My sister was amazed I was letting my 16-year old nephew babysit my 3-year old daughter. Perhaps even a little dumbfounded with shock. But I didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Who cares that he’s never babysat anything in his life? He needed a little show of respect and this was my way of saying, “Yes Nephew, I believe your mature and responsible enough to take care of the most important thing in my life.”
And we were only going out for three and a half hours, for supper and a movie, and I really wanted to go out to a movie since I hadn’t been to one that wasn’t for kids for ages.
Now, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a bit worried. I proceeded to message my nephew every half hour from the time we left at 6p.m. until we got home at 9:30p.m. Everything was find until 8p.m. when Nephew stopped answering texts. “It’s OK, Nicole,” my inner voice calmed myself. “He won’t let anything happen to her. Nephew’s just tired of answering your texts.”
We got home at 9:30 to a silent house. Nephew sounds asleep on the sofa, Princess D peaceful upstairs in slumber.
“Sister,” I beamed. “She’s asleep. Nephew did so good. D is still in her clothes but I bet Nephew just felt uncomfortable changing her. God love him for doing a good job.”
I went to bed proud, and awoke to the truth…
Davis: “Mommy! You are here. Nephew took his shirt off last night” (giggles)
Me: “Yes, I saw that.”
Davis: “And then he went to sleep on the sofa.”
Me: “He went to sleep? What were you doing?”
Davis: “Watching my Barbie movie. When it went black he didn’t even fix it for me.”
Me: “What did you do?”
Davis: “I went to bed.”
Me: “You put yourself to bed????”
Davis: “Yup. And I went to sleep all by myself like a big girl.”
Later she told my sister. “Nephew didn’t even put a blanket on me.”
Moral of the story: if you let your 16-year old nephew babysit, who’s never babysit anything before, you may learn your toddler can put themselves to bed all by themselves, without a 20 minutes cuddle session.
And while it might not be what you expected, it was still perfect.