Despite the fact that the 5 -year old kid I sent home wasn’t mine, I felt a sense of guilt when he said as he exited the door “Now I’m sad”. I had to be stern as despite my repeated requests for him to go home as I need to do some chores, he wouldn’t. I was also feeling a bit sluggish and depressed about some bad deals with a former co-worker.
He is my neighbor who lives across from my house. I have come to befriend him as his grandma used to take him out for a walk in the afternoons. The grandma comes to the rescue everytime the nanny leaves. He loves drawing, and he would do that with my blackboard and the paper and pencil I provide for him. Recently, he has taken a fancy to Chess, and now knows how to arrange the pieces on the board.
He used to take just one hour at the most and was easy to dismiss. But recently, I find it hard to make him go home. Even at the times I was taking a nap, he would ring my doorbell constantly until I get up and allow him to enter. His parents go to work 6 days a week and they are left with a stay-out nanny. But it is his two year old brother that the nanny really attends to and she would just be happy to see the older boy enter my home. Maybe the stack of old toys of my grandnephew in my house is an added attraction.
Compared to the 4-year old son of my niece who lives nearby, this neighbor of mine is easier to handle. Where my grandnephew is hyperactive, this boy is more behaved and talks a lot. But still, children will be children and he would keep on asking questions and bothering me. You just can’t provide them with materials or toys and let them play by themselves. If I leave my grandnephew by himself, he would surely get into trouble or accident.
It used to be that I was crazy about playing and interacting with kids especially the kids of my nephew. But after my niece moved in and I experienced how hard it is taking care of her hyperactive child, I grew tired and weary, I am now the one running away from him. And I am no longer as excited about my niece giving birth to another baby boy! Maybe my situation is different now that I no longer have a house helper to help me clean up. Or maybe, after my bout with mastectomy, chemo and radiation, I am no longer as strong as I used to be to cope with these kids. Or maybe I am burdened with more of life’s challenges and it has affected my outlook and enthusiasm for life.