Coupled. With Kids

Remember when you were little and you and your friends would play make-believe games? Of course you do (maybe you and your friends still do – this is a no judging zone). I remember a particular game that could be played anywhere from our Kindergarten classroom’s “kitchen,” to refrigerator boxes in our backyards. Basically, we’d stake a claim in our territory, enforce proper regulations (no boys allowed, naturally), hoard whatever dress up costumes we had handy, and embark on a few hours’ worth of playing house.

The first step was obviously fighting over choosing which Disney prince was your BF (I’m looking at you, Prince Phillip). Then, after putting on lipstick and kissing a) your hand b) your Ken doll or c) your pillow, he would construct an elaborate proposal. Next thing you know, you’ve got your Mom’s heels on, a white sheet taped to your head and a gorgeous floral arrangement done entirely in weeds (nuisance plants are the next big thing for centerpieces, I’m telling you) in your sticky little hands as your BFF pronounces you and Prince Phillip (or Eric, he was always a solid choice too) married. Then you break out the big guns: your baby doll.

When you’ve got yourself surrounded by fake bottles, strollers, binkies and baby clothes, you know you’ve made it in the pretend game of playing house. Of course, my opinion on victory at playing house now is quite the opposite. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that a baby right now would be a massive fail (on both my and LoEstrin24FE’s behalf).

But, it seems as though David and I are movin’ on up in the game of playing house. After some mild success (we have neither burned the house down nor broken up), I guess people are starting to realize how fantastically great we are at living together and have decided to reward us with some kids. And not just any kids – teenagers.

So, while my game of playing house is progressing entirely out of order (I don’t recall David slaying any dragons to win my love or us getting married at a castle decorated with rainbows), it looks like I’ve reached the ultimate level. David’s dad and step-mom are headed to a wedding out of town this weekend, and have left their gorgeous home, dog, and 17- and 15-year-olds behind for us to look after. As luck would have it, we’ll be responsible for their most cherished assets while a developing Tropical Storm is headed for SoFla, and while their youngest is serving a summer-long sentence of grounding. Perf.

Naturally, David and I mapped out our parenting styles over a (large) bottle of wine last night. It’s looking pretty balanced; he’s decided to be the hardass. I, on the other hand, feel like I was just 15 a short while ago (and grounded for a vast majority of that year…and the rest of my teenage years), and can totally sympathize with her. Add to this my tendency to act like “the cool Mom” from Mean Girls, and we could be in for a bumpy weekend, Tropical Storms aside.

Even though I’m a nanny when I’m at school to two gorgeous little girls, I’m guessing there’s a difference between caring for 4- and 7-year-olds and 17- and 15-year-olds. Plus, I’ve never joint-babysat with anyone before, let alone a boyfriend. I’m wondering how splitting the authority down the middle will go… and if it will be as effective.

Anyway, I’m pretty psyched to see how this weekend goes. They have way better On-Demand channels than we do, and I’m fairly certain their fridge will be stocked with more than string cheese, fruit and beer. I’m not too worried about taking care of David’s step-siblings (honestly I’m much more concerned with having to put shutters on the 7,000 windows of his Dad’s house if this storm turns into a hurricane) and excited to see how my man handles the short-term child rearing.

After all, the best part of playing house (besides getting to live with David) is that when the game’s over,  you can return your baby doll to her rightful place in your toy box- and you can return your teenagers to their rightful guardians come Sunday.

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