Recently dude and i did a little babysitting for Dora & Boots.
We spent all of 5 full days with them. We did a lot fun stuff together and it was great. Scrapbooking, watching cartoons, going to the park, bedtime stories.
We also did the 'real' stuff, like homework and meals and going to bed on time and a dozen classes that the girls attend, from swimming to ballet to tennis to kathak (it's an Indian dance form, you can read more about it here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathak).
When we took Dora to her swimming class, we sat and waited by the pool till she was done. Boots stayed with us and kept herself amused with wooden benches, my handbag and the water cooler. She's got some imagination, that one!
Dora's swimming class takes place in a huge pool, divided into 3 parts. The first, for Dora's age group, is children learning to swim and getting the right training to be confident swimmers. The second, for slightly older children, is I suppose, a more intensive training class.
The third was for babies. Literally. They were in diapers and each baby had a parent with them in the water as well. it was all about getting the child comfortable with water and getting over the fear of suddenly being dunked. (SO been there!)
It was amazing to watch. The class progressed with the parents singing 'row, row, row your boat' and the kids being swished about in the water. The giggling and gurgling and occassional wailing, was fun to watch.
Dora's turning out to be a wonderful little swimmer. I was proud as I watched her, a cute lil bundle of blue, with bright pink goggles and a swimming cap (is that what you call it? It's super tight to be a cap, it's like it latched onto her brain!). She'd suddenly pop her head out of the water and look for us and wave excitedly, a huge grin on her face.
The experience at the pool, watching Dora, keeping an eye on Boots, watching all those parents and kids...made me think.
Parenthood is a big, no scratch that, HUGE deal. It's not just about taking care of them as babies and feeding them, burping them and all that other stuff. They grow! You still have to keep them entertained and then, shiny, jingly jangly baubles, won't help. There's education and friends and good influences and bad influences and a gamut of things I hadn't really thought of before.
No, it's not my biological clock ticking, for those heavy thinkers amongst you - thank you very much.
It's just that at that moment, at the pool...I was suddenly in awe of parents everywhere. For the efforts they make, the dreams they dream, the sleepless nights, the constant love, support and backing even when they might just want to whack you silly. I mean, it was a swimming class for heavens sake.
Parents sacrified their Saturday morning to come and swim with their kids, in the desert sun (only the seating was shaded) and they had brought healthy snacks, creams, hair ribbons, all to make the experience more enjoyable for their kids. It was just, a swimming class.
We had a blast with the girls.
I have to be honest, I don't envy parents. I was a bit unnerved at all the little add-ons that parenting seems to entail.
But I do think it's awesome to be able to see our Dora & Boots finding their element in this world.
The future holds a buttload of talent.