This last weekend I was in Austin, Texas babysitting for family of my friends. There were three children, whom we shall call B, A, and J: B is an eight year old girl, A is a four year old boy, and J is a two year old boy. Lets just say, Emily (who helped me out incredibly) and I learned a lot.
First, no matter how much we say we won't, we will sound like our parents. I'm not even a mother yet, and I found myself quoting my mother's favorite mantra, "This is not a restaurant."
Also, kids need to be constantly reminded. Every time we'd go outside to ride bikes, we'd have to remind them to put on their helmets. We'd have to remind them to brush teeth before bed. We'd have to remind little J (who was potty training) to think about if he needed to use the washroom. We'd have to remind them to not hit/bite/kick/call names. We'd have to remind them to say please and thank you. Part of that is growing up. Part of it is rebelious human nature and seeing how far they can go before they get in trouble. I had to constantly remind myself I do the same thing with God every day... He has to remind me to listen to Him. He has to correct my behavior and remind me of seemingly obvious truths. It's a perfect illustration of how adults react to God.
I learned that kids are so so so much work, but also so much fun. They're amazngly impressionable, and form strong attatchments. Emily and I were woken up more than once a night with cries for mommy. Then today I got a message from their mother, saying that they had missed us. It's very heartwarming knowing I can make an impression on three lives like that.