Last weekend my family and I had a lovely 4 year old boy come to stay with us. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a random 4 year old boy. He is my brother’s, wife’s, sister’s, son. Follow that? Well we call him our nephew, much easier that way! It was a fun yet exhausting 2 days. I thought I would share some things I learnt whilst looking after him:
1. Anything can become a game.
Moving a few dining chairs = a train! You have to make train noises and move your arms in a “choo choo” fashion! Though sometimes the train can turn into a roller coaster and then you have to scream as you wave your arms up and down.
2. If the child has a chance to make a mess, they will!
We had some drawing stencils then got the paint out to paint our animals. Paint the animals? No it’s much more fun to paint the newspaper we have put down on the table. Bring out a box of Duplo, wants to build a tower. I have now been taught that the best way of doing this is emptying the whole box of bricks everywhere, then start to build.
3. Bath times are a source of great fun….most of the time!
Bath time to me is a time to lay back and relax. To my 4 year old nephew it’s a time to splash and squirt and play. Unfortunately this fun can become too exciting, especially if your small child needs to loo. Quickly had to abort the bath mission.
4. Perception of time is very different in small children.
We were coming up to dinner time and we told him it would be about 5 minutes. In an eager fashion he leaped up the table and into his seat. Not 1 minute later we hear this….”Where is my dinner that I ordered 100 years ago!” This is now my favourite quote. I think we should all start using it!
5. Awake time = play time.
Why be awake if you are not going to play? I think this is his mantra. He is constantly on the go looking for something to entertain him. He is very inquisitive which is a good thing and leads to fun questions. I think his biggest source of entertainment was our Dalmatian who makes a good horse and is fun to play catch with.
6. Kids are a joy to have around.
Although I ended the weekend feeling tired and like I had run a marathon, it was so much fun and really enriching to look after him. He is funny, clever, cute and almost constantly happy.
To summarise: I learnt a lot, was surprised a lot, and enjoyed it a lot. I haven’t been put off having any of my own yet!