Saturday, October 23, 2010

So This Is What A Third Child Could Have Been Like...

I've talked before about the babysitting co-op my neighborhood has and how it's saved me more than once. It's such a great group of women, and it eases my mind when I need to do something sans children. I always know I have someone great who can watch the wee ones. For free.


Most of the kids in the co-op are the wee ones' age or older. As with all groups, it's had its ebbs and flows. A couple of the older members with kids who are now in middle school have recently left the co-op and new members with younger children have joined.

That brings us to tonight. Previously, the children we've watched have been more like playdates than anything else. This time, we had a younger child with us. Sage (not her real name) is almost two years old, and she's cute as can be.

The wee ones haven't spent a ton of time around children that young, and before she arrived, I gave them a pep talk. She likely wouldn't listen to them. She might not play with toys they way they'd want her to. She might frustrate them. They nodded and agreed, but I wasn't sure how much of it had sunk in.

Apparently we need to do this babysitting thing more often. The wee ones had a blast, and Mister Man asked twice - twice - when he could babysit again because he loved it so much. When Sage arrived, the wee ones were in the basement uncharacteristically arguing over toys. I prepared myself for a long two hours.

Or not.

When it was time for dinner, they helped gather Sage and brought her to the kitchen. Little Miss picked up Sage (who I think may weigh more than Little Miss) and put her in her booster seat and then pushed in her chair. At the conclusion of dinner, the wee ones helped her clear her place before leading her into the bathroom to wash her hands and face.

Yes, that is Mister Man actually - and very gently - washing Sage's face.

We then headed upstairs to play. When Sage approached me with an "uh-oh" and a sock dangling from her hand, Mister Man asked if he could put it back on for her. I was impressed at how patient he was. See that huge pile of trains? Mister Man went digging into his collection of toys that he doesn't play with anymore that he thought she would like and then brought all of them for her to play with.

After that, Mister Man went in search of "age appropriate" books that he read to Sage while we waited for her Daddy to arrive to pick her up. He let her choose which book to do first and made room on his bed for her, displacing his carefully arranged animals and pillows so that she could sit comfortably.

Why do I have a feeling it wouldn't be all sunshine and roses if I actually did have a third child, though?


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septembermom October 23, 2010 at 2:25 PM  

Your kids are great little helpers! The pictures are so cute. I'm sure Sage will want to come back again and again :) Big kids often love getting into that caretaker role. It's wonderful to witness.

Lisa Noel October 23, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

If they're like mine a real middle child syndrom would emerge if it were a fulltime thing. #2 son asked if we could take #3 son back after about a month.

Tara R. October 23, 2010 at 7:07 PM  

Mister Man was so sweet!

I used to wonder too sometimes if a third child would have been a good mix. Now, I am SO glad we stayed with two.

Mary~Momathon October 23, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

I wish we were neighbors!

Michelle October 24, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

Kelly - Well, at least the pictures I show are of them being great helpers, right? ;) They did have a blast "babysitting" though!

Lisa - Oh I can only imagine what would happen if it were full time. Little Miss already exhibits her own personality ... issues sometimes. There will only be two for sure!

Tara - I'm so glad, too! Two is a really good number - for me at least.

Mary - Ha! You say that now. You just want the free babysitting, don't you? ;)

Pat October 24, 2010 at 4:12 PM  

Yes, I think the novelty would definitely wear off with a third sibling. But they'd learn to get along eventually!

Michelle October 24, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

Pat - I can only imagine how quickly the novelty would wear off. And having seen what happens to that third child so often... we're definitely sticking with two! :)

Anonymous October 25, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

He is such a sweetheart, he makes me melt! :)

Michelle October 26, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

Patty - He really is. Or at least what I share here is ;) Like everyone (except me, of course), he's got his moments though!

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