A twin toddler experience

My very close "besty" girlfriend from my mom's group, Patty, is currently pregnant with her second child and she has all-day sickness, an extreme form of morning sickness that lasts all day and her medication knocks her out. This makes it impossible for her to entertain her 19 month old toddler, Ava, and she ended up not having any help from her family this week. The rest of the group members who still SAH (stay at home) with their kids, myself, Christine, Becky and Rachel, all offered to rotate Ava this week to give Patty a break and allow her to take her medication all day and just sleep.

Today was my day and I had Ava from 3PM - 8PM and Christine came over with Mai-An for an hour to help break up the long afternoon.

It went so well!

I wasn't expecting utter chaos, I really wasn't expecting anything, but I had no clue it would go so well, ending with both kids fed, bathed and happy. :) They kept each other entertained, reading (I use that term loosely) books to each other, putting together puzzles, taking turns on the Magnadoodle, kicking balloons down the hallway, chasing the bubbles I was blowing, coloring and snuggling with the stuffed animals in Emily's closet. There wasn't one struggle, one tear, one awkward moment. This must be what parents who send their kids to daycare are always talking about: kids are so well behaved when around other children, out of their parents care. I've also heard kids are on their best behavior, often acting out-of-character because of peer pressure, and Ava definitely exhibited that today, eating ALL the carrots, green beans, peas and corn on her plate at dinnertime, something she doesn't do at home. Crazy! Emily was also on her best behavior, sharing *gasp* her toys without prompting, hugging Ava when she fell down outside, trying to feed Ava at snack time... she was really loving and mothering, it was really sweet.

Emily, Mai-An and Ava, sharing the bubble wand

Motherhood is such a strange, exciting, scary, anxious, doubtful time in life... today was such a great day and I had an epiphany!

I have never taken part in a daytime swap (only evening swaps, after the kids are asleep and that was really just for "date night" purposes): dropping Emily off at a friends house to play for a few hours and then, returning the favor by having another child here with us for a few hours. I don't really know why.

I guess I was a bit hesitant because in the beginning I was breastfeeding so, having someone else try and give her a bottle was big "no" because she hardly took a bottle from us and I can't imagine they would have better success than her own parents. (right?)

Then, she was super picky about home-made baby food and formula and I didn't want to have to send a fridge full of stuff to someone's house for just a few hours and... well, they wouldn't want to deal with such a picky eater. (right?)

Then, it was such a hassle with her need for warm formula and the temperature had to be perfect and well, let's face it, only I was capable of doing that for her. (right?)

Then, it was all about her sleep training and her need to nap in her crib, with her sound machine, with her Bun-Bun and Lambkins, with her pacifier... only I would be able to get her down for her nap and there's no way she'd sleep in a pack 'n play, in a strange house, with the possible distractions of another child who might not be sleeping at the same time! (right?)

Then, it sort of turned into this obsession over me not wanting to be away from her because we got so good at running all our errands together, I didn't need a few hours in the afternoon, twice a week to be alone and do things. What I wasn't realizing is that it wasn't even about that, it didn't have to be about running errands, this was a chance for me to be A-L-O-N-E and do whatever I wanted, in peace and quiet!

And, even with all my hesitations and worries, I was always the first one to offer to keep someone else's kids, knowing that as long as we all played, had fun, didn't get hurt, they would be fine. I offered, not even thinking twice that I wouldn't be able to feed, give a bottle to, play with, entertain, get down for a nap, bathe their child/children.

Why was I not able to realize that my friends, the other mom's with kids Emily's age, probably thought the exact same thing as me? They too were hesitant to swap as well but always offered to keep Emily if I was ill or having a hard day with Emily.

I guess this is just something all us mom's do. ;)


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