As I’ve mentioned, my neighbor and I are swapping childcare duties. She’s working a couple of afternoons a week, so she didn’t need full-time daycare or even true part-time daycare. So we agreed on a trade, and it’s working out fabulously so far.
Because of my daughter’s separation anxiety at the gym and the fact that my neighbor’s twins have never been away from her either, we eased in slowly to the whole situation. We started getting together at set times before we’d leave our kids for a while here and there. First it was half an hour. Then we graduated to a couple of hour-long sessions before the big official day came. And while my daughter freaks out at the gym? No problems next door. She loves Margie and the twins. She actually kicked me out when I dropped her off the other day. “Bye Mommy!”
With three kids and an infant to keep track of, I’m finding that it helps to have a game plan for the three hours when it’s my turn to take them. Two-year-old attention spans are extremely short, so that means you have to have a lot of tricks up your sleeve to keep everyone engaged. Because of that, we’ve been spending a lot of time outside because soon it will be too cold to do that, and I figure I should take advantage of swing sets and driveways while I can.
The other day, I took the troops on a ride in a wagon. I strapped the baby to me in the Ergo and the three big kids loaded themselves into the wagon. And I proceeded to haul at least 100 pounds of kids around the neighborhood. They were all so happy and entertained by big trucks, dogs barking and the changing scenery that I must have walked at least 20 minutes pulling them behind me. And here I thought taking care of two kids was a workout! I was definitely sweating by the end of it.
The funniest part of all was the looks I would get from people. I thought I was going to cause a wreck. Apparently people think it’s worth a double-take when they see a crazy lady wearing a baby and hauling three toddlers in a wagon?
Ever done a wagon workout? Any activity ideas for 2-year-olds? —Erin