Ten years ago, I made a visit to an adoption agency to ask a few questions about adopting from China. I was very disappointed when they tried to talk me into adopting a baby from another country. This really was not what I was interested in but wasn't sure how to say it without seeming offensive or ruining my chances for adopting. As a last minute thought, the case worker casually mentioned a waiting child program from China. She wasn't sure of any of the details but suggested I might call this other agency for more information. Before I left that parking lot, I had the other agency on the phone and the case worker was telling me about their program for older children to be adopted. I knew that sounded just right for me, as I was unprepared to adopt a baby.
Flash forward to last Friday and I found myself face to face with what I knew I was unprepared for ten years earlier, taking care of babies! My niece needed some help and I volunteered to take care of her two daughters for the day. I admitted to my daughters that I was quite nervous about the prospects and if they had not been taking end of course exams, I think I would have agreed to them staying home for the day.
At drop off time, I had only had 1 cup of coffee and was pretty sure I needed more, but I did not want to risk any tears when they mom left, so I quickly turned all my attention to them. My mom came over to lend a hand and while she was here, I decided we would do the craft I had bought - a garden stepping stone with their hand prints in it to present to their mother for Mother's Day. I scanned the directions, which I should have done the night before, and we moved into the kitchen so I could mix up the ingredients. Olivia, who is 1, decided to explore the work area of my girls and Isabel, who is 2, just asked me questions. I mixed up the first batch and poured it into the mold and even though the directions said to work quickly, I didn't know they meant lightening speed! And as I mixed up the second batch, I realized the first batch had already set! The stuff was as hard as a rock! There was no time to press their sweet little hands into the plaster before it was too late. And while I was checking on the first one, the second one set! Only this time in the bowl I was mixing it in! Now I had used both packets and did not have the wonderful gift planned for their mother. Not to be outdone, I resorted to plaster of paris and thought it would have to do, only it was too mushy and I decided it should set a little or their hands would be a huge mess.
We moved back to the newspaper covered area to paint the first solid undecorated block of cement while waiting on the third attempt to be ready to receive their precious hand prints. Five minutes passed way too quickly and when I looked at our third try, it was also solid as a rock. And when I looked back at my charges, they were covered with paint, from between their nose to Olivia's entire nose! I am still intent on making Marcie a present so I run back to the kitchen for an apron to decorate with their painted hand prints. When I tried to get them to put their hands on the apron, they looked at me like I was trying to cut off their hands, panic! They knew they weren't supposed to be wiping their hands on things like that! Four failed craft projects were not enough to slow us down, so we went outside.
We tried coloring with chalk on the sidewalk but opted instead for a walk. Iz decided she did not want to ride in the stroller and would just walk instead, which was not my first choice, but we forged ahead. Pretty quickly I asked her if she wanted to hold my hand and she said, "Thank you Jerri" like I had done her a favor. So sweet.
We saw the block, lots of flowers, some big trucks, and heard lots of dogs bark. When we got home, I knew I was a failure as a day care center because I turned the TV on for a little quiet time. Quiet time quickly turned to snack time which at the end of it, I realized should have been lunch time, so we just went straight into lunch. I opened up their Lunchables and they went straight for the oreos, bypassing the turkey, cheese, and crackers. Oh dear! Mom dropped back by in time to find me with two children with chocolate crumbs covering their faces and most of the rest of the lunchable on the floor!
We took a break outside and I knew we needed a nap instead.
Nap time turned into exercise time when it was discovered that my bed could double as a bounce house. I tried all the secrets I could think of to get them to both lay down at once, even laying still with my own eyes closed. This must have made my face very interesting and Olivia started sticking her finger into my nose, then around my eye, and then into my mouth. All I could do was laugh.
We were all to tired to sit still in the house so we loaded up the stroller one more time and took a much longer walk with both girls riding this time. I told them we would have a picnic and I really meant to but they ate all the snacks in the bag before we got to the end of the block! We ended up at the dollar store and stocked up on more snacks, bubble wands, and ice cream. I knew Iz had an odor emanating from her but earlier Olivia had tricked me with what I thought was just a wet diaper and ended up changing my first poopy diaper in years, so I wasn't brave enough to do that again.
We only had about 30 minutes before their mom would be back so we sampled the ice cream, the dum dum suckers, and the bubbles. By the time Marcie got there, both girls looked like they had been wrestling hogs in a mud pit! And Iz still had that odor! I'm not sure which of us was the most glad to see her! I helped her pack up her two and went to get my two.
I was sure glad that night that I had two 15 year olds rather than a 1 and a 2 year old to get to bed! God knew what he was doing when he blessed with my girls!