As an unattached 26-year-old, I’ve I had very little experience with motherhood (aside from my three fish and hamster, which, sadly, died on my watch) until last night, when I discovered the chaotic, exhausting, 24-hour, unexpected (although I’m sure very rewarding) balancing act that comes along with the title.
You see, I had the pleasure of babysitting for six hours, following a full day of work. Now, I’m not talking parents leave at 7, kids go to bed at 8, sit on the couch, watch bad TV and eat their ice cream babysitting. That’s my kind of babysitting.
No, I’m talking real-life, responsibility, actually doing something babysitting, which entailed:
1.) Picking kids up from school – this consisted of 120 screaming kids and 120 SUVs fighting for the curbside pick up – organized chaos.
2.) Transporting to afterschool activities – the one rainy day of the year in LA – land of terrible drivers – where the average speed is 10 mph. Needless to say, we were tardy for Fiddler on the Roof practice.
3.) “Stopping by” the store – a seemingly quick trip for three things, which turned into 45 minutes of – “Can we get these Cheetos Puffs?” “But, I need these chocolate chunk cookies.” So, $75 and several health risks later, we left the store.
4.) Making dinner – note to self: never try making a new recipe using 12-year-olds as helpers. Brief description – two hours of olive oil and flour flying through the air, small children with large knives trying to “help,” smoke alarms ringing, four-letter words, etc. Amazingly, no one suffered a casualty and the food was edible.
5.) Doing dishes – next time we’re eating out of the cooking pan. Enough said.
6.) Helping with homework – this is a humbling – or humiliating – experience. I don’t remember 7th-grade math being so difficult.
All of which needed to be done in time for the TV show, Glee, at 9, per the request of the 12 year old.
Yikes. People choose to do this? All I can say is thank you, mom and dad, a thousand times over.
Upon reflection, the most daunting task of the night turned out to be the meal preparation – even more so than the homework and scary school parking lot.
When I become a parent, I’m not looking to devote ¼ of my day to cooking, so I was inspired to compile several time-friendly recipes that are quick, simple and quite delicious. And, of course, boast fresh California heirloom garlic.
And, jokes aside, these kids are great. Who else can you play Clue and Rock Band with, while discussing which food on a stick is better – corn dogs or fried snickers?