For quite a while, the same song lyrics tauntingly played over and over in my head like a broken record: “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…”
Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if our tot was not a constantly overly wired blazing bundle of impish energy. But he is. And maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if our yaya was not so super that she effortlessly manages to keep our apartment spic and span while keeping our baby Olympian out of trouble 24/7. But she is.
It was thus inevitable that our domestic affairs be reduced to a state of ARRRRRRRGH! after our valued help escaped to her provincial hometown. For two seemingly endless weeks, my husband and I became reluctant anti-socials as we took turns striving to maintain the presentability of our home while valiantly trying to protect our darling boy-on-the-go from mishap.
This proved to be a Herculean challenge, considering that our son’s favorite top ten activities include: (1) playing with electrical plugs and sockets, (2) throwing anything he can think of into the bathtub and toilet bowl, (3) boldly walking and crawling beneath and into any dark space he can find to start a game of hide-and-seek, (4) hurling objects across the room to see how far they can go (although, according to his father, the kid can throw and may just have a bright athletic future ahead), (5) putting everything that can fit into his mouth, (6) repeatedly turning the TV, DVD player and electric fan on and off, (7) affectionately (albeit a tad ferociously) slapping people on the face when he is happy to see them, (8) manically swiping at all items on tables/shelves/desks within his reach and gleefully watching them fall to the floor, (9) enthusiastically pulling clothes and shoes out of open closets, and (10) wildly jumping up and down the very precarious sides of our bed.
My husband and I became more stressed than we cared to admit. Anyone who dared visit us during this chaotic nanny-free period suddenly became an on-the-spot assistant babysitter (thanks for bravely assisting me in that nasty diaper change, Jennigirl!). My mother suddenly became a precious ally as she sent contingent troops plucked from her own household team to lend a helping hand when most needed. Elmo and Barney became my heroes as their videos kept our little eager beaver beautifully preoccupied for at least fifteen minutes at a time.
I kept wondering how other mothers with lots of children coped. I also thought of the people I knew who successfully raised their children without the aid of nannies. They deserve a crown. They really do.
We were literally counting down the hours to yaya’s return. On her scheduled day of arrival, we ourselves drove to the domestic airport to pick her up. Upon seeing her, I had to restrain the overpowering urge to hug her with relief. When yaya climbed into our vehicle, she immediately hugged our baby and said how much she missed him. She then proceeded to hand us bags of assorted pasalubongs she thoughtfully got us from Davao. Awwwwww. Didn’t I tell you she was super?
At last, things are now back to normal at the home front. That is, until yaya’s next vacation!