By KAHLA PRESTON
Before we start, let me just say: I like kids. I think they’re adorable, and funny, and their curiosity and general outlook on life is awesome.
The thing is… I just don’t really know what to do with them. How do I keep kids entertained? There have never really been any young kids in my life so my experience with them is almost non-existent. I babysat twice as a teenager, and the cheeky 4-year-old somehow managed to talk me into a later bedtime. I don’t even know how she did it. Jedi mind tricks, probably – kids are smart like that.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by CHUX. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
So when I agreed to look after Jo Abi’s three kids Philip, 9, Giovanni, 5, and Caterina, 4, as part of the Whatever Life Chux at You Challenge I was a little daunted. Would they like me? How does one even keep kids entertained? What would we talk about – school? Books? Do kids these days even know what books are?
Jo, my wise motherly spirit guide, thought my initiation to the life of a mum should take place in a shopping centre. On a Saturday, of course – the most overwhelmingly busy day of the week. I believe they call this ‘Baptism by Westfield’.
We met in the food court just as it was reaching peak chaos status. After introducing her kids to the complete stranger who was going to be keeping them company, Jo zoomed off to buy some lunch (which she managed with incredible speed and skill considering the density of the crowd).
That left me under the gaze of six of big, curious eyes. Three against one.
“It’s weird that you have to pretend to be our mum”, said Philip. I had to agree, and was starting to question how well I’d pull off this ‘faux mum’ gig. Deep breaths…
Conversing with three young kids was different to what I’d expected. Very different, in fact – I’d describe it as being tuned into three very exuberant talk back radio stations all at once. The topics came thick and fast and, boy, were they tangential. Within the space of two minutes we’d already covered kittens, movies, Christmas wishlists, ballet, favourite colours, soccer and Minecraft.
The main challenge was giving Philip, Giovanni and Caterina equal attention and enthusiasm while not cutting them off mid-sentence, and I think I just pulled it off by channeling one of those fairground clown heads that continuously swivel from one side to the other.
On the topic of Minecraft (whatever it is…), I realised I am hopelessly out of touch with Kid World in 2013. What is a Skylander? Who is this Peppa Pig character and, speaking of animated swine, whatever happened to Preston Pig? I think I had more trouble following that conversation than I do following global politics.