Sam-a-rooni is coming to visit!

When I was 4 years old, my parents sent me on my merry way to visit my cousin Janelle and her husband Paul down in Kentucky. I remember much more about that trip than I suspect I probably should.

I vaguely remember the inside of Janelle's house. I remember playing in the back yard with the milkweed along the back fence. I remember looking up and seeing a jet and its contrails across the clear blue sky. I remember Paul coming home late in the afternoon.

And I remember taking my first shower. I remember it being strange to stand in the tub and have water fall down upon me. Janelle bathed me, so I wasn't taking one by myself, but it was still slightly frightening. The water - its moving! Really fast!

Mid-July, one of my two nephews is coming to visit me for a week. The journey will certainly be entertaining, and I suspect the week will be crazy, too. But I'm looking forward to spending the week with a 4 year old boy.

Admittedly, I'm a little nervous about being able to keep up with Sam for a week. How do I keep a 4 year old entertained? I can't bring all his toys over here, and I'm certainly not plunking him down in front of the television for a week. I wonder if he'd be willing to garden with me.

I talked to JenO about sitting for a week. She says we should schedule a play date between Cole and Sam. And that I can borrow various toys for the week.

I'll also have to put away all my clutter, child-proof the house. That's going to be a chore.

Oh, yeah, and buy a plastic mattress cover for the twin bed. The only thing worse than a dog pissing in a (read: my) bed is a little boy pissing in a (read: my other) bed.

Comments

Babysitting survival strategy guide

A week is a long time. You'll never survive it if you don't begin a rigorous training program right now.

The first thing you need to do is locate two small children and start babysitting for them on a regular basis. As any good babysitting trainer will tell you, one child isn't going to be enough. You're definitely going to need two kids to really get into the proper mental shape to survive the week long ordeal. It's kind of like how Olympic athletes always train in high altitudes. Two children who are a little bit younger than Sam are recommended, and siblings are a big plus. Mixed gender is best.

Babysit for the target children once a week at first, then gradually ease your way up to two or three times a week. Be careful not to overdo it at first! They will be kind enough to indicate to you exactly which parts of your house are not childproof by carefully dismantling everything within reach. Your pets will benefit from this also, as they will be terrorized until they learn not to show any signs of fear. Do not be dismayed, this is all an important part of the learning process.

Do not under any circumstances select the child of a neighbor or a coworker for this delicate task. You do not wish to ruin the careful harmony of your lifestyle should any trouble arise. No, it works best if you select children from a family that is about a 20 minute drive, uh, north of you. Surveys of thousands of successful training programs have proven that this is the best choice. It's also preferable to aim for weekday evenings. Fridays are best.

Good luck to you. This message has been a public service and we hope that you find this information useful.

Great suggestions! Where to find such training kids?

I wonder if there are any child-rental companies around that could help...