on Children; or, What We Did 21 Days Before Our Wedding

We’re babysitting a 3- and 5-years-old for the week-end. Those of you with children will find this banal, or amusing. Woke before dawn. Propped up kids with Netflix cartoons until breakfast. After strugglingt to get them to finish dinner, watched them total a family size crate of toaster waffles and make a serious dent on a giant box of Lucky Charms. Went to a park with the 5-year-old. Horses and ponies: no interest. Wild turtles in the crick: exciting. It doesn’t matter if the kids at the park speak Spanish, Kreyol, Viet (or maybe Khmer?), or English, they’re still “It.” (and it seems “it” is an universal word in any language, like “Mama” or “Coca-Cola”) Parents at the park eyeball you like a serial killer untiil they notice a blond with a matching mullet to yours, and then you’re instantly In The Club. “Building” a solar stereo is “cool.” Banyan trees feel weird when you pet them. Defence in fencing is not cool. Balance beam walking is.  It’s fun to drive a car, even if you can’t reach the pedals (and the carburettor and battery are off). Crashing a birthday party is no big deal. Tire shop lifts are fascinating. Child seats have twice as many parts as I know what to do with, and printing “read manual first” on the back is not helpful. Children go through more shop/hand towels in one day than rebuilding a 351 Windsor. Follow this with another battle to finish dinner… followed by, “I’m still hungry.” …and scarfing down another half-sandwich. And it’s amazing how many things in our house are fragile, sharp, poisonous, alcoholic, and/or electrocution hazards. Single moms, OMFG, hats off again. I couldn’t do it without Sage. But, then, I shan’t have to. The whole idea of adopting seems somehow more plausible, not less, despite the zero-to-sixty of taking on two for several days…

 

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