Recently I had the pleasure of having my friends’ niece over for the day, and in doing so I have gained such an appreciation for ‘tweenage’ kids when it comes to their remarkable ability to entertain small children, specifically my boys!
Overly crowded playground with an energetic toddler and newly-walking baby? No problem. She followed James everywhere, pushing him on the swings, climbing through tunnels after him, bringing him to me when a ‘boo boo’ of his needed kissing, all while I got to chase the stumbling baby Luke around and catch up with other mommy friends. Glorious.
Super chilly swimming pool, a kid who is insistent on swimming, and a wussy mom like me who would rather be sitting and soaking up some rays? No problem. She dove right in and paddled around with his little Puddle-Jumper-wearin’ self for as long as he wanted. Hello sunshine.
Car ride with two hungry fussy tired kids? No problem. She sat in the back of the van playing peek-a-boo with the baby and picking up all the books and various other items the 2-year-old would throw on the floor. This was quite the luxury for him as I usually respond to his whiny pleas of “mommy get iiiiiiit” with a snarky reply about not having “Go Go Gadget Arms” or the subtle reminder that this van won’t drive itself.
And the best part? You get to send them home and not have to deal with any of that drama or attitude that comes with preteen girls and boys. We just reap the rewards of having our little ones entertained. Score!
Oh to be able to bottle up this miraculous method of toddler-taming these tweens have! Until then, can I just say, to all you parents who have been hoarding your baby-loving 10, 11, and 12-year old children, you need to rent those kids out!
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 2-year-old James and almost 1-year-old Luke.