There is a reason why we have children when we're younger.
It's patience and stamina and a go-with-the-flow outlook, partly. And it's not really even patience: I have more nowadays than I did when my daughter was little. It's definitely stamina: I have been flat-out pooped the last few nights. And I'm afraid that I'm more gone-with-the-wind than go-with-the-flow these days: I've grown very attached to our routines and the ebb and flow of our days as they are now rather than ready to adapt to anything at a moment's notice.
We've been taking care of our grandson, who turned two June 11, for the last three days. Cute as he is, amusing and charming and full of energy and curiosity -- and remarkably well-behaved -- I will be fine watching him go out the door soon with his auntie to go to another auntie's house until his parents return tomorrow.
He's exploring his vocal ranges right now in lieu of taking a nap. He is not in distress, other than that he doesn't particularly want to be there, but the way he yodels and vocalizes tells me that he's amusing himself as much as he is registering a protest at being put down for naptime. I'll get him up in a few minutes and give him a snack before Auntie R comes to get him. (Yup -- you guessed it -- soon as she called to say she was coming, he fell asleep.)
Our kitties Cheswick and McMurphy will be greatly relieved that he is not around tonight as both have spent much of their time lurking under the bed since he's been here. Cheswick has been more interested, although he tends to stay under things that G can't reach, and G delightedly says "Kee-y! Hes-we! MEW!" (Trans: Kitty, Cheswick, MEOW) when he sees him. Mac, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with him and has hissed loudly at his approach, running into the bedroom to hide.
It's been fun, mostly. It's been exhausting, mostly. He's a really good child -- he minds pretty well, especially for independent two, and is good natured. His momma has taught him well. He's a natural-born soccer player -- he already has a great kick and even a dribble, and LOVES to play ball.
His momma says he isn't a picky eater, and he probably isn't, for the kind of food she fixes, but he didn't love my salmon burgers or asparagus much, although he ate some of both; he was far more interested in the ketchup than in the chicken fingers we had at a restaurant this noon; and he licked the peanut butter and jelly off the whole wheat bread but didn't eat any of it. He likes strawberries and bananas but is only so-so with plain yogurt even sweetened a touch. His parents (much to my dismay) brought a giant-sized container of Nestle's Quick to flavor his milk, and he sure knows how to ask for 'chikit' milk, which is the only way he wanted to drink any of it. On the other hand it has been HOT, and nobody feels much like eating when it's over 100 degrees, even with air conditioning.
I found myself listening for him if I wasn't in the room, and even asleep, I had one ear cocked, just as I did when R was little -- actually, I did that until she went off to college! I'd forgotten how wearying it can be to constantly be attentive to a child. It was fun to watch him play with rubber duckies and boats in the bath, nice to snuggle with a lavender-scented toddler just before bed, read "The Little Red Caboose" and "Do Cows Eat Cake?" and listen to lullabies playing on the CD player. He didn't want to snuggle with Granddaddy, although he played ball with him for a long time and would go talk to him. He's a momma's boy though.
So it was an adventure, and I am impressed (and amazed) with my friends who regularly keep their grandchildren. I guess they're just in better shape than I am, more stamina, more patience, better food!