Adventures in Babysitting

It’s day three of my eight days here in Virginia, where I’m helping my brother (Joe) with his three boys (6, 4 &1) while his wife, my sister-in-law is away for work.  Things have been good so far, but don’t get me wrong.  I of coarse have a few tales to share, but nothing to extreme.  Have no fear, the week is still early, and these boys are just getting started.


I arrived on Friday; Susan (sis-in-law) picked me up at the airport.  After a quick trip to Costco to pick up some formula, wipes and diapers (you should have seen the size of the box, how much does the child poop?!) we arrived at the house to find three energetic boys and a not so thrilled teenage (14) girl.  Oh, did I forget to mention that my oldest brother is off to England for two weeks, so it was decided that I would have my niece Erica as well?  Good times are just waiting to be had (note the sarcasm).  After eating some pizza, playing with the boys and catching up with my brothers, it’s off to bed.



After waking and taking care of morning business, its time to join the rest of the early morning risers and by early morning risers, I mean the three boys who are up with the speed of lightning by 7:00 a.m. daily.  Today is Shane’s birthday (the one year old).  On the agenda…a cookout along with some type of water slide activity in the backyard, all weather permitting of course.  From the looks and sounds of it, the weather isn’t looking to good so we tune into channel 27 only to have the Weather Channel confirm our suspicion, thunderstorms throughout the day!  This bit of news concerns Joe and Susan as they franticly run about the house making it suitable for company and impervious to small children.  After this task is complete, we learn our first lesson…never listen to the Weather Channel, the clouds break and it’s a beautiful day!  Company arrives and the party ensues.  As the children are playing and frolicking about, the adults take to the deck and family room, light up the BBQ and crack open an ice cold beer…ahhh good times!


After consuming massive amounts of delicious barbeque fixins its time for birthday cake, the moment I’ve been waiting for.  Not because I love cake, for those of you that know me know I’m not much of a sweets eater.  Joe and Susan have started their own little tradition when Adam, the oldest turned one.  The kids, on their first birthday, get their own small cake, to enjoy and do with as they please.  Imagine, if you will, a one year old  in front of an Elmo cake with about 2 inches of red and blue frosting…need I say more? Although I must admit, Shane was a bit of a let down compared to Adam, who on his first birthday started using his fingers then his hands, before cutting to the chase and diving face first into the cake!  Shane did me proud though by covering both hands his entire face and shortly his head in red and blue frosting.  Why my brother and his wife ever started this tradition, I’ll never know!



Another early morning, take care of business, big breath and head upstairs for more fun. We go out for breakfast; something the kids are use to, enjoy doing and more importantly know to behave themselves, for the fear of what Dad would do if they don’t is far greater than any bad behavior is worth.  Following breakfast we enjoy some quiet time at the house as the boys wreak havoc in the playroom.  Joe decides to take advantage of the two additional built in babysitters and takes to the garage to do whatever it is men do in garages.  A few hours and a light lunch later we decide to take the kids to the pool.


After 30 minutes of preparation, most of which I spend trying to lather the older two in sun-block (those two are slippery when they aren’t covered in lotion) we’re finally headed to the pool.  After staking our claim on a few shaded lounge chairs, we’re in the pool splashing around having a good time when along comes Matthew.  Matthew, a seemingly good natured child, who I also assume to be an only child, is swimming around looking for some friends.  I encourage the boys to befriend Matthew and welcome him into their pool fun.  I’ll admit I have motive behind this, if the boys befriend another child or two, it’s that much less I need to amuse them, throw them around, play shark and all those things they require of fun Uncle Mike.  Oddly, the boys don’t care much for Matthew, and I soon find out why.  Seems Matthew likes to play this game called….”do you know my name?”  After several (20 or so) rounds of this game, Matthew asks one last time…”do you know my name?”  Having less patience at this point, while still reminding myself, he’s only a child; I reply “I’m assuming it’s the same as it was the last twenty times you asked”.  Apparently I was no longer playing by the rules and Matthew made it abundantly clear as he began screaming and splashing me.  That ended my very brief friendship with Matthew!


After a couple hours of fun in the sun, we decide to dry the boys off and head home with a sleeping Shane in tote. As we were leaving I found it amusing as I spotted Matthews mother and father arguing over who would watch Matthew, Dad felt that it was more important to learn about his new iphone, while mom insisted she needed to catch up on her neighborhood gossip.  I suddenly felt bad for Matthew and realized his behavior was not his fault.


We get back to the house, the boys return to destruction mode in the playroom and Shane amuses himself in the family room while Erica and I keep a watchful eye.  Joe again retreats to the garage, followed by a trip to the hardware store and returns with dinner.  After dinner, the kids are allowed some additional playtime, before being prepped and put to bed.  I soon follow suit and turn in myself, knowing that tomorrow I am on my own.


Stay tuned, one can only assume it gets better… ;-)

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