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As a caregiver, do you ever feel like screaming?  I wanted to scream recently on a Grandma/Grandpa babysitting weekend. Wanting to scream is a natural response to frustrating experiences. So, another reason for writing your stories is to scream your words on the page, rather than hurling them into the air.

Here’s a story I wrote after our babysitting experience. Try writing the next time you feel like screaming. It helped me empty those negative feelings and bring me to more pleasant thoughts.

It’s the straps that got to me. Babysitting my two grandkids under three for three days would not have been a problem if my husband and I didn’t have to deal with all the straps. Highchair and booster seat. Two car seats. Two strollers.

Each kind of strap fastened in a different way. To clasp them, most in three places, with protruding tummies and kicking legs provided challenges for which aging has not prepared us. I repeatedly pinched my fingers and had to squelch screams of pain. More than once, I was tempted to skip a clasp or two. Several times, after my husband was finished with his set of straps, I begged him to rescue me from mine.

How did our kids survive without all those straps? I hope the stats are true that these straps are saving lives and preventing injuries.

Grandma and Grandpa on duty

Our grandkids were angelic. Fun and giggly. Ate everything, napped one to four, slept twelve hours every night. Played Lego’s, read books, and colored during the day. If I could have sat of the floor with them for the three days, my only problem would have been getting myself up.

But, no, a three-day stay on the floor was not to be. No sooner did we complete the strap routine and it’d be time for another: six mealtimes, one trip to church, three walks, and, on the last day, going out to eat—the latter a necessity for my sanity, even though it meant six more sets of straps.

It feels good to get this angst about the straps out of my head and onto paper. In fact, with my head clearer, there’s more room for the memories of snuggles and giggles.

So, just maybe I’ll offer to babysit again before the kids are seatbelt age.