On Tuesday, a friend emailed the other members of our babysitting co-op looking for someone to watch her three boys while she took a meeting. Feeling confident (this was before the shots and the vomit and the nonstop nursing binge), I offered to have the kids over to the house for the afternoon. Whydaddy would be working downstairs, and he could step in if the boys got to be a bit much for me alone. If. I was so confident. Overconfident.
I would be watching five boys ages 5 and under for 2.5 hours. By. Myself. Insanity? You betcha!
What exactly possessed me to volunteer my sanity like this? I’m not sure, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Far from becoming easy and cringeworthy blog fodder, these kids were well-behaved, respectful, and they even shared their snacks with each other. There was not one cross word, no injuries, and only a little pushing here and there as they jostled for the “best” matchbox car or the bounciest ball. It was easy. It was fun. It was, as I’ve said, only 2.5 hours.
For an afternoon, I had a house like I imagine Owlhaven‘s to be, filled with laughter and play and good-natured vroom vrooming; the sound of five boys, five and under, having a good time together. Whydaddy and I gleefully joined in their play when invited, and we went round and round playing chase, t-ball, soccer, hoops, up into the treehouse and back down, and of course cars. It was really nice.
At one point, I just stood back and enjoyed the sight of the boys running together in the yard. We had boys ages 0, 1, 2, 4, and just 5 all playing together and enjoying themselves and the warm weather. It was idyllic. Until you looked a little closer and realized that although the 5 year old was chasing the 2, the 4 was zooming around by himself like Lightning McQueen, the 1 was toddling aimlessly, and the 2 was chasing the dog. Okay, so they were playing NEAR each other.
The baby? Sleeping. Afternoon naps are a luxury I’m beginning to enjoy with him. Finally. When he woke, he decided that today would be another full day of nursing, so I watched the storm of joyful boys inside where I could keep a little closer eye on them. And Daddy was a major major help. It was exhilirating realizing that we could indeed care for 5 kids. But is was also exhausting. And it was only an afternoon.
And no one got any work, cooking, shopping, or laundry done.
The house was chaos. But it was absolutely wonderful. I absolutely loved having, however briefly, a houseful of boys.