For some reason or another, my husband and I didn't leave our kids with a babysitter for several weeks. We've ended up going out the last couple of weekends though and have had a very sweet older woman come and keep our three boys. Now when I say older, I would put this woman at about the age of my grandmother. Even though she definitely looks the part, she has an amazing amount of energy and is great with small children. My seven-year-old has told me how nice she is and how she will do anything for them. Well, our three-year-old has not been taking to the idea of a babysitter. In fact, when he realizes he's about to be left with the aforementioned babysitter, he goes into complete hysterics and starts crying and screaming and attempts to fling his small body out the door when we try to leave. She tells us, and I have no reason not to believe her, that he calms down the second we toss him back in and close the door. But still. . . the drama.
Tonight there was a large squadron social function, and the older babysitter is quite the hot commodity and was already booked. I was able, however, to get our pastor's thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth to babysit. I told our little guy that we would be going out tonight, and he wept bitterly, saying he wanted mommy, not a babysitter. However, as soon as Elizabeth showed up, his demeanor changed immediately. He started doing little flips in the living room in front of her and telling her every species of bear he could name in a voice that was even more high-pitched than usual.
I went back in my bathroom to finish getting ready, and our three-year-old came in a few minutes later. "Mommy," he said (he was positively giddy), "I didn't know Miss Elizabeth was going to look like that!" I could only guess as to what that meant (she's tall for her age and very cute). Then he made an announcement. "Mommy," he said, "I've decided that I like parents, and babysitters, . . . and all kinds of people!!" I'm pretty sure he added the "all kinds of people" in a somewhat pathetic attempt to convince me that he had actually opened his heart to all of humanity and didn't just have a huge toddler crush on Miss Elizabeth. "Well, good, " I said. I mean, what do you say? I half expected him to ask for a squirt of dad's cologne and some mouth wash, but he just bounded back into the living room.
Isn't it a little sad that we start judging people based on how they look when we're three? Not that Elizabeth isn't also oozing inner beauty, because she is, but that wasn't why my son was doing flips in the living room.
Why does parenting have to be so hard?
I thought I should include a picture so you would have a better idea of what I'm dealing with here. Do you see the utter mischievousness dancing in those brown eyes? Heaven help me.