Yep, someone besides Dan's parents finally used our guest room. This would absolutely not be noteworthy, except did I mention that my cousin's son is 18 months old?
I will be the first to admit I am not good with kids. I think they can smell my nervousness on me and they don't tend to like me either. So, for the longest time, I had this horrible fear of kids. I would actively avoid the baby aisle at Target. I'd panic when someone I knew from high school had gotten pregnant.
However, something in the last couple of years has softened my nerves. It could be a lot of different things. It could be spending time with the kids of my friends and family. It could be that I'm married now so an accidental pregnancy is no longer on the top of my list of worries (wouldn't that be a fun blog post?). Or, most likely, it could be that my own hormones have betrayed me, trying to ready me for the day I'm stuck with a bunch of rugrats.
Anyway, Dan and I were both pretty apprehensive about having him in our house because we had no idea what to expect. Would he be walking well enough so that we wouldn't have to foam the edge of the stone seat in front of our fireplace? Would he know enough words and language at 18 months so that we would have any sort clue what he needed? Was he a crier? What kind of food do you stock for a toddler?
After some last minute emails to my cousin, we kind of just winged it. And things went well. He had a bunch of dietary restrictions I couldn't have predicted anyway, but some trips to the grocery store solved that no problem. My grandma had a pack 'n play from the last time he visited that double as a baby bed. No, he wasn't a crier, but a bit of a happy shrieker. And while his vocabulary was mainly limited to bah (ball) and cah (car), he understood when we told him not to go somewhere or not to touch something.
The biggest shock to me was how well we handled it. Yes, we didn't have to do anything hard like feeding him, bathing him, or changing any diapers, but I don't think we felt overwhelmed by his presence. He warmed up to us fairly quickly. He would walk up to Dan and put his arms up near the Jeep, wanting to be held so he would have a better view. When he had his first swimming experience, he wanted to be bounced up and down by me in the water. I made up a game he loved called "We're on the floor". Pretty simple: lay on the floor, yell "WE'RE ON THE FLOOR!", wiggle and roll around like a crazy person, and listen to the shrieks of laughter as he falls over next to me and tries to wiggle.
Dan and I have always planned on having kids down the line, hopefully around the time we turn 30, but I've always been very tentative about the idea of us having kids. Between me not liking kids and Dan being an only child, how could we possibly raise tiny humans? I'm a total slob with a short fuse who likes to yell. Dan works crazy hours at work and is incredibly unreliable at getting home when he says he will, even if it is after a 10+ hour day. How could we possibly have the time, energy, patience, and coordination to have kids?
And yes, all those things will probably be true for a long time, maybe even once we have kids, but at least now I know we can make a toddler laugh and that's what's truly important, right?
Update: Also, just how cute is Dan with kids? They just love him.