Friday, December 12, 2008

boys vs. girls

So I have been having trouble trying to come up with new material for the blog the past few days. While my every intention with this blog is not to cater to the masses, but rather, to give me an outlet for thoughts and stories, I still don't want to disappoint my three (or less) loyal readers. So while having a conversation with Molly tonight about babysitting I realized just what I wanted to blog about...boys vs. girls.

Now the context of this blog is the incessant babysitting that I do while at school. I babysit for a family of four 2-3 times per week. Adam is 13, Colin is 11, Audrey is 9, and Nolan is 3. I have been babysitting for this family for 2.5 years now so have become very acquainted with the kids. I have also gotten so used to babysitting for boys because of them. Since Audrey is the only girl, there are always more than twice as many boys running around. I used to ALWAYS say that I want to have all boys when I start my own family, but that was totally based on the stereotypes of whiney, expensive girls (like my sisters and I) who give their mothers major PAINS from 10-20 years of age.

I love baby Nolan. He is three now, but still the baby of the family. His mind is always somewhere else no matter what he is doing. If we are playing cars he is thinking about playing kitchen next. If we are playing kitchen he is thinking about what he wants to eat next. Every activity lasts 15 minutes or less and he is constantly changing his mind. This is often hilarious, but when it comes to having to make up new ideas, I tend to run out quickly because we move from thing to thing so often. Today we played bad guys, wrestling and car crashing before I had had enough of being kicked in the stomach, chasing, and having cars thrown at me.

Last night I got to tag along with Allison to babysit the 3 girls that she has been babysitting since she was in high school. Ellie is in 1st grade and Caroline and Katherine (twins) are in preschool...probably 4? We went to Graeters ice cream where no one was fighting over anything. The girls stayed focused and relatively clean, and did not complain about wanting to leave. Afterwards, I followed them back to their house and we made friendship bracelets for 45 minutes...45 MINUTES! I could not believe this. They were so relaxed and so intent on just picking their colors. They were not even the ones making the bracelets. They just sat with the box of colored string picking out colors and chatting with each other while Allison and I made bracelets. This was amazing to me. It has been so long since I have babysat for little girls and it was so peaceful. Afterwards, they intently paid attention to THREE stories. Now...this is something that Nolan can do at night before bed, but it is often only because more stories = staying up later.

Today, Nolan had two friends over - the brother/sister duo of Griffin and Annie. I always find it easier to babysit when the kids have friends over because they remain en
tertained longer, but I decided to make gingerbread cookies today that we could decorate. After spreading out our dough and stamping it with various holiday - and nonholiday cookie cutters they baked and cooled. When it came time to decorate, I had everything all set out and ready to go...sprinkles, colored icing, spoons and wax paper. They did a great job, but there was such a difference between the boys and Annie. The boys wanted me to do most of the icing spreading, they dump way too many sprinkles on their cookies, and lasted about 25 minutes before they were ready to play "bows," which actually means swords to Nolan. Annie sat at the counter for 20 minutes after the boys, meticulously focusing on using all of the colors of icing and placing her sprinkles intently and strategically. It was amazing. Later when we all read a story together, my favorite Christmas story (The Jolly Christmas Postman), the boys bounced after the second letter to Humpty Dumpty while Annie stayed until the end, even taking the book from me once we were finished to go back and see all of the letters.

So, as much as I have always fawned over those cute baby boys who are so cute and goofy, I hope to not have just boys. It is a long way off, but I think that some of the long lasting enjoyment that I have seen in girls will be a relief. I LOVE my boys because they are typically less complex and more easy to please, but it is nice to have the best of both worlds. (Although I know all of you will remind me that there is a worst of both worlds also!)
This is Nolan decorating his Halloween pumpkin at preschool. Which also lasted 15 minutes. :)


Kathy said...

I love them all!

Grandpa said...

Count me as one of your regulars! Love and miss you.