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Babysitting: Part Deux

February 27, 2017

A few weeks ago my wife and I volunteered to babysit our 4 year old twin nephews for their first overnight sleepover. Fast forward a few weeks and apparently visits to our house have now become a currency of bribery and threats for the twins. For example, if they don’t like being told to stand in a corner in time-out by their parents, they quickly state that they will go to Auntie’s house and never come back.

Likewise, visits can be a reward for good behavior- “If you two are good at the zoo, maybe you can go to Auntie’s house later.” I’m still not sure if they actually understand that I also live here but I’ll take what I can get. Going to the zoo with them also made me realize that they are quickly growing in both intelligence and coordination and are now probably smarter than chimpanzees or bonobos.

Case in point, just as our close primate relatives are adept at using tools to accomplish their goals such as fishing for termites with sticks, apparently my nephews are also quite skilled at unlocking doors which I became well aware of after they used a piece of metal to unlock the bathroom door as I was doing my business. That was quite a surprise to say the least.

I also learned that I now need to keep both a penny and a Q-tip on hand to open locked interior doors when babysitting after they decided it would be a fun game to go into spare rooms and lock the doors and not unlock them despite my desperate cajoling and shameless bribes of ice cream failed.

Additionally, I realized that the twins can be quite a handful if they don’t get what they want. This became evident after I frantically searched Netflix for Scooby Doo only to find out that they had removed the animated show from online viewing. Thanks Netflix. If synchronized twin meltdowns were an Olympic sport, they would have definitely won gold medals.

So in conclusion, I am fully cognizant that the boys are literally growing up right before my eyes. Things that seemed complicated to them a few months ago are now second nature. They learn new words and phrases every day and can master skills that I thought were previously too advanced for their age. For now though, I’ll just be happy if they forget the part of the zoo where they saw that monkey throwing its feces around…

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