Tribune Tries It: Babysitting

The very familiar sound of the “Goodbye. We’ll be home later. We love you.” and the door shuts behind them as they leave.

It’s something that we’ve all had done for us as little children. When we thought we were big enough to stay home alone and take care of ourselves, our parents disagreed and  sent for one of their friends’ older kids to “keep an eye on us.”  Now, the table has turned, and most, if not all of us, have either been paid or volun-told to take part in the act known as Babysitting.

It all started normal enough. My older cousin had several appointments to run in the day and her two sons needed to be watched for a few hours. No big deal, right?

Things started smoothly as I arrived to her home and the two children, ages 2 and 4, were watching Spongebob and had just eaten. It was too good to be true, they were tired and almost ready to sleep as I walked in on them. It was a clever trap. Almost simultaneously as the door closed Spongebob decided to change to iCarly and then it began.

“Wuke… We don’t want to watch this,” said the 4 year old and he was instantly echoed by his younger brother. “Okay, I can handle this,” I thought to myself, “we haven’t even gotten out the toys yet.”  I turned the T.V. off and brought out the John Deere tractors, their favorite. Needless to say it was a success, as it entertained them for a good half hour.

A little known fact about toddlers is that playing with John Deere tractors works up a thirst for juice. Luckily the fridge was in ready supply and it solved the immediate issue until the infamous and inevitable spill occurred. As most of these spills do, it went everywhere and anywhere that it could. It went places that I wasn’t even aware were places. Again however, a quick wardrobe change for them and a quarter roll of paper towels later all was fine again.

Enter the final challenge: nap time. I am convinced that if a 2 year old refuses to sleep, it cannot be done except by divine intervention. Nothing would work despite the best efforts of myself and the Barney lullaby, he would not sleep. But then it occurred to me, the one thing that I had not tried. It was my ace. It was my last chance.

It was that night that I discovered that playing “Stairway to Heaven” on guitar can in fact put both raging tyrants and rambunctious toddlers to sleep. Mission accomplished.

All was right in the world by the time mommy was done with her errands. “How were they?” She asked, and of course the only reply I could give was, “They were little angels.”