9 Jan
I spent my weekend – 48 hours – in charge of a five year old and I live to tell the tale.
To those of you who are mothers, this is no large feat.  But I’m new to this 24/7 care of a child and the child is not mine or a family member’s.  Things are different when it’s someone else’s kid … and you’re not mom or dad.  
M. is by no means a stranger to me nor I to her; I first babysat for her when she was just a few months old.  But this was the first overnight.  And it was TWO nights.  M. never hesitated to tell me that she missed Mom and Dad and she wished they were there.  Me being different threw off her routine, the normalcy, and I’m sure it was tough for her.  (Plus, I’m just different, apparently.  In the mornings, after she would wake me up at 7-0-0, she would tell me, “You don’t look like Lindsay” as my glasses were on and hair in no proper condition.  After I showered/dressed/contacts in, she would say, “Now you look like Lindsay.”)
Once I looked like myself and we had the treat of special cereal for breakfast, we had fun.  I played the part of a sports nanny, toting M. off to both swimming and ice skating lessons.  I was asked if I was her mother a few times.  (I used to be offended or even question how people could even think that!  But then I realize I am 27 years old and it’s completely possible to have a 5 year old without scandal involved …)  We went out for lunch at M.’s favorite Indian buffet, where the waiter knew her by name and gave her a free mango smoothie.  I brought crafting supplies and my Barbies (the ones that have collected dust in the basement of my home of origin for many, many years) along to play so we kept busy when we were at home too.
Today, after skating, we stopped for ice cream.  Her parents were now home and just waiting for us to return from the lesson and our snack.  M. contemplatively ate her swirl cone (which was not as giant as she had requested) and said, “I’m glad Mom and Dad are home but it also makes me sad that you’re leaving.”  
For cute.  We did have a lot of fun.  She’s one polite and hilarious girl.
L: Would you like some water?
M: Yes, please.  That would make me very happy.
L: Happy as a clam?
M: No.  Happy as a bicycle.
I’m sure it won’t be too terribly long until M. and I have another chance to play.  Crafts, paper chains, turkey curry (her favorite), Barbies, and all sorts of fun will come again.

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