September 06, 2019

An Exhausting Day in the Life of an Aunt

Today confirmed that I am definitely no spring chicken anymore.

I had my kids when I was pretty young--married at 21, first child at 22, second child at 23. Most of my 20's are a blur to me, probably because I was so busy being a stay-at-home mom to two little boys who were just 18 months apart.

And now, 15 years after having Noah, I seem to have forgotten how exhausting it was to have two toddlers! (Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take many photos today, so these few will have to do)

Brian and Becky went away (just overnight) for their wedding anniversary, and I volunteered to keep the kids. I've been missing the kids so much lately (the whole time I was remodeling the house, they only came over a couple of times--with nails and dust and paint everywhere, it wasn't practical to have them over).

I started by thoroughly cleaning the house so that the kids wouldn't be playing in dust bunnies. With my kids having started school on Tuesday, and getting into that routine, the house was neglected. So I was tired before the kids even got here.

They came over at about 1:00 this afternoon, and I was home alone. Luke and Riley had never been scared of my pets before, but about five minutes after Becky dropped them off, I felt like my life turned into a sitcom. Riley screamed when she saw Estelle and started crying hysterically when she realized Becky wasn't there; then Luke started crying because Riley was crying. When Riley saw Luke crying, she cried even louder. I had no idea that kids could scream so loudly!

Riley did NOT want me to set her down and Luke was asking me to hold him; meanwhile, I'm trying to herd cats into my bedroom and shut Joey into Eli's bedroom to calm the kids down. The windows in the house were open and I was sure that someone was calling social services based on the extent of the crying coming from my house.

After trying everything I could think of to calm them down, the only thing that worked was turning Toy Story on the TV. I didn't want to use the TV as something to do with them, but it certainly got them calm and then they were totally fine.

Jerry happened to till some of the yard recently to even out the dirt, so it was the perfect place to play with dump trucks and excavators. 

Riley likes to be held pretty much 100% of the time. Unfortunately, my carpal tunnel made my hands completely numb while I held her, but as long as I was holding her, she was happy. Meanwhile, Luke was just being absolutely adorable, as usual. (Riley is super cute, too! Just a more challenging age.) She played for about 30 seconds before she wanted me to hold her again, haha.

Eli, who is fantastic with kids, had baseball practice all evening, and Noah was at the school's football game. Jerry was with Eli, so I was on my own--cooking dinner, with Riley on my hip, and playing trucks with Luke while trying to pay attention to Joey who was sad to be shut in the bedroom (I later had him go stay the night at my parents' house). I was a mess--anyone watching me would have thought I was totally incompetent as a babysitter, hahaha.

In the evening, things calmed down and Jerry and Eli were back home. We hung out on the back deck feeding the squirrels. Oddly, while Luke was scared of Joey and the cats, he was fascinated with the squirrels. He heard me call for them by making a clicking noise with my tongue and calling their names (yes, they have names) and he was imitating everything I did--so cute!

He liked tossing nuts to them and putting nuts in the "mailbox" (it's a box on the deck that looks like a mailbox, and when we put a nut inside, the squirrels open it up and dive down into it to get to the nut). It's amusing to watch. Riley liked to open the mailbox and put nuts inside, too.

After feeding them dinner and getting everyone ready for bed, I snuggled with Riley on the couch for a little bit when I could tell she was getting tired; I was sure that she was going to start crying when I put her down to sleep. I was shocked, then, when I laid her down and she was super chill. I kissed her goodnight and she didn't make a single peep when I left the room!

Luke stayed awake for a couple more hours, and before his bedtime, I got to cuddle with him on the couch for a little while. If there is one thing I miss about my kids being so little it's having them snuggle up to me with their heads against my neck when they're tired.

Luke was a little more difficult getting to sleep, but I told him that he could tell his parents all about the squirrels when they come to get him tomorrow, and he seemed satisfied with that. He laid in Eli's bed and fell asleep.

I am so exhausted! I had so much fun playing with the kids (they are SO stinkin' cute!) but I definitely give so much credit to Becky (and all exhausted moms) for doing this daily. Tomorrow, I'd like to take the kids for a walk in the stroller in the morning, and I'm sure Luke will want to feed the squirrels again.

I hope that Brian and Becky are enjoying themselves... they certainly deserve a relaxing night! ;)  (Being serious, I really did enjoy spending time with the kids today... yes, it's exhausting, but I'm so happy to be an aunt to the two sweetest toddlers I know. I want to make fun memories with them! And really cherish all the moments--even the exhausting ones.)


  1. Being an aunt is a lot of fun. How nice for your sister and her husband to have a night away for their anniversary. Your niece and nephew are so cute!

  2. Whenever I visit my sister, who is a single mom with a toddler, I am amazed at how much energy kids have. Go go go all the time, and it seems like there's always a mini-crisis. It's definitely exhausting for me whenever I visit, so I have learned to give a lot more credit to mothers than I used to! :) I hope your second day starts off a little less dramatically.

  3. This past Saturday afternoon, I helped babysit my cousin's kids. She has a 2 year old son and 4 month old twin daughters. Good lord! I don't have kids myself and while I've babysat other children before, I've never had to babysit to this extent before! Lol. My mom and I did it together at least but I have no idea how my cousin manages this on a daily basis! Mom-ing is hard work!

    Your niece and nephew are so cute! And so big!! They grow up fast!

  4. I "aunted" before having my son. I decided it was easier to gradually get to the crazy busy toddler stage! LOL! Just jumping into it as an Aunt was WAY harder! Good for you for getting to spend time with those two ADORABLE babes!

  5. After realizing how grateful I am when someone plays with my kids for a bit, I have promised myself that I will do that for other parents as soon as my kids are a bit older (i.e. when I don't have a toddler that I'm needing to deal with all the time). What a gift you gave to Riley and Luke's mom and dad!!


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