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I babysat my 2 year old nephew the other day…overnight, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m too damn old for a toddler. Thirty eight year olds should not be chasing a two year old around.

Let me preface this by saying, my nephew is a normal toddler. He isn’t in need of a straight jacket or Ritalin as of yet. Which begs the question…how the hell did I survive not once, but twice with a full time two year old???

Maybe it’s because back then my house was child proofed and now I’m living with the “if they stick it in their mouth or electrocute themselves, they should have known better” kind of mantra . This kind of thinking doesn’t work with a two year old.

My sister dropped him off at 6:30 and I asked the kid in my high pitched sing songy auntie voice, “And what time will you go to bed?”

My sister avoided my eyes as she replied, “Oh, probably around 11…”

I glowered at her and I’m surprised she didn’t melt into the floor. 11:00 is basically what time I would go to bed on a night out. I am OLD. I am in my pjs at 9, tucked into bed by 9:30 and snoozing away by 10.

“We’ll see about that,” I retorted. (I had him asleep by 10 so I consider that a triumph)

Then, the chase began. I swear I got more cardio than a week of boot camp just chasing the kid around the house to preventing him from scaling the dresser drawers like Spider-Man or smashing my Precious moments to the floor just for the delight of watching them shatter.

First his eyes grew wide when he spotted my Scentsy. For those of you who don’t know, Scentsy is a flameless candle thingamabob that smells really nice and doesn’t put my firefighter husband into shock when he discovers I left it on all night. It’s very discreet and doesn’t even look like a candle but damn that kid was on my snowman Scentsy like it was a piƱata at a birthday party. Within seconds he had the lid off and was dipping his fingers in the wax. I screeched in horror.

Now, the wax isn’t hot, so I didn’t worry he was going to burnt himself or anything like that. No, I was more concerned that he was going to break the cute little carrot nose off of the thing.

As I was disconnecting that, Mr. Elusive dashed off towards the sliding glass doors of the dining room where my daughter had lovingly cut out snowflakes and taped them to the door in the shape of a snowman.

Apparently, he was drawn to snowmen because before I could get into the room, I heard two distinctly different noises that made my blood run cold. Blood curdling shrieking from my daughter and squeals of delight from the two year old. Oh yeah, he ripped them all down and was stuffing the pieces into his mouth.

As I consoled the sobbing eight year old, I caught the escape artist toddling off. I followed him to the kitchen where his eyes grew wide at the sight of the overflowing recyclable bin. I snatched the wine bottle out of his hands before it met an untimely death at the hands of my ceramic tile. There was a drop left in the bottle. I didn’t want it to go to waste.

In that brief nanosecond it took to pour the drop down my gullet, he took off again. This time chasing our cankerous 10 year old dog. She was a puppy when the kids were little; happy to play and be chased. Now she was an old lady who wanted to be left the hell alone. Kind of like me.

“Crap!” I muttered, flinging the wine aside. She would bite him for sure.
Sure enough, he had her cornered and was attempting to pat her. With a shoe. She snarled and I snatched him away just in time. Her jaws latched onto the shoe instead of him.

It was at this point that my husband shouted from the other room.
“Can you keep it down in there? I’m trying to watch TV.”

I was tempted to go beat him with the shoe but instead I gritted my teeth and sat the kid down.

My sister claims all the kid does is sleep and watch TV at home. Apparently, my house is like an amusement park to him because he does none of that. Either that or she gives him coffee before he comes over and cackles as she drives off.

“Listen,” I said, trying to remain calm. “Aunt Heather is too old for this crap. Why don’t we sit down now and watch TV?” I suggested with that smile we all use on toddlers.

The kid laughed in my face and took off again. I glanced at the clock, counting down the hours till I could realistically try to put him to bed. It was 7:02.

After chasing him relentlessly for another hour, in which he took a bite of all the apples in the bowl on my table, drove a match box car over the flat screen TV, broke off the ladders to all my husband’s fire truck, nearly choked after shoving an entire piece of garlic bread into his mouth and sat on the door of the dishwasher, I begged my daughter to watch him for five minutes while I sat down and took my pulse.

I slumped onto the couch next to my husband who was completely oblivious to the mayhem as long as it didn’t interrupt his TV show.
“Is he sleeping?” he asked me.

I stared at him in disbelief, but only for a second. Because just then, a crashing noise came from the kitchen followed by a wailing toddler. And I was off again…

After he left the next day, I wrote a poem:

Dear God,
Please ignore the curses,
That I slung at you,
Several years ago,
When I was quite blue.

I may have been mad,
At you at the time,
But now birth control,
Doesn’t cost a dime.

No rubbers or a pill,
No pulling it out,
The fact I can’t have more,
Makes me want to shout.

No heart palpitations,

Or little plus signs,

Will worry this girl,

If Aunt Flo’s not on time.

I love my little nephews,
And even my niece,
But the fact the go home,
Puts me at peace.

Since I am too old,
To chase little tykes,
Who stick gum in their hair,
And fall off of bikes.

I’m lucky for sure,
That I had my two,
Before I turned thirty,
And didn’t have a clue.

Thank you oh Lord,
For setting me straight,
And taking away,
My ability to procreate.

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