Kids, right? Blatant, energetic, and highly unpredictable. These little creatures pose a challenge to any adult trying to understand them. Following my parenthood and lifestyle beat, I will mix children and climbing in this post in a way that has never been done before! (It probably has, but for suspense purposes…)
People coming from big families understand the beautiful chaos that comes along with it. Second cousins pop out of nowhere and babysitting your little siblings forms part of an inevitable equation…Unless, of course, you are the youngest of them all.
I grew up in a big Venezuelan family but I never had to face any of the challenges imposed by the new baby hogging everyone’s attention because… Well, that was me! I actually never dealt with babies until I became a mother! I had absolutely no idea of where to start or how to change a diaper. Of course, my motherly instincts finally kicked in but for the longest time my son’s pee found a way to escape from his diaper?
All of a sudden, I saw myself with a baby and surrounded by little cousins that popped out of nowhere! I moved from Venezuela to the U.S. and it so happened that all of the attention hogs were living in a different country! From then on, all the things I managed to unintentionally avoid happened to me. I became the designated babysitter and I must say… I kind of liked it!
Picture this, a 2-month-old baby crying while a 4-year-old fights with her 9-year-old cousin. In the meantime, the 6-year-old asks for lunch and the 11-year-old is nowhere to be seen. May I add that the water from the pasta was overflowing? (Yeah, I managed to accomplish that.) Oh, the beauty of childhood.
Fast forward a couple of years and the same scenario happened while babysitting my friends’ kids. In retrospect -and with the help of Carrot’s brilliant mind-, I decided to compare ages to climbing route grades:
1 years of age> : I would not know how to grade these but I’ll just say: The adrenaline and nerves felt while facing the wall. You haven’t started climbing and you already feel exhausted by the excitement and challenge ahead of you.
4 years of age (5.4): Still cute, still fun, just breathe.
6 years of age (5.6): These are great to warm up, right? They are fun and exciting but may I warn you, do not underestimate them; spend hours climbing them and they will drain you! Same with kids this age, they are funny and look cute… Look once again.
8 years of age (5.8): We all think they are easy until they are not. Oh, the shame. Why am I struggling!? WHAT THE ULTIMATE F?! It is frustrating, isn’t it? Yeah… Deal with a prepubescent kid and you’ll feel the same way. You think they are easy to deal with until they are not. Don’t get me wrong though, they are fun and still cute but the challenge begins.
10 years of age (5.10): Oh, so you are ready for 5.10s? Yeah, these are a great transition and it feels good when you climbed 5.8s and now are able to flash a 10. Let’s add the variations, was it an a,b,c or d? HA! You thought it was THAT easy? Let’s talk about hormones. Was it a bad or a good day? Was it a pimple or a blackhead? Should I even continue?
12 years of age (5.12): It is all a mental game. You’ve reached the 12s and you know that you have the physical ability but… Do you really have what it takes? When you are pumped as hell but you are one clip away from anchors, should you give in? Should you ask for a take?… When they challenge you because they want to play video games, should you give in? They cleaned their room but did not do the dishes properly… He/she hugged and kissed you yesterday but talked back at you today. “Am I a good parent?” “Am I doing things right?” “What is going on with my child? He/she was not this challenging before!” Welcome to the 12s people and… Should I even bother to continue?
After I finished babysitting this weekend I called Carrot and told him, “Man, I really like kids, I think I want a baby!” He replied, “You are the only person I know that babysits five kids and asks for another one”…. Same as with climbing, right? 😉
How would you rate ages? Can you relate to any of these experiences? Why or why not? Let’s have fun!