When N is Greater Than 1

We borrowed a couple children this past weekend, imported them direct from Wisconsin.  The sister and brother duo arrived on Friday and returned home Sunday.  These children are perfect; they’re polite, helpful, not especially sticky, musical, they follow directions, they attend to their own bowel and bladder functions, and are, in fact, strictly charming.  Regardless, Ace and I have one child.  On purpose.  We are used to one child.

I came to a few conclusions over the course of the weekend:

1)    Never underestimate the ability of groups of children to organize, lobby, negotiate, and unionize.  Groups of kids who aren’t all related are particularly canny.

2)    A tween’s willingness to snuggle his mother is inversely related to the number of compatriots present.  My normally snuggly boy barely even grunted at me all weekend.

3)    By the time you sunscreen three children, either they’ve lost interest in outdoor activities or it’s bedtime.  When the kids’ mom arrived to pick them up, she quipped to her daughter, “Ah, I see you’ve been sunscreened by a Lippin.  You look like a geisha.”

4)    The culinary steaks were high for Ace and me because the mother of the borrowed children loves to cook.  At one point, the borrowed girl innocently asked, “What’s for dinner?”  In our home, this question is generally met with uproarious laughter and fits of hysteria.  I toned down my response to, “I have absolutely no idea.”  Feeding Child is taxing.  Feeding Children is a full-time job.

5)    Sleep might be at the bottom of your pyramid.  It is not at the bottom of tweens’ pyramid.  I wandered into the boys’ bedroom at 0013 (- yes, you read that correctly – thirteen minutes AFTER MIDNIGHT -) and ordered them to stop chatting and GO TO SLEEP.

6)    The relationship between number of children present and type/quantity of laundry generated is both nonlinear and unpredictable.  The two boys emptied a drawer full of sheets and blankets because “we were cold.”  Points for self-sufficiency.

7)    Children, even Waldorf and Quaker children, are remarkably fluent in a palette of languages generally inaccessible to adults: Minecraftian, Nerftongue, Dragon Vale Speak.  Je ne comprends pas.

I’m curious to know what you would add to this list.  Have you ever borrowed children?  What are your observations?

And hey, I like you.  If you like this blog, please sign up for it at the end of this post or up there on the right-hand side of your screen.  I promise not to exploit our relationship in annoying ways.

xoxo Anne

Musical Moment




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4 Responses to When N is Greater Than 1

  1. Natasha says:

    You are so funny!

  2. Betsy says:

    We have borrowed children often. Once for 10 days, but usually just for “hang outs” (tweens do not have play dates). It is tiring. It is fun. I tell my kids (and visitors) that the best thing about going to some one else’s house is seeing how they do things. Do you like it better? (tell me about it) Do you appreciate the way we do something more now? (tell me about it)
    Older, wiser moms tell me that the trick is to have “good snacks and then stay on the perimeter.”
    I also tell kids that they are my favorite if I’m asking them to do chores….

    • anne says:

      Love the idea of discussing how other households do things. Will do this when The Big E heads to Wisc. later in the summer.

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