I experienced a culture cliche this past weekend, and I've been thinking about it all week.
Previously I reported that we had the best weekend with Cousin Kate, her husband and her two children. I did not disclose previously that on Saturday night from 5:00 PM until about 1:00 AM the care and protection of Cousin Kate's two children (a six-year-old and a one-year-old) was our responsibility. We were the childless couple caring for a couple of kids, and at the end of the night I felt overwhelmed and amazed. I was overwhelmed at how much work it takes to care for two children, and I was amazed at how Kate and her husband care for two children every day. (We only had to do it for a few hours.)
It is insanely easy to take care of her well behaved intelligent children, in theory.
Kate and her husband left our house at 5:00 PM to attend the Yankees game. The one-year-old was in bed asleep by 7:00 PM, and the six-year-old was in bed asleep by 9:00 PM (Cousin Kate read: 8:30 PM). Plus, we had reinforcements with the help from my husband's mother until 9:00 PM. This should have been easy breezy. However, I was worried the entire time: Are they getting enough to eat at meal time? Does the one-year-old ever slow down? Are they getting clean enough at bath time? Is the one-year-old's diaper on tight enough? What if it leaks at night? Are they having fun? Are we giving them both sufficient amounts of attention? What Would Cousin Kate Do? What if we can't hear them wake up in the middle of the night? What if the one-year-old crawls out of his crib and escapes from our house? What if, what if, what if....
So we were the culture cliche: a childless married couple cares for two young children and at least one member of the childless couple feels overwhelmed. How do they do this every day? How does my brother and his wife do this with Presley and Paxten? How did my parents do this? I have my masters degree and this is not easy for me. I'm scared.
Of course, this is why life is better in twos. My husband was relaxed and engaged the whole time. He's going to make a great father, and I well...I'll have to calm down and figure it out.