Instant kids — a babysitting experience

Last weekend my husband dragged me out of town with his colleagues. They were having a ManCom meeting in Subic for three days. And because he was concerned that I was going to stay in the apartment alone, he told me to pack my things because I was going with them.

I thought it would be a time for me to rest and unwind while they were having their meeting. I was so wrong.

I was left in the staffhouse to take care of two kids, 10-year-old Carlo and 6-year old Anja (“Instant mom,” hubby’s officemates call me). Both speak impeccable English, the only child of their respective parents, and were active as kids are. But the similarity ends there.

Though I’ve met Anja, the daughter of one of hubby’s bosses, a couple of times before, it was only during this weekend when I saw what she really is. She’s very smart, speaks like a grown up and acts maturely for her age. But she easily gets bored and gets upset when things don’t go her way. She’d sometimes be stubborn when I ask her to do something she didn’t want to (like saying “Sorry” to Carlo when she accidentally hit him between his legs), and sometimes would hog the DS Lite and PSP hubby and I brought for the vacation. Once while we were watching Shaun of the Dead late at night, she would spoil the viewing pleasure by shouting, “What the hell are they doing?! Go now! Hurry!”

Carlo, on the other hand, is the typical kid. He loves playing with his PS2 (and our DS Lite and PSP as well) and would wrestle with Anja on the bed. Though at times he’d get irritated with Anja while they’re playing a cooperative game over his PS2 or when Anja goes on “brat” mode. But while Anja may think more maturely than Carlo, he acts more responsibly. He would let Anja borrow the DS Lite and PSP at the agreed time (“when I finish this race I’ll give it to you,” he says). When he accidentally hit Anja’s foot while wrestling on the bed, he said “Sorry” to her when I told him to. For a kid, Carlo had a better understanding of being responsible for one’s actions. He was more of a “big brother” type.

To be honest, three days of taking care of those kids really drained me out.

Before hubby and I went to bed on our last night in Subic, I told him that I think I already have an idea how to discipline our own kids in the future. Though I couldn’t really scold Carlo and Anja at times it was needed because they weren’t my kids, at least I had a preview of what it’s like to be a parent and the responsibilities we must face.

Well, I won’t know how to act until we meet our firstborn (when that would be, I don’t know yet). But one thing’s for sure: this weekend experience is a big lesson (or more like a drill) for me who will soon be a mother. My first priority: making sure my child won’t grow up to be a brat but someone who’s smart and responsible. More like a combination of both Anja and Carlo. But with my eyes and hubby’s hair, of course…

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