Babysitting overnight

I knock and I listen for a second. I knew Conrad would have his hands full so I open the door. I see Conrad all the way in the kitchen, with an apron on and a little plate with cheese, chicken bite size pieces and crackers, then I hear two pair of bare joyous feet running on the shiny hardwood floor to the door with delightful smiles. Such unexpected welcome!

Conrad volunteered to babysit overnight for our friends. We take our leisurely mornings and quiet days for granted, but parents of two boys under 3 don’t. I worked this Saturday leading up to the overnight, and I thought about how it would all go the entire day… so many what-ifs.

So I took my shoes of, got down on the floor and we played with trucks until Conrad finished preparing dinner. The one and a half year old guy climbed on the high chair on his own. He has the strongest will I have ever seen in a boy, but he is also very emotionally intelligent. We had a very enjoyable dinner, I shared some of my more appealing though identical meal and we took a walk around the block after. Then we got ready for bed, read stories and the day was done. We went on the back patio and enjoyed the warm night air with cold beers in our hands. We talked about Romania…

We both woke up throughout the night to discontent noises… “apa”. The littlest one was thirsty every couple of hours. In the morning they climbed in our bed to slowly wake up.

Conrad conversed 80% in Romanian with the boys. Little bodies, snuggling on the couch, giggling, playing with Conrad’s beard, falling asleep in the carseats on the way back from church, eating lunch in the backyard, playing and exploring on their own while we had our second cup of coffee. There was no negotiation, no fussing over getting dressed, napping or finishing the food from their plates. We were instructed to be firm, and they seemed to love us for it.

The three year old informed us at lunch that mommy and daddy are on a date. They seemed to clearly know what the deal-io was, and we all made the best of it.

Kids love Conrad. He has charm and authority. I am just his lovely assistant, and I don’t mind it. We look forward to sipping wine on our own balcony in Cluj, under the bright stars, with hay smell and the sound of crickets.