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Adventures in Babysitting

July 21, 2004

Once a month, Mosaic has a meeting at the McManus’s that they call Life in Church. This is one of the steps in becoming volunteer staff at Mosaic (aka. membership). All of the interns have been privileged to go and find out more about Mosaic’s core values and mission. Last night was Josh and Elizabeth’s turn to go, and Josh asked me to babysit……………….[moment of silence for that to sink in and for you to laugh]. Josh and Elizabeth have two daughters, Gracie (2) and Ellie (1). You can find them in the picture below. Now, normally I am good at turning down offers to babysit, and if any of you have seen me around children, you know it is probably for the best that I do. There is just something about saying “no” to a couple who has packed up there comfortable life in Ft. Wayne and moved for 10 weeks to LA with their two small children to live in housing that changes every two or three weeks all for the sake of moving to Nashville and starting a church. So I said yes. I arrived at Eric’s house, where they are staying for anther week, about 5:00 pm and the adventure begins. As I was finishing making our pasta for dinner, Gracie was walked into the backyard and fell on the steps on her way out the door. I suppose what happened is what normally happens, there was crying and a scraped knee that I was certainly not aloud to touch, rub or clean in any way, shape or form. So I dealt with that for all of 15 minutes before I called Elizabeth to get the scoop on what to do. She told me where the ouch-less cleaner was and just to clean it anyway…right. Clean it anyway, which I knew, but had no desire to do. So, we got it cleaned out the best we could without me having to be to forceful. After everything was fine, we settle in to eat our pasta, which went well, execpt for Gracie saying “I don’t know how to eat this.” “I don’t know this”. What does that mean? You eat it like you eat anything else. Eventually she ate when we went outside. So we played outside for awhile, swinging, writing with sidewalk chalk and going for a ride in the wagon. Later we ended up inside for a round of Barney and half of Shrek, complete with fruit snacks. There is a reason I have not yet mentioned Ellie. She’s low maintainace, laid back and content with keeping herself occupied. I love this kid. I could hang out for hours with her. Bedtime for Ellie was a little different story though. When I was putting her in her bed, she cried and it was clear she didn’t want to go. Apparently this is a common thing with children. I have no problem going to bed in the middle of the day. Anyway, as I was putting her in bed, the first time, the side of her crib was too high for my 5’3″ body to comfortably put her down in there, so I might have hit her head little hard while I was laying her down. Needless to say I felt horrible because it was totally my fault, so I took her back out to the living room for more Shrek and then tried again. Although there was no head banging, there was crying, loudly. So I took her out again and sat with her in the rocking chair. Apparently, you just put kids in bed and let them cry until they fall asleep. However, as one who lives with a constantly crying baby, I was not about to have crying if I didn’t have to. So I tried to put her down again, and then one more time and all was well. That is until there was the changing of Gracie’s pull-up, which was full of a less than thrilling item. I shall end there, for fear that I will make my own self vomit, simply by reliving the moment.

Some final thoughts:

-Jesus loved children, so I will love them too
-diapers are trickier than they look
-being completely responsible for the growth, health and development of another human being, toughest job ever
-Barney can be slightly entertaining
– watching kids is rewarding, but I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it
-“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:16-17

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