Friday, 3 September 2010

3 Days with 3 Under 3

My neighbour asked if I could look after her little girl, who is 1 month older than Beni, while she was at work for 3 days this week. She usually has other childcare arrangements in place but was unable to secure these for this week. I figured this wouldn't be a problem as they quite often come over for coffee so her baby (baby K) is quite familiar with me and the little guys.

I have never really been very 'maternal' or given to being 'clucky'. I used to mostly avoid little people as much as I could, or be quite happy to give them back to their parents as soon as they started crying or made any rumbling sounds from down-under. 

When I was pregnant with Luca there was obviously a little bit of concern on my part... What if I didn't like my baby? There was noone to give him back to! I had to deal with the poos myself (or hand him over to Austin... which happened a lot!) and I would have to settle him down myself when he cries. 
I mean, what is it that you do with children anyway?!?! That is still the million dollar question.

What Do You Do With Children?!?
I remember being a very good and confident babysitter in my teens. 
Feed, bath and put to bed 5 children? No problem. As long as I get to watch a movie and eat your biscuits afterwards.

But then came my twenties and with it lots of selfishness. "Well, please keep your children away from me. Surely there is a teenager scraped for cash who can babysit for you? I have fingernails that need painting so am absolutely unavailable."

Late twenties I got married and moved to London. Six years later Luca "unexpectedly" came along. Then two years after that little Beni-Boo.
I would just like to say that giving birth to my sons has been 2 of the 3 Best Things I have ever done. 
The third being marrying my Austin.

I love my little guys with everything I have. They have completely revolutionised my world and made me a better (less selfish) person.

Just needed to let y'all know that.

Anyhoo, let's get onto my experience of 3 days with 3 under 3.

So this is how it went:

While texting my mum that morning I mentioned that I was looking after an extra baby for the next three days.
She text me back saying "Goodness. Are you okay to do that?"...
Ow. Ow OW mother!
My reply: "How do u mean? R u calling me a mental case?!..."
She didn't reply to that question. Interesting...
So, making doubly sure that I had taken my medication I psyched myself up to do this thing!
As it would happen, 30 minutes after baby K's mum left there was an explosion of poos all up her back. Dry-retching ensued but I managed the nappy change and complete change of clothes through an out-of-body experience. Those come in handy sometimes...
The rules were:
1. Luca's room for Luca and his toys
2. The lounge for Beni and baby K and their toys
I had to keep them seperate otherwise there would be cars/trucks/helicopters smashed over heads if cars/trucks/helicopters were touched by any baby fingers...
Mid morning the babies were bundled in the buggy and Luca on his Thomas bike ready for a walk in the sunshine, only to discover the lift was out of order. We live on the 4th floor in an apartment building.
I spent about 5 minutes considering my options, which included lifting the buggy with the children in it down the 4 flights of stairs... I tried this option and could lift the buggy for about 1.6 seconds but that was it.
So back inside was the only other option.
Double Damn.
But thankfully day-time children's TV came to the rescue
Lunch time saw me spoon-feeding 2 babies with 2 yogurts and 2 spoons. Felt like super-mum. I could so manage twins!...
Amazingly enough, afternoon naps all happened at the same time!
Only Luca eventually decided not to sleep and was playing quietly with his cars until he got bored of that and decided to jump in Beni's cot instead so he, too, was now awake. Laughter and giggles resounded from their room while baby K slept like...well, a baby.

3pm = Baby K's mum arrived for collection.
Nappy = clean
Clothes = clean
Bumps & Bruises = 0
High Fives to myself for doing such a great job = 1 big one
Chances of proving my mother wrong = Very High.

Whilst changing another morning poo of baby K I forgot about my porridge that I'd left cooking on the gas hob which ended up having it's ass severely burnt.
I was really looking forward to my yummy oats made with soy milk, chopped prunes, apricots, a dash of cinnamon and runny honey drizzled on top. My stomach was literally groaning for it. Very angry about the waste and the fact I was eventually going to have to scrub the pot.
With the lift now back in working order a visit to the Toy Library got us out of the house for the morning, babies in the buggy and Luca walking beside me holding my hand singing the Toy Library song I made up with the intention of {hopefully} teaching him to share:

"When we go to the Toy Li-i-i-i-i-i-i-bary
There's trucks and trains and cars and sand.
When we go to the Toy Li-i-i-i-i-i-i-bary
They're not Luca's toys they're everybody's toys!"

Afternoon naps? Baby K fell asleep on the way home from the Toy Library and didn't wake until after the boys had been watered and fed.
Luca didn't want to sleep {as per usual} and was getting Beni hyped up and giggling {as per usual}.
During this time baby K was feeling a bit fragile but didn't want to be held and was crying whenever her dummy fell out, so I eventually stopped picking it up and putting it back in for her. Instead I made myself a cup of coffee, stood in the kitchen and ate FOUR chocolate biscuits. By biscuit number 2 she had stopped crying.
Unfortunately that only lasted for about 2 minutes before there was more tears and so I caved and gave her the dummy again. Little button was just needing her mum. I didn't blame her.
I was needing my mum too.

3:30pm = Baby K's mum arrived for collection.
Nappy = clean {only just changed it in time...}
Clothes = slightly grubby
Bumps & Bruises = 2
High Fives to myself for doing such a great job = 0
Chances of proving my mother wrong = Slim to none

Once again I was overcome by a strange craving for whiskey and a cigarette and am wondering whether my mother was right afterall...

Started the morning with threatening to tape Luca to the wall - he didn't think that was a good idea.
He was wanting me to play cars with him but I couldn't leave the little ones in the lounge by themselves.
Managed to snatch a couple of minutes here and there to race cars with him, but sure enough, whenever I did that one of the babies would fall over and bump their head.
Managed to snatch a couple of minutes here and there to go to the toilet, but sure enough, whenever I did that one of the babies would fall over and bump their head.
Managed to feed them their lunch at the same time then strapped the babies in the buggy, Luca on Thomas bike and got out into the sunshine for a 'Discovery' walk and quick playground visit before nap time.
Both the boys went down for a nap at the same time with no dramas while baby K remained awake. I was a bit annoyed about this because I would have loved some time to myself which I only get when the boys very rarely have their afternoon nap at the same time.
While I was hanging out the washing baby K looked directly at me and filled her nappies.
I could see what she was going to do and I was saying "Don't do it! Don't do it!"
But she did it. A big one.
I was wondering how long I could hold off from changing her nappy and that maybe her mum would arrive to collect her soon...
I eventually caved, took a deep breath and changed her nappy.
So here's the thing about little girls - I don't know how to go about cleaning all their bits 'down there'...
Faecal matter seems to get everywhere...

3pm = Baby K's mum arrived for collection {5 minutes after I'd finished the pooey nappy change... damn}
Nappy = clean {just... but so should have waited that little bit longer}
Clothes = clean-ish
Bumps & Bruises = 1
High Fives to myself for doing such a great job = 1/2
Chances of proving my mother wrong = No chance. She was right. I'm a mental case.
But, now that I've thought about it, I do actually quite dig on children. 
{although I would never consider a job as a nanny}


  1. Brigitte you're a fantastic mum!!! The reason I queried you looking after wee K was that you are 4 flights up, your place is short on spaciousness and your lift occasionally doesn't work :o)!
    You're not a mental case ... you're completely and utterly fantastically normal! Like me.
    Love you xxxx

  2. LOVING the Toy Library song ... it sounds good enough to be right up there in the 'Aunty T Hall of Famous Songs' actually. Did it work?

    You're a great Mum and definitely not mental. xxx

  3. I've nominated you for a "one lovely blog" award, head on over to my place to pick it up


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