Prompted by a friend's success story of a babysitting swap with 8 children, the Cupits and two other couples started one of their own. The first "party" was held at the Cupit home last Friday night. The festivities took place from 6:30 to 9:30 and included homemade pizza, Shrek, popcorn (HUGELY popular), and plenty of running around! The guests of honor included 2 excited three-year olds, a busy two-and-a-half-year old, a 20 month old who thinks he's one of the big kids and loves to start a game of "scream as loud as you can", a 16-month old who just goes with the flow , and an adorable 8 month old.
The evening proved challenging, educational, and fun for the kids. Brad and Maren learned that good food is very important. Next time they may go for spaghetti and meatballs. Lesson learned: kids are quiet when their mouths are full. Also, Shrek wasn't captivating enough for this group. Elmo and the Wiggles were more effective at settling everyone down. The kids sat still just long enough for the chaperones to recharge. Another lesson learned- Have more planned activities ready like finger painting or playdough. If the kids are doing an activity that requires them to be sitting down it's easier to keep track of them and keep them happy.
One thing the Cupits did right: they put down Laurel for a late nap. She didn't wake up until about a half-hour before the guests arrived. This reduced her irritability factor significantly. Brant will be more rested next time.
The best thing of all about the evening is an easy pick -- The next two evenings of the swap, the Cupits will be enjoying a quiet evening together sans bambinos!