Cue dramatic movie trailer announcer voice:
Two parents…. Four kids under four….. Brought together for one epic night of babysitting.
Will they ever sleep? How many crackers will be wounded and lost under the couch?
Will an impulsive vasectomy be scheduled the very next morning?
Find out who will cry first in “Sure I’ll Babysit Your Kids”.
My great mom friend and I decided to swap babysitting services so we could each take our hubby’s on romantic anniversary get-aways this month. She has two girls aged 2 and 4, added to my 2 year old boy and 11 month old girl. Four under four: destined to be an epic babysitting fail that would mar our mom friendship, or…OR!….. a crash course in big family love and one of the funnest sleepovers ever. Glad to say it was closest to the latter.
Here are TEN THINGS I learned watching four kids with my husband:
- Food fixes everything. Unless that food is on someone else’s plate in which case it is ample justification for theft and toddler treason
- Once the first article of clothing comes off on any single kid – even if it is a sock – each kid will subsequently peel off all layers faster than a minivan will devour any coolness factor a parent had left
- If you think you can get away without bathing the kids for the night then your name is Cher and you are totes clueless
- Girl elephants have longer tails than boy elephants
- Four year olds don’t really know what ‘knock, knock jokes’ are, but whatever their punch line is they will find it gut-busting. Your punch lines however, will be met with dead pans and curled lips because toddlers haven’t learned to lie…even to be polite.
- Girls are just as rough and tumble, spider-man loving, dirt-throwing little snot-balls as boys are
- There will be more moments than not where your house will mirror a triage ward for dramatic and distressed children. Announce estimated waiting times and supply food to confuse them and buy yourself time
- A child’s love for perpetual bubble showers outweighs the normal operating lung capacity of the average adult female. Sorry I ever judged you bubble machine Mom
- The friends who pee together stay together. In fact any bodily function taking place in any accessible bathroom will be met by a gaggle of cheering and high-fiving supportive kids. Good news is it’s a green light to give yourself treats for using the potty. Yay me!
- When you have so many kids in your home you will think you are getting heartburn. It’s not. This fiery sensation in your chest is an overwhelming maternal love that will hypnotize you and make your uterus haggle you ‘come on….just one more…..come on’. I recommend wearing a full scuba body suit for the next four days until you come back to your senses
By the end of the night the kids were covered in layers of bubble solution and dirt. I was tarred and feathered with lemonade and cracker crumbs. Everyone was pooped and the oldest thought I had a magic phone that could summon videos of any imaginable baby animal (thanks youtube). Three out of four slept through the whole night (no names *cough* Lenayah*cough*). Morning brought pajama-clad squeals abandoned toasts crusts and an assembly line of diapers and potty patrol.
As we drank coffee and rescued the baby from dog piles and toy snatching we smiled at the giggles and babbling around us. The husband (who is ready for number three) said, “we could totally do four”. Me (who is not ready for number three) said “absolutely!…..if we were both stay at home parents….and lunch was from PB and J…..and dinner was in the crockpot….and it was always 25 degrees outside….”
Shawna is a wife and mom, kids aged 2 years and 1. She started blogging at Dovetail Blog in 2011 when she left her job to become a stay at home mom. She openly shares her hard truths and belly laughs on marriage and motherhood, her journey in going gluten and dairy free and getting creative with DIYs. You can find her drinking too much coffee and taking too many Instagrams of her kids at Dovetail Blog or on Facebook.