I asked a friend to lend me her son as a way to see if I was prepared to take care of a child. I know it’s nothing like taking care of a real child, since it was only for a couple of hours, but I figured if I couldn’t handle 2 hours, there was no way I was going to be able to handle 18 years.
Since our house isn’t childproof, she suggested I take him out to a kid’s play centre, so that’s what I did.
I was told that it would be pretty exhausting, running around after him, but I found he didn’t really run around much. Maybe it’s because I was a stranger, and he wasn’t really that comfortable with me. It wasn’t until it was nearly over that he trusted me enough to ride down the slide with me.
No, the most exhausting part was just the constant vigilance. I had to keep an eye on him, and keep an eye on the other kids to make sure they weren’t going to crash into him (he was one of the youngest kids there). I don’t know, maybe that’s being too much of a helicopter parent, but when it’s someone else’s kid, the last thing you would want is to have to explain why they’re in hospital with a black eye and a broken leg.
Looking after this kid didn’t really sway me in either direction when it comes to having one of my own, but I did enjoy watching him learn things. He ended up riding his little tricycle into a wall, and he eventually figured out how to turn around (doing a 27-point turn, but it’s probably better than I am as a driver).