Dear Lola,

I am the mother of two small children under the age of five. I live in close proximity to my parents and my grown sibling who has her own home and no children or spouse. While my family has been willing to watch my children in the past, it is usually in response to my begging due to a last-minute issue with their daycare when I need to get to work. My parents and sister refuse to watch the kids when I want to go on a date night with my husband. While I can understand that my parents are not in the greatest physical condition, they could certainly watch the kids after I get them down to bed – which my parents have done on occasion. My sister flat out refuses to help and doesn’t really give me a reason why. She said she doesn’t like babies and that’s it. How can I get her to see that I need a bit of a break?


Suffering Sister

Dear Suffering Sister,

Woman meets Man. Man likes Woman. Woman likes Man just as much. Dating hijinks ensue at a local Taco Bell, followed by a fancy ring and wedding feast. Fast forward a few years and Woman and Man are now mired in dirty diapers and begging for a night out on the town. Unfortunately for Woman and Man, they have saddled themselves with a pair of Miniature Humans who require constant attendance in order to stay alive.

A terrific feat which requires superhuman powers and an extra arm or two.

Maybe you just haven’t approached your family in a way that makes them want to help. I think it’s time you write off your parents for nighttime duties. You say they are not in the greatest physical condition, which means that once the sun goes down they are likely putting their feet up and moving only if the house is on fire. While you may put your Miniature Humans to sleep before leaving for your date night, we both know that sleep is a fickle thing in one so young. Unless your date starts at 8am and ends by lunchtime, your folks are likely to resist helping out.

I think you should hone in on your sister and push a bit harder for her help.

Perhaps it is time to use your imagination to point out all the wonderful things she can do with a pair of Miniature Humans. Since you seem to be at a breaking point, I’ll use my imagination and you can do with it what you will. Off the top of my head, your sister would probably enjoy taking your Miniature Humans to the nearest race track and betting on the horses. Miniature Humans always enjoy watching animals! If that doesn’t pique her interest, she can always take them to a karaoke bar. While she’s enjoying an adult beverage or two, your Miniature Humans can babble out a Cher number in their fanciest sequined diaper.

Your Miniature Humans don’t own a sequined diaper?!

Consider it this week’s craft project! Now, in the rare event those two activities do not fill your sister with excitement, I do have one more venture in mind for the more adventurous person. Go kart racing. I know what you’re thinking and I am one step ahead of you. Your Miniature Humans will have to take their car seats and get strapped in on the outer frame of the go kart. Your sister can put one Miniature Human on either side of her seat so they act as counterweights to each other. Sharp turns may be a bit dangerous, so be sure to pick your favorite Miniature Human before your sister takes them away for an evening of fun.

What do you mean my plans sound completely unhinged?!

Fine. Then it’s time for some real talk. Your letter says you sister will not give you a reason for refusing to watch your Miniature Humans while you have a night out with your husband. However, in the very next breath you state her reason for denying your childcare request. She said she doesn’t like babies. I would like you to repeat that last sentence back in your head for a few minutes.

Do you really want to leave your Miniature Humans with someone who doesn’t like them?

Now, I would like to point out that I am not implying your sister would do anything detrimental to your Miniature Humans. They are her nieces/nephews and she most likely loves those little balls of squish in her own way. Yet I think we can all agree, that while they may be extremely adorable, Miniature Humans have a knack for driving people to insanity. Don’t believe me?

Let’s review the evidence that proves Miniature Humans do not give a damn about your sanity.

They cry at the very worst time. After spending hours getting the Miniature Humans to sleep, you settle in for a bit of a rest. Just as you get to the best part in the latest Netflix series, a deep breath is drawn in the next room over. A Miniature Human ruins the big series finale with a desperate cry for milk.

They ruin snack time. You have a pizza in the oven, filling the room with its delicious aroma. Just as you begin to drool, the oven timer dings. Finally, your growling belly will be appeased. In the background, you hear a terrible smash followed by the wail of a Miniature Human who just learned how to reach the vase on the coffee table.

They poop in their pants…and smoosh it. Need I go any further in my explanation?! I know we cannot expect Miniature Humans to be as brilliant as the majestic canine, but they could certainly try a bit harder to sit still afterwards so as not to create a mess that leads to the outfit being tossed in the nearest trash receptacle.

Miniature Humans are positively barbaric in their manners.

Now that we’ve outlined the problems with pressuring a family member to babysit your little bundles of joy, let’s work on the solution. Find a sitter from the neighborhood, you can ask your fellow parents for advice on who they use. If that’s not an option, seek out a reputable agency to interview candidates for the job. Yes, it will likely cost you more money than a family member would charge, but I think the weekend in Las Vegas with their Aunt would likely cost you more in the long run.

Imagine the years of therapy your Miniature Humans would need to overcome their gambling addictions!


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