Hubby & I went on a date last month -- which meant we needed a sitter for Noah.
Since we're neurotic parents, not just any sitter will do. We trust Kevin's mom to provide day care, and will permit close relatives to watch him while he's out of our immediate care.
But that's about it.
So that night, we asked a close relative to baby-sit. We prepared Noah by telling him that both Mommy & Daddy would be going out, but we would see him in the morning when he woke up. He seemed fine with that; he knows his aunty very well & she is one of his favourite people. He didn't even cry when we put our coats on and walked out the door.
Kevin joked with his little sister as she waved goodbye. "Don't let him see your fear, sis!"
But she brushed us off and said "We'll be fine, won't we Noah?" to which our pint-sized toddler cackled in agreement. "We be naughty!"
(That should have tipped us off. He was already plotting his baby-sitter's demise.)
We left four pages of instructions to help aunty get through the night. I've included a few of our bedtime directions here:
~ place four ice cubes and water in his purple sippy cup at bedtime, and place the cup on the floor next to the bottom left bedpost.
~read his two favourite books "Love You Forever" and "Just One Goal" twice each in that order in a Swedish accent.
~for pajama time, put his undershirt on inside out so the tag doesn't scratch his neck. Place his left leg in the sleeper first to avoid a meltdown.
~Sing him "Teddy Bear's Picnic" but change it slightly to "Dinosaur's Picnic" and amend the following verse:
Picnic time for dinosaurs
They love to scream and roar
They never have any cares....
At 6 o'clock when mommy and daddy
Have finally had some sleep
Then you can wake up,
Please don't make a peep...
So those were the instructions. Not too much to ask, was it???
Aunty, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry we've catered to him and that bedtime is such a battle for you. (And us!)
We're not perfect parents.... but we had no idea.
We had our phones on vibrate in case she needed anything.
Despite checking our phones every ten minutes to see if there were messages, she held out.....possibly because she was hanging on for dear life!!!
Noah's normal bedtime used to be 9pm. (I know, I know, we're terrible!!!)
That snuck up to 10:00, which is still manageable for us.... but when you throw in the baby-sitter factor, that number climbs closer and closer to midnight.
So when our late movie got out at 11:15, and we rushed straight home with the hope of seeing our sleeping babe tucked into his toddler bed, guess what we found instead?
A frizzy haired sister-in-law looking exhausted, standing at the front door holding a sippy cup in one hand and the remains of a toilet paper roll in the other.
"Don't ask!" she commanded as we snuck in the door.
As if on cue, Noah poked his head up from behind his baby gate. "I awake, momma! Gonna get big time out!"
In other words, "Welcome Home, Mommy."