Once, I was known far and wide as being Annie the Nanny. Annie the GOOD Nanny. Annie the Nanny who could handle anything that came her way, tirelessly cycling through all of the things one does with kids: play, feed, change, wash, play, read, sing, play, love. There was no problem I could not settle, no disaster I could not resolve.
However, after being an unemployed, responsibility-less drifter for close to a month, nothing could quite prepare me for the day that I had to reconvert into a functioning member of society. Especially when I am expected to be responsible the health, safety, and well-being of two little boys.
Jeremy and Ashley, my brother and sister-in-law, are in Colorado for a wedding, and until Monday night have entrusted me with the care of Micah (almost 4) and Tyler (2 1/2). They are unbelievably adorable, achingly charming, and totally precious; even still, they are two boys under the age of 4. And I am EXHAUSTED.
It has only been 2 days, and the entire time I have been asking myself, “Where am I? What’s the date? What am I doing?” I have forgotten to lock my car, to put on deodorant, and to (God forbid) balance my checkbook. My mind is a fog of sippy cups and diapers, Thomas the Tank Engine and Dora the Explorer, blankies and doggies and monkeys. It does not help that Kansas City is bucking the fall trend and holding steady at close to 90 degrees – which automatically makes me cranky – and I have bug bites in places I should not have bug bites. Places that are always clothed. Ex-squeeze me, but HOW DID YOU GET THERE?
Everything takes longer with two little boys in tow. A quick errand? Never. Get two kids, hold two hands, load two car seats, unload two car seats, hold two hands again, and walk the looooong length of 3 parking spots to the destination… all the while inspecting every single stick, rock, tree, and sidewalk crack. Before you know it, 4 hours have passed. In true drill sergeant style, I find myself telling them to march, simply to keep them moving. But I suppose one can only walk so fast when he has an 8″ inseam.
I should admit that I, in my typical over-achieving way, am not content to just baby-sit. No, if I have been Annie the Nanny in the past, I am determined to be Auntie Annie the Kick-Ass Nanny this week.
Hanging out at home? Nope. Union Station in downtown Kansas City to see the trains.
Happy Meals? Try homemade stir-fry.
Reading on the couch? Forget about it – the Kansas City Public Library.
I have been entertaining lengthy conversations about Thomas and Percy and James. I have been bathing two little boys, only to watch them slather themselves in sticky juice. I have been clipping tiny toenails. Building block towers. Singing “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”. Again and again and again.
But guys… they’re SO CUTE. I love them so much that my heart feels like it’s going to explode. When Tyler takes a nap, I can’t wait for him to wake up again. I live in breathless expectation to hear what Micah might say next. They give the best hugs and kisses and smiles.
And even though they wear me out, I would not trade this time for anything.