Monday, 14 October 2013

Just call us Nanny 911

So this past weekend, my brother in law celebrated his birthday, and as a treat to both him and my sister, Andel and I offered to take their kids (4 year old Jorja and 18 month old Ethan) overnight so that they could celebrate together, and get a well-deserved break.

I must admit, leading up to it, we were a little nervous. Especially Andel. He was pretty confident that Jorja would be fine (in fact, that she'd love the idea of spending the night with us), but he was not convinced about Ethan (apparently, as a mother, I don't really get the panic that sets into a man's heart when he's looking after a child that's only looking for their momma). I just didn't really give that much thought (perhaps I was just hoping for the best!).

So come Friday, after savouring the last few minutes of silence at the office, I went to fetch the boys from daycare. Ethan was just waking from a nap, so it was touch and go for a moment there, but soon enough he and Zac were in the car, singing along to African Tree House, and eating dry cocoa-pops (courtesy of Yaya).

We got home and the boys played. Quietly. Without fighting. And Ethan was not looking for his Mom. Andel and I were a little skeptical! Then Jorja joined us  after an outing with her Ma, and we were certain it would get a little crazy. Well, sure enough, the volume increased (exponentially), but other than that, they were still all fine.

Come 21h00, all the kids had eaten, we'd watched Ice Age, and Jorja and Zac were in bed fast asleep. Ethan joined them a little while later, and at 22h00, Andel and I were sipping warm drinks, and watching The Heat.

Ok, so they did wake up during the night. But only once. And because the one woke the others, they were all awake at the same time (which is way better than them all waking up at different times). And within an hour (after I was on the couch with all 3 of them), they were all fast asleep in their respective beds. And that's where they stayed until 07h30!

When all else fails, huddle them all together

When PJ and Ash got back on Saturday, just before lunch, they could hardly believe it: the boys were napping in the room, and Jorja was quietly watching an episode of Recess with Andel. Go Team!

Uncle Andel's girl

Thank God for small mercies!

While I'm in no rush to become a permanent mother of 3, it's was certainly a fun-filled adventure, that I'm pleased to say went very well. And what an accomplishment - and confidence booster - that is, as we are doing this again when PJ and Ash celebrate their wedding anniversary in December!

 PJ and Ashleigh's sweet, angel kids

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mothering Boys...

... apparently, is not at all like mothering girls.

Having watched a number of sisters grow up, and having had a (free) hand in raising Jorja, I can think back fondly on all the things we got to do with her when she was a baby. It mostly included dancing and singing, or playing with teddies (and other soft things) - you know, the gentle stuff. As a result I never really thought about playing 'hazards' until Zac (and I purposely say Zac, and not Ethan, because before Zac, Ethan was the sweetest thing!).

Well, I have recently had a good dose of reality! Over the long Heritage weekend at the end of last month Andel, Zac and I went to spend a few days at my in-laws - and I got a real taste of mothering boy(s) when Zac had two accidents:

First, a matter of hours after we arrived, while playing in an empty pond in the garden, Zac took a dive into the side, cutting his eye open on a corner of some exposed brickwork, and alerting the entire neighbourhood to his loud voice and strong will.

Mommy's blue-eyed boy

Well, after a short cuddle, a long feed, and an application of steri-strip, Zac was nearly good as new.
Until the next day, when while sweeping the kitchen, he tripped over the broom, and scraped open a number of fingers on his left hand - causing yet another loud episode in a rather small and quiet town!

What a weekend! Having been warned of the possibilities of things to come, I must admit, there is the temptation to lock Zac up in a fully padded room, and make him read for the next few years - but I know that wouldn't help much. Besides, all this nerve-wrecking adventure is the fun that comes with having boys!