The mister and I became parents Saturday before last.
Well, ok, temporary parents.
A coworker of mine has two little girls, ages 8 and 3, and needed some time alone to pack their house in peace. Enter the Chesnuts.
We picked the girls up at around 1:30, unsure if the youngest daughter, who is typically very clingy, would even let Mommy out of her sight. But, to the shock of her mother, she went quietly – content to ride in the car regardless of who happened to be driving.
After two hours at the city park and another at a McDonald’s play place, the mister and I returned the girls alive and (mostly) well. The baby was actually sound asleep when we got her home, to the joy and relief of her mother. I’m pretty sure we got bonus points for that, even though she’s now limping (it was a short fall and it’s not swollen!).
While we both enjoyed our little foray into parenthood, the mister and I collapsed onto our bed at around 6:30 that night and agreed we had learned several things:
- Our quiet rides in the car are limited. Once we have children they will never stop talking.
- It really is hard to concentrate on driving when the little ones are reaching for things, asking for things and messing with each other behind you.
- The delighted shriek when you pull out Dum-Dums lollipops is both ear-splitting and adorable.
- McDonald’s really doesn’t put enough food in a happy meal after a long, hard afternoon of playing.
- My shoulders are too old to enjoy the monkey bars.
- When you are 8, “base” is wherever you happen to be standing when you get too tired to run any farther.
As I stood at the McDonalds counter and ordered two girls’ happy meals while juggling a baby on my hip and another asking for her drink cup, it occurred to me that, if these children were my own, I would have been 14 when the oldest was born. I wonder how many of the parents behind me were silently doing the same math.
I know of some young women my age who have kids in school. In SCHOOL!! I can’t imagine having a child in utero, much less in kindergarten!
I went through a period of HORRIBLE baby fever this past spring. It was to the point that I couldn’t even play with other babies without crying because I wanted my own so badly. Now I’ve mostly moved on, although I still feel a slight twinge when the really adorable ones go by.
Watching the girls helped reinforce the reality that, while we do want children and the girls were very well behaved, the mister and I are not quite ready to have our own yet. A few more years and several more afternoon babysitting jobs under our belts and we’ll see what happens.