My friend Andrea approached me with the idea of having a babysitting swap. One Monday a month she'll take the girls for an entire morning and the other day, I will. We decided 9-12 is a good time frame, mostly because it allows the "free" mother a whopping amount of time to clean her house or eat chocolate, her choice, without child in tow. We began this week and I went first. Andrea dropped Dana off at 9 a.m. Monday morning and off she went. The girls were so excited to play together and Dana even relaxed about the dog, so we didn't have to keep him in the basement for three hours.
The day did not, however, pass without incident.
Two-year-olds, as it turns out, are not so great at taking turns. Duh.
I mean, mostly they were fine, especially once I hid Harper's baby doll and stroller, being that there's only one of each. Oh. My. Word. I literally had to pry both of their hands off the stroller and left them both crying on the floor while I locked it in the spare bedroom. We also had incidents over Harper's bear shaped pretend cookie mold, the ride-on corn popper, and a pair of infant sunglasses. But the girls mostly played well together.
A good thing about two-year-olds is that they seem to recover quickly from disappointment. While there were a few fits here and there, I think the morning can be called a success. Despite the knock-down-drag-out over the doll and stroller, both girls said they had fun and want to play together again.
Another benefit to this play day was that, as much as she drives me crazy, it helped me recognize that Harper has learned and follows a lot of our ground rules. I think I had been taking that for granted a bit. It's not that Dana wasn't well-behaved. For example, there is a stereo receiver/VCR/DVD thing on an open shelf below our television. Harper hardly ever touches that anymore, not that we didn't have to teach her to leave it alone. But at Dana's their equipment is behind childproof cabinet doors so she hasn't had to learn to leave it alone. I found myself saying a lot of, "At Harper's house we. . ." and she figured it out.
Of course the very best part will be a week from Monday, when I get to drop Harper off at Dana's house for three glorious hours!!!