Thirty-nine years ago today, my nephew Todd was born. It was on that day that I figured I'd never make it as a mother of toddlers.
I had the dubious pleasure, at the ripe old age of 15 (go ahead, I'll wait while you do the math to figure out how old I am), to watch my niece Tammy (four and a half at the time), and her little brother, Terry (16 months old) while mom was in labor, and dad (my brother Terry) was busy at the hospital - and after the birth, was doing his regular shifts at work. Add in visiting hours, and sleep - my brother was
From Wednesday afternoon until that Sunday, when Todd finally joined the family at home, I was in charge.
Those two kids were MY responsibility.
The little tykes ran me ragged. Tammy even escaped from their apartment and took off down the street (while I was busy upstairs, changing yet another diaper).
I found her. She may have only been partially dressed when she made her getaway.
They whined. They cried.
They hated food that I cooked...but they loved the Ovaltine.
When I told Tammy that Todd was born, she hit me.
"I don't want a Todd! I want a Tricia!" (She still remembers doling out that abuse on her favorite aunt).
I had been babysitting since Tammy was an infant, and thought I could handle this assignment.
I whined. I cried. I had Terry puke in my long hair...and they only had a clawfoot tub, and no shower.
I called my mother, asking her to rescue me.
If this wasn't an endorsement for zero population growth, nothing was.
Four years and one month later, I had my own baby.
I whined. I cried. I had Shannon puke in my hair.
She was MY responsibility, and not just for five days.
It was so much fun, I did it again.
(l to r, starting in the back): Todd, Terry, Erin and Shannon
And seventeen years after I had Erin, I did it a third time, because I don't know when to quit.
Parenting The Boy has been an altogether different experience. Blame it on his
Finally, I'm at the tail end of this 'responsible for a kid in the house full-time' gig.
Lucky for us, the grandkids visit - and the real fun begins. Grandkids are so much better than your own kids...all the fun, none of the responsibility. Spoil 'em rotten, fill 'em full of junk food, and send them home. It rocks!
I'm glad I didn't listen to the voice in my head that day in May of 1971...I'd have missed out on lots of fun, not to mention lots of slobbery kisses and sticky hugs.