Weekend Update: Lessons from Babysitting

This weekend, JRB and I had the pleasure of babysitting/ house sitting for a sweet couple here in LaGrange. We kept their house in (decent) order, their children fed and (decently) clean, and their cat from a life on the streets. Here are some observations, or lessons, learned by me, the one without children:

1. You need a good bit of upper body strength to be a parent. As pitiful as this sounds, my arms were beat after only 3 days with these precious kiddos. All the bending while holding baby, picking up baby from floor or bed, and cradling baby can really put your arms through the ringer. {Note to self: work on bicep and wrist strength.}  However, I wouldn’t dare miss out on that post-nap, bottle cuddle time.

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2. Keep an eye on your food at all times. I say this because Josh had a part of a meatball stolen from his fork. Hilarity. We were watching the Auburn game Saturday night (baby girl was already asleep because she’s perfect and an awesome sleeper) with our main man Jake. I had cooked spaghetti and meatballs for JRB and myself, so Josh had his plate watching the game. He turned to talk to me, and next thing we know the meatball that was on his fork was, in fact, gone. We quickly discovered who the culprit was because marinara sauce was all over his chin. I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed as hard.

3. Keep an eye on the remote at all times. On several occasions, the volume of the tv went from 23 to 99 in about 15 seconds. That’s right. Baby hands for the win.

4. Actually, just keep an eye on everything within reach. One time I caught Tyler about to put my flat into her mouth. Praise the Lord I stopped that one.

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5. A train and a mouse can be your best friends. Each morning Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Thomas the Train would buy me some time in making breakfast. Who knew I could love trains and mice so much?

6. Pushing a stroller isn’t as simple as it sounds. Saturday afternoon, I strapped Tyler to me and put Jake into his stroller for a “simple” walk. Simple, yea right. Who knew that a 10 month old can make your walk that much harder? And why is it that as soon as you take your hand off the stroller to place a piece of hair behind your ear, the stroller goes crazy? I like to think I’m in decent shape. I mean, I go to the gym at least 4 times a week (most of the time 5), and by the end of our “simple” mile and half walk I was burning from my bum to my toes! {Note to self: also work on cardiac endurance and leg strength.} Mamas, you have my utmost respect for pushing those little ones and carrying those little ones up hills. You. Are. My. Hero.

7. Sleeping is different when you are in charge of children. If you know me, you know that I consider sleeping to be a talent of mine. It doesn’t matter when or where, I can most likely fall asleep and not be woken up by too many things. However, this changed when I was responsible for those two babes. I kept waking up in the middle of the night to study the monitor and make sure everything was exactly how it should be. Any small groan from one of them made me instantly wake up with my heart beating out of my chest. Once again- mamas, you have my utmost respect.

8. Remember what you dress everyone in. I know some people LOVE the matching family thing, but I’m not that into it-especially when the kids I’m dressing aren’t my children. However, Sunday we (the Biermans) matched the two babes, and it was a COMPLETE ACCIDENT. Here’s what happened: Saturday night, Josh stayed with the kids while I went to our house to feed the puppies. While there, I grabbed a green shirt for Josh to wear to church. Then, Sunday morning I dressed Tyler in this PRECIOUS little green and white dress with a brown bow and brown shoes. She took her morning nap in this, so- as far as her clothing- out of sight, out of mind. Next, when I was dressing Jake I put on a sweet little denim shirt and some khaki shorts. Well, the khaki shorts literally fell right off of him, so I ended up switching him into green shorts. I was wearing a denim dress. So it gets to be time for church, and I round up everyone when I notice we’re all wearing green and denim. It was an honest mistake, ok? I just like denim and the color green!

9. Children are, without a doubt, a gift from God. While no, these kiddos aren’t my own, they blessed me this weekend. I loved how: excited they were to see me (Tyler said good morning by giggling, Jake told me “Hi” every morning), they ate their food with their tiny hands, they played with trains, we read one of my favorite books- The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they laughed and clapped when they knew you were happy or excited, Jake said his prayers every night, we talked about letters and letter sounds and it was so fun, Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Train were instant successes, tickling was always welcomed, Jake would repeat what I said (especially hilarious), Tyler was extra cuddly after nap time, they loved JRB and I even though we weren’t mom and dad.

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We had so much fun with those sweet kiddos. Sadly, I’m realizing that whenever JRB and I have our own, they won’t come already eating well, sleeping well, and cleaning up after themselves like Jake and Tyler. Parents, if you guys could go ahead and be writing out an instruction manual on how to make our kids do that, then I’d be very appreciative.

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is seasoned with encouraging conversation, laughter, and some good eats. Josh and I leave TODAY for Asheville, and we couldn’t be more pumped. Be prepped and ready for boocoodles of pictures. 

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