Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Single Parent for a Day

I know, for a whole day.  Really tough, right?  Well, not actually a full day.  Just the evening hours.

SwimSis is working a conference in addition to her job and Coach is...coaching!

I picked the SwimTot up from preschool at the Y.  She was full of energy and was walking a bit ahead of me out of the classroom.  When she got to the corner, and I was 10 ft behind, she gave me this look.  That look that this afterschool thing was a game and I was going to have to chase her.  Ugh.  I said "No, do not run, you need to stay with me".  I turned the corner and she was not in sight.  Well, there were a million places to hide.  On the sides of the vending machines, under tables, did she sneak into another classroom, etc.  No.  I searched for at least a full minute and starting to go into panic mode.  I'm pretty laid back so it takes a while to get me there.  And as I approached the man at the front desk I see her.  Coming down the next hallway, in a full sprint, from outside.

Who?  This sweet little thing?
PS I loved her hair that length!  That was 3 yrs ago, not 4!

I tried to put on my mean face like SwimSis does, but SwimTot was not fazed.  She tried to dart up the stairs to a workout room.  I sternly told her to get down and then sat down in a chair with her to make sure she knew she was in the wrong.  She tried to wrestle from me and then I did it.

I declared that she was in a time out.

Now, that may not sound like much, but it is not something she gets from her parents.  No TV or toys?  This girl lives for her "shows".

Nope, no way.

In between cries and begging for ice cream, I talked to TeenSwimSis (yep, flew back from camp today, lost 13.5 lbs while there!) and that kept SwimTot awake, whereas she would have zonked out most days.

We entered the house and she sat on the stairs and declared she wasn't moving.


We went up to her room and she was to lay on her bed no TV or toys.  I didn't have a specific amount of time down, but it was 10 mins.  When I was a nanny, one of my biggest pet peeves was asking/whining to get out of time out (my nanny time outs were shorter!).  I made her wait 2 more minutes until she stopped asking.

Then we got on with our evening.  We took a Pluot outside as a snack (I bought some last week - 2 lbs for $1.50!  Plus I got some in my delivery) and the corn I got in my Green Bean Delivery.  We shucked the corn and it reminded me of going to my grandparents and preparing food straight out of their garden.  I want that someday!  But for now, this would do.

I think kids are much more independent and capable than their parents can realize sometimes.  SwimTot can't get her own dinner, but she can clear her place, rinse her dishes, etc.  Well, I let her cut her own strawberries with a butter knife!  She was so cute too.  So proud.  I always give lectures on safety, lol.  I made sure she knew she was using a butter knife and where they were located and why she got that one.  I told her was not to use the other knives and why.  She seemed to get it.  Around this time, she tried a cucumber I was cutting up.  She didn't love it, but she kept taking small nibbles.

No TV did not mean no entertainment.  We put on music.  She said she wanted just instruments, so we listened to the symphonic channel and before dinner we put on the Be-Tween channel (age appropriate pop songs).

Love this kid!
We got through the evening with some sassiness and Barbies.  We did watch a little TV, but it was what I wanted (Trading Spouses!).  She wasn't very interested.  We did a modified bedtime routine (hers usually involves TV) and she was out around 9:30.

And I still had to clean up dinner, and make my lunch for tomorrow, and follow up about a car on Craigslist.

Geeeesh parents.  I don't even know how you do it.  Extreme admiration from this single lady!

After all of my nagging and reinforcing safety with her today (like every half hour!), hopefully she will not run away from me at the YMCA, or outside like she did twice yesterday while we were home.

At the end of the day, it was an "I love you so much!  Best Friends!" Can't get enough of this kid, even if she is a brat!  Today was good for both of us, and for that, I am thankful.


  1. Oh she IS a cutie! Taking care of kids zaps me mostly because I am not used to it and I actually engage them (like you do). It takes effort.

    Kids CAN do more than parents think.

    Many years ago I lost my niece. I left her at dance (toddler dance) and went across the street to pick up pictures for my SIL (She told me to do this!). When I got back little miss was hiding from me in the closet where they keep the shoes. I have never in my life ever panicked so hard. THEN I was so flustered (after locating her) that I lost the car keys (they were on top of the truck). I buckled her in searched the car, the parking lot... and then found them. MADNESS.

    Love sassiness and barbies.

  2. Your niece is totes adorable. And you're such a good auntie :) I'm with you I haven't a clue how parents do it!!!