Our children asked me and my wife to babysit for an overnight when they were invited to a wedding out of town. Sensibly, they did not want to drive home late after a night of partying. This would be our first overnight babysitting assignment, and I hoped we were up to the task. I have to admit we were a little apprehensive.
The best part for us was a long period of quality time with the kids; for their parents, a night out alone. A time to recharge.
The parents left home in the afternoon with a few instructions. We know the children’s routine well, and I believe they had confidence in us. However, to be safe, I reminded them to keep their cell phones close in case of an emergency or if a question popped up that needed immediate attention. We had plenty of food, diapers and baby wipes: the most essential of essentials. Dinner was prepared in advance to make things easier. When the parents departed, the children did not cry, which was a testament to how comfortable they feel with us.
As soon as the parents left, everything shifted into overdrive. My wife fed the kids and I cleaned up. She prepared them for bed and I read the bed time stories. Once they were asleep at 8 p.m., we were able to catch our breath and go to sleep. A situation like this makes you appreciate the tremendous effort it takes to raise children.
My wife wanted to sleep downstairs to be near the little guy in case he woke up during the night. I slept upstairs, down the hall from my granddaughter. I slept more or less okay. I only heard her cry once at 3:30 a.m., but she went back to sleep. My wife slept poorly because she heard every whimper. Around 5:30 a.m. my granddaughter began to cry. I walked into her room and as soon as she saw me she cried out “Where is Grandma?” She obviously has developed her preference! I carried her to the bathroom. This was my first time putting her on a potty, and leaving the details out, all went well. I then carried her downstairs to her “favorite” grandparent. When I opened the bedroom door, my wife was lying in bed awake with the dog and the little guy on her chest. I handed off my granddaughter and went back upstairs to bed.
All in all, we were up to the task, and spent a wonderful day with our family.