Diapers+4am Wake-up calls=Birth Control

Graduate School is a very selfish time in one's life. I'm always either at work, in class, working on a paper or project, doing research, or um...did I mention doing HOMEWORK! And when I am not doing any of those things I am mentally working on ways to keep my sanity, for example, counting stairs that lead into the library, sharpening my pencils until they are stubs, or just rocking back on forth on the floor in my room and softly humming the theme to the A Team.

So it was to my surprise that I found myself with two days off in a row this weekend, and decided spur of the moment to offer to watch my niece-two and a half year old Syd, and nephew-nearly one year old Aidan. I love spending time with the kids and they are at a fun age; Aidan so close to walking, and Syd talking about how Daddy makes breakfast or how the Lion in the Wizard of Oz says, "ROAR!" (except this is usually screamed, and Syd is usually standing pretty close to your ear when she does it). Yes, conversations more or less along the lines of the ones that I have at school with my professors..."Librarians say ROAR!"

And so it began. I took the kids over to Mom and Dad's house where Syd watched the Wizard of Oz movie for the thousandth time and Aidan tried to chew on everything-since he is teething. And things seemed to be running smoothly: Aidan had a bottle and then fell asleep in my lap, the little angel, and after putting him in bed I snuggled with Syd and watched a movie until she fell asleep, then I went back upstairs and watched a movie with the 'rents.

I ran upstairs to check my email when I thought that I heard a little voice. I went back downstairs to discover Syd, siting in living room, on the floor between my parents, just chattering away. Ok we think, we'll humor her and let her stay awake for a little bit and then she'll go back to bed.

It isn't long before I take Syd back to bed and try to fall asleep. But I learned that she is like that friend that you take camping with you-after an exhausting day of hiking, you just want to sleep; yet every time you start to drift off they try and strike up a conversation. Every time I began to drift away on those serene clouds of R.E.M., I would hear a small voice, "Manda, I watched a movie," or "The Lion says Roar!" Finally, thankfully, we both fell asleep.

The first wake up call came at 4am. Syd has started potty training and what my sister and brother-in-law try to do is have her communicate a lot about when she needs to go to the bathroom. And the one thing that you don't want to hear at 4am is "Manda, I pooped." And that is exactly what I woke up to, except when she said it, she said it loud enough to wake up her brother, who started crying, and who also needs a diaper change. I fumbled through both diaper changes, eyes barely open. And it is at this point that we are joined by my Mom,who overheard the noise we all were making; Syd talking loudly about whatever a 2+ year old talks about at 4am-she could have been quoting Shakespeare for all I know, Aidan crying, me mumbling something that I hoped sounded comforting, though it did not seem to be working.
Finally Mom and Syd laid down and fell asleep together on the couch, and it wasn't long before they were both sawing logs, and I-who was uncomfortably angled in a lazy boy with the now sleeping Aidan laying on me-quietly snuck downstairs and laid Aidan on the bed and fell fast asleep next to him.

I'm not sure who was more surprised this morning? Aidan looked confused as to why he should find himself waking up next to me, or me thinking the same thing. Everything is fuzzy at 7am, isn't it?
I loved spending the time with the kids, but thought to myself as I was getting ready for our Mother's Day breakfast-if they only had teenagers spend a whole night watching a couple of little kids they wouldn't even have to worry about talking to kids about safe sex. I have decided that having small children around is birth control enough!
P.S. Have to give credit where credit is due: the Mr. T picture came from photobucet.com, searching "Mr. T"

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