No going back

How did I look after my two kids when they were little?

Yesterday, we picked up the younger cousins (4 & 3) for a sleepover.  My sister-in-law needed some free time to pack as they are moving house soon.

The big cousins are fantastic with them.  Hide and seek, mudworld, swimming, they are like built-in au pairs who look after the two littlies with good grace and humour.

Within an hour of getting home yesterday, in the middle of the first game of hide and seek though, the 3 year old started crying, holding her neck.

There was no blood but she was in a lot of pain and couldn’t be comforted.

We all packed into the car and went to see the doctor who prescribed Painstop and thought she must have strained her neck, like whiplash.

It did put a damper on things but Dippity remembered the chocolate icecream we’d bought and the Princesses DVD and 3 decided that she wanted to stay on the sleepover!

Dippity was brilliant at cuddling her and distracting her from the pain.  Brilliant.

Of course I rang her mum to let her know of the drama but that 3 seemed okay if sore.

The rule with children is “never wake a sleeping child”, we all know that, but because of the suspected head injury the doctor advised that we should. 

So we did, and she cried, so we gave her some more medicine and took her for a wee and she went back to sleep.

In the morning she was fine.  Her neck still stiff and putting a tee-shirt on and off painful, but smiling and wanting to go for a swim.

(We rang mum to tell her she was better, and mum reported a lovely sleep-in)

Today we’ve had mudworld, a swim, a tv show and now they are walking to the DVD library for a movie (we’re hoping it will tire them out a bit).

I’ve got 20 minutes to write this and reflect, maybe finish a cup of tea.

You know, I don’t think I could look after little ones again full-time.  They are exhausting!  Little balls of never-ending energy.  

I’d forgotton how you become the entertainment machine – always thinking ahead to the next activity, the next snack, the next meal.

It makes me appreciate my teenagers.  Sure, sometimes you only get the odd grunt out of them but they are self sufficient.

And I especially appreciate how good they are with their small cousins.

6 Replies to “No going back”

  1. I’ve just had six days of camping with five other families, all of them with children aged between 18 months and 7 years (about ten kids in all) I am again reminded of how glad I am that mine have moved beyond nappies, night-time waking, early mornings (5.30am!), grizzling, fussing, attention-seeking… etc. Mine aren’t quite teenagers yet so we’re not quite up to grunting, but they can certainly do most things themselves. Phew!

  2. I used to love looking after littlies. I would do childminding for mums who worked and usually had one, sometimes two, all day in addition to my four. I sometimes thought that when mine were grown and gone I’d be a foster parent. Now, though, nothing could be further from my mind. The constant go-go-go, the comforting of night crying, the thinking ahead 24/7…
    Oh no, that’s not for me.

  3. Are your two available for Hire or Lease???

    Man do we need a couple of older cousins like that right now – sheesh! Or more correctly – I think it’s the XO who needs some of that help right about now… poor bugger – she’s completely knackered!

    How indeed – I wonder that each day – and we’ve got many more yaers to go lol

    Cheers CB – hope you and yours are all well… 😉

  4. Darling I don’t recall that we did look after them. I recall us sitting the children at the table with chicken and carrot sticks etc (always healthy) and leaving them to it while we opened a botlle of wine……………..we used to say that a sensible level of neglect was healthy for all concerned….we were SUCH BAD MOTHERS

  5. I just spent 4 days with a 3 and a half year old. Mine’s only four years on from that but gee I don’t miss the 3 year old stage. He actually wasn’t too bad and I can get him to bed easier than his mum. I’ll bet your sister in law appreciated the break though.

  6. My teenagers can cook gourmet meals (daughter is a chef) and actually iron their own clothes. As my 15 year old son said, “Mum, we had no choice!”

    I didn’t so much neglect them as taught them independence skills – from the couch with a bottle of wine.

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