lessons learned…

i have my sister’s kids for a few days. needless to say, yesterday was a tiny bit of a disaster. no blood, no broken bones, nothing like that – just lots of little mistakes. partly because i just don’t really have the stuff to entertain a 3 year old and a 5 year old for 3 days. especially if it’s raining, like it is today. they sure don’t care that it’s raining so i suppose we could go play outside. i don’t really want to sit outside though because i’m a pansy. i figure, though, that they can entertain themselves for a few hours today while i do the stuff that i do. you know, like blog, check my email, that kind of stuff.

however, i’ve definitely LEARNED from yesterday, though. like…

  • they take a nap when i say so and NOT an hour before supper.
  • they need to be watched a tiny bit more when playing on a playground. not ALWAYS a spectator sport
  • meals are NOT an option

you know, things like that. i’ve kinda felt like yesterday was a TOTAL failure, but when i think about it, i only made, like, 4 mistakes. they just seemed so big at the time but they’re really not.

i just know that i’m not ready to be a mom to a 4 and 5 year old right now. i’d MUCH rather start from scratch and figure it out as i go along. and i know that when i have kids, i’m going to be making mistakes like that all the time and feeling dumb and kinda like a failure, but it’s important to remember that EVERY mom and EVERY dad does too. EVERYONE who’s had a kid makes those mistakes. when they’re tired or annoyed or angry or whatever. heck, even when they’re not.

kids are tough to figure out, especially when they spend all their time at their OWN house and things there work differently than they do here. it’s a bit of a learning curve for them to come to a new place with new people and new places and new rules. sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s worth fighting, what’s not, and how to DEAL with the stuff worth fighting for.

having another person here to deal with the kids is kind of a double edged sword too. on one hand, it’s REALLY nice to have them there to help with getting ready and whatnot. just helping to take care. on the other hand, it can be stressful because they’re doing things differently or sometimes just don’t know what to do. sometimes you BOTH don’t know what to do or how to handle a certain situation. i’d definitely rather HAVE someone else around than do it myself though. for SURE! i can’t imagine doing this on my own. of course, i wouldn’t be a stay at home mom and that’s part of the stress too – being home all the time, dealing with them all the time – it’s stressful.

then, of course, there are the rules. of course, it again comes down to the ‘what’s worth fighting about?’ question. are the rules that one deems necessary really necessary? what if one person thinks one rule is necessary but the other doesn’t? i know from my point of view, i find it more important to stand united – especially when it’s just for a few days. i know that to undermine one is to undermine BOTH because it causes confusion. and of course, rules are for naught if the kids aren’t trained to listen to and follow rules. fortunately, these kids listen to rules well (for the most part). i HAVE found then when we’re out, the fewer rules the better. it’s better to have one or two rules that cover the REALLY important stuff than to have 10 rules that cover the most important to that which isn’t important at all. like… not crossing the street without holding hands or without looking. things like that.

all in all, having kids is HARD work. i’m glad that i have a couple kids that i can borrow for multiple days to remind me that having kids is going to be HARD work and helps to remind me WHY we’re waiting. helps me remember that it’s going to be hard to have kids and go to school and do well. of course, you find a way to do it, but i’d much rather not work it that way. i definitely WANT kids, but not for a while. they’re VERY rewarding but a lot of work.

so, for the next few days, there will be a lot of lessons to learn, a lot of work to do, and a lot of fun to have because they ARE fun kids.


5 thoughts on “lessons learned…

  1. your favorite sister says:

    take them to the dinosaur place in the mall. Before nap time. Burn of some crazy energy and then they can pass out.

  2. LiLu says:

    “of course, it again comes down to the ‘what’s worth fighting about?’ question.”

    Ha… when you put it that way, you kind of realize that marriage is like training for having kids… 😉

  3. lurking dad says:

    It is much easier when you get to start from the beginning. You work up to the point where they can do all this stuff. You have a good idea of what they will do. They will have an idea of what they (maybe) shouldn’t do. Familiarity does breed contempt, but it also helps to give you an idea of what is going on and what could possibly happen. We did plenty wrong. So far 2 of 3 have lived long enough to get out of the house alive. 🙂

  4. nicopolitan says:

    Surprising how much you can learn from kids, eh?

    Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to have an absolute grasp on logic for reasoning behind things. “Because I say so” actually works in that age range for asserting authority. A warning though: use “because I say so” while you still can, because they’ll figure it out eventually.

    Unless these are super smart kids, which can be likely, and in that case I might not be adding anything here. 😉

    • cari says:

      actually, i use that all the time. that and ‘what did i just say?’ i am all about absolute authoritarianism when they’re, oh say, under 6. what i say goes and if they don’t like it, not my problem. haha.

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