Yesterday night at 2:00am I got the call; our good friend Mary had gone into labor and I was the person on duty to watch their 18 month old daughter Elena. I had been sleeping with my phone in the bed for days worried I would miss the call, and the night she went into labor it happened to be on the kitchen counter. Fortunately Josh just happened to prop the bedroom door open that night and I woke up to the voicemail notification, which, for some reason, is way louder than my actual ring itself on my phone.
I was a little nervous about watching Elena, only because it's been a little while since I spent an entire day with a toddler. (not completely true, we had Aleecia a bit while in Michigan in September) Josh and both have always had kiddos around in our lives while growing up in Michigan. I have a huge family, so there were always kids of all ages around at every family gathering, plus neighborhood kids, and then I babysat for a long time. On Josh's side we have 9 nieces and nephews from Marie at 18 months to McKenzie at 14 years. But out here in Colorado, since Josh's brother Phil moved to California 5+ years ago, we haven't had any kids around to enjoy and Emma our niece was 18 months when they moved and we miss her tons!!! Now that many of our friends started to have kids, it has brought a fun change to the group.
Josh got up with me that night at 2am and went to start the car for me and to get the pickup truck going, we were trying to coordinate schedules, as our SUV broke down over the weekend and had not been fixed yet. Then I quickly drove over to Mary's house. Mary seemed to be doing great when I saw her before she and Jeff left for the hospital.
Elena woke up around 7am and the day had started! I was a little worried she would be nervous that I was getting her up and not her parents per her routine, but after one funny look at me, she smiled and all was well!
I sure had a lot of fun and the day flew by really fast. It was easy to keep with her schedule and Elena was really good at showing me how to play with her toys. I worked on teaching her "head and shoulders, knees and toes" and "the twist"and how to play her xylophone (cause I have so much knowledge on the xylophone, lol).
Mary and Jeff taught Elena some sign language as a way to express things that she wants/needs; so its really easy with a little knowledge of a few signs to understand her. She uses the sign for "more" when she wants , more of anything, like read that book more, or play the xylophone more, or dance silly more. Its fun to watch her communicate these small things. Mary said she makes up signs herself sometimes, which I think is really cute.
We also read a lot of books; several about becoming a big sister. Elena is now a big sister, as of yesterday the 9th to Elsie Jane. Her whole little world changed yesterday, and she probably doesn't really know it yet. She was fascinated when our friend Heather came to switch baby duty for the night with her 4 month old daughter Jillian. She really liked looking at Jillian and touching her own belly and pointing to the baby, they have talked about baby a lot. Elena probably won't remember what it's like to not have a sister, especially in a few short weeks and will have a friend for life in Elsie, I am sure. My mother always used to sing this song, I don't know what it is, but it starts out like something "sisters, sisters, there were never two such devoted sisters...." maybe that's the only part she sang to us... hmm?
It was sure fun to spend the day with a toddler, she didn't cry not even once, smiled all day, laughed freely (exactly like Mary) and it was a lot of fun!
I did say to Josh, and for all the family out there who ask 'when are we going to have kids?' Elena did make me want to have kiddos a little more...especially if they are like Elena when they are a toddler.
I curiously googled the "sisters song lyrics"
There were never such devoted sisters,
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir,
I'm there to keep my eye on her
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from rome
She wore the dress, and I stayed home
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun
Two different faces, but in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can
Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sisterAnd lord help the sister, who comes between me and my man