Friday Night Lights is my all time favorite show. ever. and one of my favorite scenes is this: Tami's sister moves in with them to help take care of the baby while she gets her real estate license, but she has class at night. So, on a night when both parents have other plans, they have to figure out who is going to take care of the baby.
Coach: What’s the purpose of your sister even being here if she can’t babysit anyway.
Tami: Honey… what part of the fact that she has class tonight do you not understand.
Coach: Well, you know what… I have to work tonight, but I’m babysittin’, aren’t I?
Tami: Well, it’s not babysitting when it’s your own child, Sweetheart.
I love Coach and Tami. They're my second favorite married couple in the whole world. :) And I love that they had that conversation, because I think it's an idea that brings out the little spiny things on every mother's back. I don't even know if Steve has referred to taking care of our kids as babysitting, but I've heard other people say it about their own kids and it 'bout made me crazy.
But this weekend I had change of heart.
I might be wrong, but the last time I remember being a "real" babysitter was when my long-time babysitting family, the Jacobsmas, went to the hospital to have their third baby, which just so happens to be this very weekend, 9 years ago. And I say "real" babysitter because I'm talking about going to someone else's house for the night to take care of their kids while the parents are away. I've done lots of babysitting since that day, as a daycare provider, in various different types of situations. But this weekend, I went to my sister's house, all by myself, while she and her husband went on a date. I was the babysitter. :)
and, ok, so maybe I was boring and dinked around on my ipad while they watched their little LeapFrog movie, because I just can't handle 35 straight minutes of Tad and Lily. I try, but I fail. But besides those 35 minutes, I'd like to think I was a pretty darn good babysitter.
Until last weekend, when I was in OC by myself again, without my kids, I don't think that I had ever actually PLAYED with my niece and nephew. But last weekend, after the craft show, I played with them, and it was fun! And then this weekend, I played with them a lot, as the babysitter, and it was REALLY fun. and it reminded me of when I went all by myself to Ohio to be there when my sister had her 2nd baby. I missed the birth by a day, but that's beside the point. That trip was when I bonded with Elliot. There I was, without my own kid, totally and completely available to focus on someone else's kid. and I remember that he just laughed and laughed playing a "yucky coffee" game we made up. He just wanted to see me being silly!
There are very few kids who have seen me at my silliest. And thankfully, most of them are now young adults and probably don't even remember how dorky I was, because all they've known me as for the last many many years is the very mature and boring adult that most of you know me as. :) But let me just say that I'm a really good book reader, and can build a fort like nobody's business, and can provide hours of entertainment by dancing, as long as there are no adults in sight. My own children have seen this side of me on occasion, but they always try to tell Daddy, and then he wants to see what they're talking about and YEAH RIGHT. I don't do repeat performances.
But something was triggered in me this weekend as I performed my dramatic interpretation of Llama Llama Misses Mama.
WHY is this so fun? WHY do I feel like it's been forever loving long since I've been super silly? WHY do I not treasure this time alone with my own kids like I do with my sister's kids? (and, also, WHY did I clean up the whole supper mess in her house but I never do in my own house?)
and that's when the whole "it's not babysitting when it's your own kids" idea fell apart for me. because I'm pretty sure that I need to be the "babysitter" a little more, and the "mom" a little less. I need to read more books with my kids, and do silly dances, and play games, and NOT CARE. I'm sad to say it, but this lovely little thing called the pinkadink makes me a BORING MOM! It always feels like there's so much to do, so why on earth would I read TWO books for each kid? and why would I read to a kid who can read on their own? and why would I....you get the point. In my own home there's just so much to do. all the time. but in someone else's house, when you're removed from your list and your piles and your bazillion things you should be doing, you have FUN!
and that's what this house is missing.
So I'm gonna be the babysitter a little more often. I'm gonna be silly, and take time, and read books, and dance. and I'm gonna forget about the lists, the piles, the orders, just for a little while. Because it's fun! and that's what my kids deserve.