Last year, the hubs’ brother & our sister-in-law took our 2 kids for a couple days so we could be there for my sister after my niece was admitted to the NICU. They already had 3 kids, I thought my SIL was insane! But, two of her kids are teenagers, so she claimed it wasn’t a big deal, and they all had fun together.
A year later, the hubs & I decided to pay-it-forward; we offered to take his only sister’s 2 children overnight, so she could participate in the RiverBank Run here in GR. Mind you, my niece & nephew are 10 months & 2 years old, and our kids are 4 & 7. I realized it could be a chaotic mess… but what’s two more, really?
Greg’s sis freaked out a bit, worrying about every last detail and called several times after she completed her race… but her kids were like a yummy piece of cake: easy to devour for the short amount of time we had them.
If you have kids old enough to throw a tantrum to end all tantrums &/or verbalize their opinions on everything from what they’re eating to where we’re going… I’m sure you understand what I mean. Kids under 3 seem SO easy to me!!
I had a bundle of emotions to deal with after losing my little Tenacious D. Once I learned Delaney suffered massive brain damage, my eyes would well-up just hearing a baby cry… they still do on occasion, that loss is still fairly raw. I went through the same river of emotions after losing my nephew 9 years ago. But this time, it was harder… because I was a Momma, and she was my first niece I was related to by blood.
When I visited my niece Cece at my MIL’s a couple months back, Cece was going through some major separation anxiety, and if she was away from her Momma for a second, she would burst into tears. Let me tell you, that ripped my heart out. Everyone said “Oh, she does that to me too.” But I didn’t care, I was up for the challenge. You know, that challenge & desire to calm down the baby yourself? They have such limited needs compared to a 4 yo throwing a tantrum!
I’d dart into another room so Momma would be out of sight, but Momma would hear Cece cry and rush by her side to take her away. It was crushing… and extremely difficult for me because I just needed to hold a baby again. I felt like Delaney was being ripped out of my arms all over again.
Last weekend, even though her Momma seemed so worried the entire time they were out of her control… her 2 year old son & 10 month old daughter were in very capable hands. If I do say so myself. Sure, they both woke up a few times in the middle of the night… but I didn’t mind calming a baby back to sleep at 10:30p, midnight & 2am. She was way easier to calm down without her Momma hovering. And the hubs took care of James’ when he woke up at 3am. I think Uncle Barney liked having a little boy to take care of for a change.
When the kids woke up in the morning, all 4 were happy and snuggly. Easy-breezy. I was tired, but I didn’t care. I didn’t even want to put Cece down for her morning nap, but remembering how crucial naps were to my babies, I reluctantly did, and then spent some time with my nephew.
I was so happy that all 4 kids did so well, I became drunk on baby-love and briefly considered trying for just one more. But all it took was seeing one of my older kids throw a fit over something pointless to realize that sad reality: babies grow up. And sure, one night of lost sleep is doable… but my oldest didn’t sleep through the night until she was 14 months… what if we had a baby like that again? Walking the floors and sleep-walking through another year? I’m too old for that shit! I do enjoy my kids going to bed at 8:30p and sleeping peacefully until morning. And diapers? I didn’t mind changing my niece & nephew… but… I really don’t miss diapers one bit.
So I’ll just have to savor every toothless smile and baby giggle from my nieces & nephews when I am gifted with those beautiful, but all too brief moments.
Delaney will have a baby brother very soon… my nephew is due next month! SQUEEEEE!
A day in the life of a Momma of 4 was fun, but life is so good with my 2 kids… I’ll continue to embrace what I have.