So, this past weekend I had the adventure of babysitting. I haven’t done this in like… two or three years, and even then, it wasn’t really work. The kids were old enough that they basically took care of themselves and I was there in case of an emergency.
There wasn’t an emergency, so I ate popsicles and watched a movie with the kids. I felt lazy enough I couldn’t even accept money for that.
This time was another story. I was babysitting my nephew, Everett. We call him Ev for short.
He actually does bounce like that around the house.
For no reason at all. He just wants to bounce. Not the calm “let’s-sit-and-watch-a-movie”. My sister in law had tickets to a concert, leaving me and Megan to watch Ev for the evening.
After wrangling him into a new diaper and getting him to brush his teeth, I thought it would be funny to stick him in a plastic tote and take a picture to send to his mother to prove what wonderful babysitters Megan and I were.
Only here’s the thing: it backfired.
He liked being in the tote. Ev grabbed a couple of cars from off the couch and he chilled there, in the tub, for half an hour. Quiet and happy as far as I know. The most chill I have ever seen this kid.
But wait, there’s more.
We were there two days later for my birthday dinner with my parents and wanted to play a card game. All five adults wanted to play the game.
My mom thought it would be a good idea to pull out a bucket of feed corn she keeps around for making corn bags (you throw them in the microwave, they get hot, and you stick the bag between your feet on cold nights. It’s amazing.)
Ev loves that kind of sensory thing and already had a history of sticking his hands in the dogs’ food bowl and crunching the bits between his fingers. Whenever he got caught he’d just dip his hands in the dogs’ water bowl and look up at us like he had already solved the problem.
Well, the first thing this kid did was fling feed corn across the dining room floor. Had a great time doing it, too.
“Why not stick him and the corn in a tote?” I smirk. My brain had done that thing where it says stuff before I’ve thought about it.
Throw the kid in, dump the corn in, then add some cups and funnels. Kid was set for like an hour. Little mess, lots of happy sounds, a few worrying sounds, but overall calm enough we could all smile and play Apples to Apples.
Being an uncle is cool, especially when you’ve got a nephew you can experiment on.