On my second evening of niece- and nephew-sitting, I picked up my nephew from daycare, retrieved my niece from her friend's house and went to meet up with my husband at our favorite pizza place.
As an appetizer, we ordered mozzarella sticks. I'd forgotten how difficult it is for kids to eat them, so that provided some comedy relief. It was hard to get my nephew to eat much pizza, especially after two cute little girls came into the restaurant with their parents and he felt it was more compelling to dance for them.
I'd asked my husband to bring my DVDs of Freakazoid Season One, which came in handy on the trip home (thank you, humongous SUV with built-in DVD player!).
I put my nephew to bed more or less immediately. My niece and I stayed up and watched one more Freakazoid segment before both going to sleep at 9:30 p.m. Yes, I was tired. Shut up.
I woke up once at around 2:10 a.m. and again sometime after 5:00 a.m. because my nephew yelled in his sleep, apparently from nightmares. I got up the first time to check on him, but he was fast asleep.
My nephew woke up in a mood and was pretty much determined to resist everything I asked him to do all morning long. I sent him to daycare dressed like George Costanza sans fannypack, wearing a too-small, long-sleeved Chiefs t-shirt, a pair of grey sweatpants and white socks that I'm pretty sure used to belong to his sister. At least I got him to wear sneakers instead of the flip-flops that he picked out.
Tonight my life is back to normal. I have a Soroptimist Club meeting, then I get to go home, play with my own cats, and watch all the TV I missed this week so far - or at least as much as I can before I fall asleep.
I've always known intellectually how much work it is to be a parent, but I certainly have a better idea of it now. Kudos to all of you moms and dads. Man, your job is hard!