Sunday, 26 January 2014

#205: Babysit my God Child

One of the things I miss most about my old life is my Ex's family. They were, and are, lovely people. While I/we made the choice not to have children, we were not short of children in our lives. I was 'Aunty Ali' to many of my Ex's family and friends' children and we spent many weekends around families and children. While not having kids was the right decision for me/us, now that we've split, I really do miss having children in my life like I used to.

While I'm no longer a part of the immediate family, since our split my Ex's sister and husband have reassured me that they continue to want me in their kids' lives. And for that, I'm incredibly grateful. It so easily could have ended up differently (and still may...you never know). No longer being with my Ex though means that I have to negotiate a small minefield to ensure I'm not intruding, overstepping my bounds or inadvertently causing problems.  At age 2 and 6 years old, the kids are now old enough for me to visit and look after confidently on my own. So I plucked up the courage to offer to babysit by myself for the first time, to let their mom and dad go out for dinner while I looked after the kids and put them to bed.

I loved every minute of it, even the 50 mins the two year old spent screaming bloody murder refusing to go to sleep. No matter what I did she would not go down. Rocking and singing, check. Dancing, check. Diaper check, check. Blanky, check. Reading another story, check. Even the go-to, stand-by failed: Peppa Pig failed to soothe. At one point the 6 year old suggested I just give her Calpol. I thought about it, but decided that drugging the baby was probably not going to result in a repeat visit, except to have child services arrest me. The 6 year old may have been talking a lot of sense about wanting his sister to quiet down, but I suspect he just wanted me more focused on our Army/War game.

 I'm happy to say that by the time their parents came home, the baby was asleep and the 6 year old was in bed. I'm hoping I can do it again sometime soon.

 Photo credit: Tang Yan Song / Shutterstock

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