Well, we are all feeling better now and I babysat my neighbor's son, Jacob, today. I will be babysitting him every Thursday morning from now through August, so I should get lots of practice with a 21 month old before Bear hits that age. I was a little nervous for two reasons: 1)His mother brought Jacob over yesterday, just so he could see my house before he was left here and, man, that kid was ALL OVER THE PLACE. At one point, he brought me a screwdriver, and I was all Where did you get that???!! He ran into each room, checking it out and grabbing something any chance he got. 2) I've done lots of babysitting, but never for a very young baby and a toddler at the same time. Most of the kids I babysat were older, and therefore more self sufficient.
Contrary to my fears, the babysitting went very well! I learned quite a few things during the few hours that I had another kid in my house:
*Have an activity or a routine planned, if at all possible. Kids do bad stuff (like throw blocks at my baby) when they are bored.
*Cabinet locks are a MUST. I realized this both when I discovered my Christmas candles on the floor and when Jacob handed me a bottle of disinfectant.
*Television remotes + toddlers= bad news. It took a good while to find the batteries to mine.
*Lids on cups are a good idea. I cleaned lemonade and milk off my kitchen floor today.
*Always have durable cloths handy in the kitchen--especially if you feed a kid peanut butter and jelly.
*Kids think empty cardboard boxes are awesome--way more awesome than any toy you could offer them.
Here's the most important thing I learned, though:
* I CAN SO DO THIS!! I have been worried for months that Bear would end up an only child. I never wanted this for him in theory, but I thought he took up so much of my time and attention that I wouldn't be able to focus on another child. WRONG. I can definitely handle both of them. Now, I admit, I've only done the multiple child thing for one day so far, but it was so much easier than I thought it would be. I thought I would be worn out and need a nap when Jacob's mother came to pick him up, but I'm fine! This is very exciting for me to have learned this and I'm really glad I took on the babysitting. I can't wait to share this with Max...I'm pretty sure he'll be overjoyed.
Check out Jacob and Bear playing together today. Bear was so interested in everything Jacob was doing, he was actually calmer than he is when he's the only kid around! By the way, I'm holding Bear up in the picture, even though it doesn't look like it. He can sit up on his own for about 1 minute, but not if he's looking around and playing.