Sunday, February 18, 2007
The World's Best Babysitter...EVER
SCENARIO! Your leaders decide to babysit the ward babes on Valentines Day to give parents a night off for romancing and such. You show up to the combined activity, and there's a primary room full of children that seem content to run around chasing each other for the rest of the night. By some miracle, you organize them into groups and send the groups rotating to different activity stations throughout the stake center. The next hour or so is spent playing RedLight GreenLight, Don't Eat the Heart, Bingo, Tic Tac Toe and Mother Goose, frosting Valentine cookies, coloring animal pictures, and making bracelets with a bunch of eight year olds. Towards the end, all the kids meet back in the primary room. Parents will be arriving soon, you need to entertain the monsters for about thirty more minutes, and they're starting to make paper airplanes with their coloring book pages. You don't want the parents to see this chaos. What do you do?
SCENARIO! You go over to a friends house to assist with babysitting her niece and nephews. The kids are adorable, but a handful. As you walk in, the father greets you and says, "Welcome to Madness!" You see that he says this because his grandkids are running around, and he's not even gone yet. Their grandparents leave, and you realize that this energy they're taking out on the furniture might not burn out for awhile, and you're not going to be able to keep up. What do you do?
Believe it or not, these scenarios aren't from a Sunday School lesson where you give the answer to your strip of paper in front of the class. They actually happened to me. It was during these scenarios that I discovered who the best babysitter in the world is--the television. In both cases, the kids stopped running around almost immediately and gathered around to watch the movie as soon as the trailers started to play. That's amazing! No matter what I do, no matter how many piggy back rides I give, and no matter how crazy I act, there's no way I could have kids attention that quickly and for that long. While it was nice to have them quiet and settled, I didn't like seeing their blank eyes glued to the TV. That just can't be good for their brains! Or anybodys for that matter. It made me seriously consider how much television I'll let my kids watch, if I ever have kids someday. But, it's so easy to just turn it on and have them taken care of so you can do something else. I don't know. Commence the end of this random post....now.