drop it off at school. The other mornings I try, (lately, very unsuccessfully) to be awake and make his latte before he leaves for work. Anyway, since he left for work before 5:30 this morning, and has been super busy, we try not to be a distraction. Nevertheless, I found myself hankering for my Tuesday coffee shop purchase. I was immediately in a bit of a situation because it's very rare that the kids are on the same schedule and I can exercise. (Someone's usually napping, which doesn't lend itself to a bouncy jogging stroller) ... SOOO coffee or exercise, coffee or exercise ... BOTH. There's a Biggby just down West Main and with the back roads, we can hit it safely with a jogger. It's approximately 1.5 miles there and 1.5 miles back, WITH a park in between. PERFECT.

We set out, equipped with two freshly changed babies, two "blankies" (it was a little chilly this a.m.), two pacifiers, an extra snack and juice, and Mommy's phone (just in case). The first mile and a half went really well. Kayleigh talked to Benny, she helped him keep his paci in his mouth, and she shared her blanket with him (something that's VERY VERY rare). We got to the park and (this was my first concern) Kayleigh wanted to play. I told her, repeatedly, that we'd be back to play, we just had to get coffee first. OOPS ... Mommy's mistake. "Kayleigh coffee...???? Kayleigh want some too... coffee???" This would no longer be a cheap trip to Biggby. We made it to Biggby with very gracious other customers holding the door for my giant double jogger. I ordered my skinny, sugar free vanilla bean and asked for something iced with no caffeine and no sugar for Kayleigh. She was in her glory ...

Then, we started to unravel .. :)

Kayleigh tipped her "coffee" and it spilled all over her shirt. She refused to let me wipe it off with Ben's cloth because it was "an ucky cloth." So, we went back for napkins. We got to the park and Kayleigh, in her excitement, went straight down the slide into a giant puddle of rain water, soaking her pants. At this moment, Ben decided he was discontent in the stroller and wanted Mommy ... Up Ben comes, only to puke all over Mommy and himself ... Kayleigh informed me ever so politely that "Mommy ucky shirt!" I allowed her, for all the trouble we'd gone through, to slide a few more times in her soaking wet pants. Then, when I heard Benjamin doing is tell tale massive grunt, I put my foot down. Kayleigh came over with very few whimpers and graciously got into the stroller. "Mommy, Benny poopy." Yes, thanks, sweetheart; I got that. I laughed at myself as I packed up to leave with soy formula puke all down my shirt, a cranky, now poopy 3 month old, a toddler with soaking wet pants, an iced hot chocolate stained t-shirt and face, AND then she announces. "Kayleigh poopy too. Momma! Kayleigh poopy" (and proceeds to laugh continuously).

I might have left the park discouraged from trying this again, except I over hear my little girl on the way home. "Benny, Mommy change diapers. We go home. Change it. Don't be sad. Here, paci. Mommy, Benny hat!! Benny Hat" (His hat had fallen off and she couldn't reach it.) I gave it to her and she did her best to put it back, give him his paci, get him nestled under their shared blanket (I didn't need to touch his blankie the whole trip because Big Sister had it under control). The rest of the way home, she sat a little straighter, watched brother a little closer, and said to me ... "Momma! Benny sleeping ... SHHHHH."

Ahhh ... I may have left this morning from the house with what I thought was a perfect plan. I may have had it foiled several times over, BUT I also got a Mommy moment to treasure forever ... My daughter learning how to care for others, especially the most important little friend she has right now ... her baby brother.