Can I borrow your 5yo daughter?

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I just got off the phone with one of my dearest friends, who happens to have an (almost) five-year-old daughter. Said daughter does things like label their toys with Sharpie so that they don’t get lost or stolen by shady 2yo’s at the park. Another good friend, who also has an adorably pigtailed four-year-old lass, tells me about how her child does not like it if toys are misplaced and so goes around the house putting things “back,” (I thought that was a mythical concept!) and a third friend has an angel of a tot residing in her abode who actually Chlorox Wipes down surfaces for fun.

After this phone call I speak of, I openly wept as I stared down at the Go Lean Crunch littering my Ikat living room rug. To be fair, my (almost) three-year-old boy is not the messiest kid on the planet, and he’s frankly quite picky about where certain objects live in our house (“that lamp doesn’t go in there, it goes in Mommy and Daddy’s room!” — so much for my spontaneous remodeling attempts). But other than furniture placement, the particulars of his meticulousness seem to mainly be focused on trains (as in, BUILD THAT DOUBLE MOUNTAINED TUNNEL RIGHT NOW PLEASE USING THOSE TWO CURVY TRACKS, MOMMY!) and not so much with sippy cups (there’s a trail of them all around our house, much like Hansel and Gretel’s infamous bread crumbs. And sometimes there’s even a trail of little droplets of milk. Which I go around cleaning up with the toe of my sock so I don’t have to bend down seven months pregnant). 

After I dried my tears and reminded myself that even though my son doesn’t keep his trains neatly lined up in a row, he’s stinking CUTE, I started doing some serious thinking. Sure, I could use a babysitter or assistant or, let’s face it, a wife to help me around the house, especially as we gear up for Baby #2 (who couldn’t?), but a cheaper, more malleable solution might be for me to borrow your 5yo daughter on a part-time, flex basis. I may not have won the angelic firstborn girl lottery, but that doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from the fact that you did. Will your daughter boss my kid around and tell him not to drop that food on the floor? Perfect. Can she inform him that he didn’t eat all his veggies and also force him to carefully put away his trains every night before bed, lest a monster come in the night and steal them away for ever or at least until he’s ready to be a productive member of society? CHECK. Can she make sure he’s properly buckled in his car seat, force him to sing Barbie movie songs in the backseat, and monitor his snack consumption while I’m making a left turn to ensure he isn’t choking on a cheddar bunny? Awesome. (Side note: If she does cleaning and/or dishes, or even if she can just fetch a diaper for the new baby arriving in November while my older kiddo builds a train track out of empty butt cream containers, that’d be great.)

Another friend recently forwarded me a study that says the happiest families have two daughters. The next happiest have a boy and a girl (I’m guessing older girl, though that’s just conjecture since this extremely scientific essay didn’t go into specifics about birth order), and the third happiest families have two boys. After that, things seem to take a turn in the other direction (sorry, families of 4+ girls. According to this random Swedish study that is probably based on pop science and no actual data or facts, you’re screwed. But not till the teenage years, so breathe deep: most of you have time).

Anyway, I can totally see it. I mean, my kiddo is categorically adorable. The fact that he insisted on wearing his shoes on the wrong feet ALL AFTERNOON yesterday, driving the left (or is it the right?) side of my brain close to madness, is totally endearing, right? He even likes to do laundry; he just thinks his paint-stained Cat in the Hat shirt can be washed, dried, and returned to his body in less than four minutes. I don’t think even Martha Stewart can pull that off, but tell that to my monster, I mean toddler.

But my kiddo’s still an (almost) 3yo boy. And your kiddo is a 4+ girl who could really be a lifesaver to me right now, so here’s what I propose: send her over for an afternoon or two a week. Let’s see how quickly she can whip my house and my kid into shape. I’d love it if she gave lectures on the proper dressing of dolls or could teach my son all the lyrics to “Do you Wanna Build a Snowman?” If she can even show him how fascinating it is to help momma diaper a baby, I might actually stop having nightmares about the arrival of Kiddo #2. (The example baby doesn’t have to be a baby doll; Leo’s generic Curious George-but-not will suffice). The job requires a certain amount of flexibility, so if she isn’t willing to do countertops, we’ll have to see.

Oh, in case you’re wondering: the bossier your daughter, the better. Every time she reminds my kid it’s “clean up” time, she’ll get an Elsa sticker. And even if you happen to have a 5yo son who says things like, “forks are for eating, not for playing,” I’d consider him for the position, too.

Thanks in advance,

Rebecca

17 thoughts on “Can I borrow your 5yo daughter?

  1. I don’t think its a boy/girl thing, from the get-go, my son was OCD neat and my daughter a creative ragamuffin….they are who they are from the beginning….. the mess is there either way, and it drives you crazy…. the takeaway from a long distance perspective: set your Mama limits, and enjoy the hell out of the cuteness….

    1. Totally — and of course I’m totally generalizing in a ridiculous fashion! I’ve just seen so many girls who do things like label all the family toys with the family name that I want to adopt them all and bring them home as pseudo-babysitters! Lol 🙂

  2. This is so funny! My daughters are so bossy– one is 7 and one is 5. You could totally borrow them both! (And yes, I’m sorry to say, my 10 year old barely gets himself a glass of water, but I’m working to change that!)

  3. YES! Mine is 4.5 and a new big sister. She is quite the little mama. I try not to call her bossy because I bought into the whole “ban bossy” as a pejorative term. We like to call it girl power…yes. But anyways as soon as I find a place in SF (and pack up my house and get rid of exactly half my stuff) you can certainly borrow her. She does expect to be paid though you can get away with giving her a handful of change which she’s collecting in her Hello Kitty purse to take back to a little toy store on 24th in Noe Valley (you probably know the one) that we’ve already visited three times to buy three items, two of which she left in the bathroom at Mission Dolores Park. In case you were wondering she handled the loss of the items bought with her own money with more maturity than myself. If you don’t know where something is, she will find it, including keys and cell phones. However she only cleans up if you bribe her. And I should warn you that she will try to pick up your son and carry him around, but don’t worry, she only nurses dolls.

    1. I’m totally laughing out loud. Love it. (And do you mean The Ark, Small Fry’s or that sort of odd crafty store on 24th? 🙂 Oh, and you braved the BATHROOM at the Dolores Park???? (I guess we’re lucky our 3yo boy can pee in a bush.Though they’re redoing those bathrooms and they’ll at least be nice for a while after that.) FINGERS CROSSED on finding the SF place!!! So exciting that you’re moving here! xox

        1. Yay! (for the park, not the bathroom, lol. You know, in 6 years of living near that park I’ve never ventured into the bathroom? But I guess I always had the option to walk home, ha ha)

  4. Ooh I wonder what three boys would be! My almost five-year-old boy is similar to that girl, although not that extreme. He enjoys cleaning and wiping, and he’ll put things back but not always on his own initiative.

    I think hiring a five-year-old buddy to show him the ropes sounds clever 😉 And the opposite shoes thing? Yes, that is friggin’ adorable! He gets a pass.

  5. I won’t ever forget the day when I learned (for REAL) the difference between little boys and little girls. Gavin and his older-by-2-months girl cousin were about 2 years old. We went to a pumpkin farm. After exploring for a bit, we found an open patch of grass. The little girl sat quietly in her mom’s lap – totally content. Gavin wouldn’t sit still, not even for a minute, and opted to try to scale a wall. It hasn’t ever been the same since.

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