Stir Crazy and Sitters

We had a pretty awesome day yesterday.  For the first time, the kids spent time with a 'real babysitter' (someone who's not a blood relative).  We've always felt that we've had enough help between our family, and occasionally a friend, to watch the kids.  Plus, we're kind of homebodies and enjoy a regular 'date night' meal on Saturdays at home (where you can drink expensive wine without crazy markups!) after the kids go to bed.  It seemed silly to pay around $50 to go out for dinner when we could go out every 2-3 months for free when one grandma or the other was visiting from Chicago.  Alas, travelling is not necessarily easy on my mom right now and my MIL just went through back surgery, so visits are sparse right now.  Usually we have someone in town around the end of July for my birthday and it just wasn't happening this year, so I finally got the ball rolling on finding a sitter.  I asked a trusted mom friend, who took this plunge somewhat recently as well, for a few referrals.  I think the hardest part of it all is making that initial contact and that first meeting.  It's like going on a date or something!  Really that was what kept me dragging my feet. I have no problem whatsoever handing my punks over to (trustworthy) strangers: they learned to deal with the Y daycare at a young age, as well as at a local drop-off day care facility and, of course, preschool.  There's just something a bit more intimate about bringing someone to your home and taking over routines (like dinner and bedtime) that the kids can get twitchy about. 

All went swimmingly with our initial 'getting to know you' visit and I even escaped for an hour and a half to get a pedicure.  Oh yes I did.  I was most worried about baby girl throwing an epic two-year-old fit, but she was distracted enough by this new person to just look at me like a bit of a deer in the headlights when I told her goodbye.  And, really, I suppose that's a sitter's job - to deal with that goodbye tantrum.  I remember dealing when I was a babysitter; it just seems weird to be on the other end of things as a mom now.  I was even hoping baby girl would get her morning biz-ness done in her diaper so the sitter wouldn't have to deal, like getting the house tidy before the cleaning people show up.  I kinda remember that from back when we used to have them...

When I got home, big brother had a little pouty fit because he didn't want the babysitter to leave and gave her at least two hugs goodbye. That went completely as expected: he's Mr. Outgoing, Chatty and Wants to be Everyone's Friend.  I sometimes fear he may have a little 'windy city' politician in him...  FYI, that's why Chicago is called the windy city, not because of the wind - because of the long winded politicians (I can work the subject of my hometown into any topic). 

Anyhow!  They're looking forward to her next visit at the end of the month, and hopefully many more after that.  Because, man, not only was it the right time logistically with the lack of family support, but the kids are at an age where they're at each other like CATS AND DOGS.  All day, every day is one EPIC FIGHT over something one kid has and the other one wants.  And it's always something that they could care less about, they just want to push each others buttons.  Does anyone have any surefire tips on that front?  We usually set timers for toys to take turns, keep special toys away from each other in his/her room, and if all else fails put the toy in 'time out' if they can't get over it.  But it's not like these things lessen the fighting: just buys me time until the next coveted object comes on the scene.  And summer is making it SO much worse - they're together most all the livelong day and are going a little crazy without their routines.  Outbursts are abundant.  I had a nice little public meltdown/throwdown with big brother over STICKERS at the Y the other day and I can't even remember the last time he acted like such an ass - probably over a year?  Ugh.  Just when you think they're maturing a bit, they throw a curve ball at you.  I should take my own advice and just relax and give them time.

We're going raspberry picking tomorrow, a little family road trip next week and then another sports camp the following week to break things up, thankfully.  Meanwhile, I'll just keep looking at these pictures to remember what fun summer can be and how well they are truly capable of playing together.


  1. Lindsay ChristiansonJuly 17, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I hear ya on the kids at each other's throats... it's the same story at my house so no worries. I hope your summer is treating you well and I'd love to get together again sometime. Enjoy your road trip (we're gone next week to Lake Wenatchee) but let's do keep in touch... we're going to hit the Cottage Lake Pool if all weather is well this Friday. And maybe even next Friday because we will be back from camping. Take care!

    1. Hello! Yes, we'll be hitting cottage lake next week, I'm sure - maybe we'll try a Friday.. Although, the weekday open swim is usually during my 2 year old's naptime :(

      BTW, I'm thinking of doing the Covey Run this year - is that one that you've done/are possibly thinking about?