Last week Steph’s brother and sister-in-law went on a seven day backpacking trip for their fifth wedding anniversary. We volunteered to take their two daughters (known as The Nuggets) for four nights of their vacation.
We both love the girls and it was a blast to have the stay with us. However, it gave us a uniquely lengthy look into parenthood. While biological children just aren’t in the cards for Matt and I, parenthood has definitely come up as a topic of conversation.
Here are our perspectives a few days after hosting two tiny humans for a few days:
What reservations or concerns did you have about having The Nuggets stay with you?
I was worried about not having time to relax and just be alone. I need alone time, even with Steph. I remember babysitting as a teenager and the kids were always in my face, which is fine for a few hours… but a few days? I was nervous. Also, I was afraid they would torture the cat.
My reservations were contained solely to the mornings Matt had them to himself. I used to live with and care for them alone on a regular basis. I had images of them smearing poop on the carpet and finding permanent markers and drawing on the furniture.
What was the best part of having them in the apartment?
Their energy. They are (most of the time) really excited about everything. Kids are also super curious, so it’s fun to hear all of the things that they ask questions about.
The laughs! Oh, those little girls have the most contagious laughter. Everything and anything can be funny when you’re four and two.
What was the worst part?
The poopy diapers. I can’t get over how much diapers and pull-ups stink. Even if it’s just pee, too. It’s the worst.
Having to punish a four-year-old is emotionally draining… Having to tell a two-year-old that she can’t chase the cat is frustrating. Especially when KITTY is the most exciting thing said two-year-old has ever seen.
Were there any unexpected incidents or things you hadn’t imagined could happen?
So many times that one or both of them got really upset for no reason. Like, violently upset. I wasn’t an upset kid and, as my parents have told me, only threw tantrums if my socks didn’t feel right (easily resolved if they just gave me a few minutes to do it myself). I just wish that I could fix it, whatever the issue may be for what or why the reason for the tantrum.
Nope. On my end, everything went as expected. Like I said, I used to live with them. I’ve seen most everything they have up their sleeves.
Are there any things you wish you could have done differently?
I wish my job situation would have been different. I work a normal desk job, which isn’t very good for having kids. I don’t know how my or anyone else’s parents do or did it. It’s super stressful and it put a lot of pressure on Steph, who was home with The Nuggets most of the time.
I wish we had more fun things for them to do in the apartment. It was unbearably hot outside, so we went the Children’s Museum and the pool, but we spent a lot of the day just reading and watching movies in the apartment.
Would you host Nuggets again for an extended period of time?
Absolutely, though not for my own benefit. If and when Steph’s brother needs us to watch The Nuggets again I would be more than happy to have them, but I’m not asking for them for fun.
Absolutely! We actually have another overnight planned already. It was great to have them in the house. It’s a nice change of pace. And handing them back to their parents is the greatest relief 🙂
What were your thoughts on having kids of your own before having The Nuggets over to visit?
I really liked the idea of being a parent, of being a role model for a kid or kids and teaching them how to be proper people and helping them grow and understand themselves and the world. I’ve always entertained the idea of giving back to kids what I got from having great parents.
I have always thought I could live a happy and healthy life without children, but I can also see myself as a wonderfully loving mom. The idea of shaping a tiny human is frightening and exciting, but not something I feel like I need to do to have a fulfilling life. Adoption and foster care have always been contenders for both of us.
What are your thoughts on having kids now, after having had Nuggets for four days?
I think it’s summed up well in a conversation that Steph and I had in the car:
Steph – So how do you feel about it now?
Matt – I think I’m happy being a DINK with you.
Steph – DINK? WIthout the “Y”?
Matt – Yeah, without the “Y”; at least for now. DINKY is an
acronym for Dual Income, No Kids Yet; so without the “Y,”
we’re just living the life of freedom and luxury.
I’m still in the same boat. I could see myself being a kick-ass mom, but I definitely don’t think that parenthood is the only way to venture through adulthood.