I am grateful for all the children in my life. Even when they're doing their best to tear the house down and kill themselves in the process.
My dear friend Yasmeen has twin boys, 18 months old: "Y" and "Z." Neither she nor her husband has family locally and she has never left the children with anyone but their father. She has recently been having health problems, though, and when the doctor's office called to say a time slot had opened up in the afternoon, she had to take it. I was just so excited and honored when she asked me to watch the boys! I offered to go to their apartment, but Yas decided to bring them here.
Just to say, I am a loving and competent baby sitter. But these guys were way faster than me. And somehow in the years since Gem was little, my house has become filled with sharp corners exactly at toddler eye level, drawers and doors waiting to pinch little fingers, lamps just a touch away from crashing to the floor and cutting small bare feet.
The minute Yas left, they were off and running in opposite directions. I wrangled them downstairs and outside. We went for a walk during which they attempted to throw themselves in front of moving cars, insert their fingers into the mouth of the neighbor's German shepherd, and enter every house on the block.
The nice lady two doors down has several cats. Which eat from several bowls stashed around the front porch. How was I to know that Y and Z love cat food? Actually, I can remember a time when Gem ate it every chance she got too.
Hey, it's got nutrients.
When we got home, they played the piano with Gem and Y helped me cook supper. He's quite the chef given his own empty pot and wooden spoon. Perfect timing: they started to get fussy just as I was ready to serve. Gem and I put some old tee shirts over their clothes to serve as bibs and spooned them full of pasta and meatballs.
I could see them starting to rub their eyes and get a little whiny, so I felt a bath was in order. Cue wailing and tearing of hair. And that was just to get their clothes off. I thought for sure once they got into the tub all would be well. All children love to play in the water, right? Wrong. Now I know.
Thank goodness that's just when Yas returned with o.k. news from the doctor (not terrible; not great) and a little time spent all by herself. (Bless her.) And a Y and Z so happy to see their mommy!
After everyone left, Gem and I just looked at one another, dazed. Really, my hat is off to mothers of twins. I am in awe of what Yas does every day with such grace and serenity.
And Gem and I are already planning what to do next time we get to spend an evening with Y and Z. (Big smile!)