I’ve done it. I crossed that sacred line in a friendship with a childless friend and I asked her to babysit.
This friend adores my children – probably in part because I’ve never left her alone with them – but tomorrow that may all change. She has graciously agreed to help me out in a pinch and watch my kids for a few hours while I go to a meeting because my husband is out of town and every other sitter was booked.
After fielding questions from her like, “Do I need to feed them?” I assured her I would give her an exact play-by-play. I don’t want to insult her with my directions, but I also don’t want to leave her guessing. She is that super fun pseudo-auntie who never ceases to give my kids candy right before dinner, accidentally drop an F-bomb in front of them, get them riled up right before bedtime, and leave them begging to see her again.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Don’t give them any candy.
- Don’t hang them upside down by their ankles after 8 pm.
- Don’t let them run around outside alone at night.
- Don’t give them cigarettes.
- Don’t listen to them when they say their bedtime is 10 pm.
- Don’t let them watch The Walking Dead.
- Don’t let the toddler poop on the floor.
- Don’t feel bad if the toddler poops on the floor.
- Don’t bother trying to brush the toddler’s teeth. Save yourself.
- Don’t feel bad if you can’t get them to go to sleep.
- Don’t feel bad if you can’t get them to do anything.
- Don’t feel bad.
I’m going to save a copy for myself as well.
This reminds me of the time my single (at the time) brother in law watched my kids and decided to take them down the street for a Popsicle. When I got home he was still traumatized and covered in sticky.
Rule #1 for a non-parent when watching small children: Never Attempt to Take Them Somewhere Else. Holy PTSD.
Kids are HARD, man.
I entered this whole comment and then WP had a meltdown, because of a wp.com issue on my end… Anyway, I cannot retype it all. Short version: “save yourself” and “don’t feel bad” – love it! Excellent advice for dealing with toddlers and life.
My sister actually bowed to me when she AND my dad and kinda my mom watched the twins at my grandparents’ house – I was pregnant with Zoe at the time – so Christian and I could go out. They were trying to make dinner for everyone and keep my not-yet-2-year-olds out of everything at my grandma’s house. I was like “You were trying to make dinner? That was your first mistake.”