Monday, April 5, 2010

Being A Parent to 17 Girls for 4 Days Straight

I did it. I officially survived Semana Santa and the experience of being a tía (a.k.a. a full-time parent) from Wednesday morning to Saturday night. Woohoo! And to be honest, it wasn't at all as chaotic or stressful as I thought. I'm not sure why I was freaking out.

Yes, it had its not-so-fun moments:
  • Reporting for duty at 7 a.m.
  • Not getting off duty until 9:30 or 10 p.m.
  • Dragging my blankets and pillow up from my house so I could do vela on my assigned night (vela is when you sleep in the section with the girls)
  • Less than lovely bathrooms in the sections
  • Screaming, fighting, and nagging in very high-pitched little girl voices
  • Sunburns
  • And in general, just zero time for yourself
However, for just a few days, it was also a really good experience. I can't complain about:
  • Getting super lucky that my section had me, fellow volunteer Sarah, and Saribel working in it. Most sections didn't get to split the work between two volunteers, and most sections didn't have an año de servicio like Saribel working with them. For her año de servicio, Saribel works as a tía in my section. So, the girls were used to listening to her and behaving for her. Saribel pretty much ran the show, and Sarah and I just needed to be there for side support.
  • Also getting super lucky that my girls are the age they are. They're old enough so that they can do everything themselves (dressing, cleaning, etc). But, they're also not quite old enough to where they're moody and sneak off to hang out with their boyfriends. They're still little girls at heart, and they like hanging out with us and with each other. That was definitely nice when other sections were constantly losing their kids.
  • Getting a little bit of a tan. Being a tía puts you out in the sun more than you would think!
  • Just how much fun it was choreographing a dance with the girls to perform at a going-away assembly for a group of visitors. We danced to "Umbrella," and of course, we used umbrellas. It was adorable, and we got tons of compliments.
  • Giving in to my inner 12-year girl and giggling right along with the girls while we analyzed how cute the boys were in Camp Rock, Center Stage 2, Bring It On, and Alice in Wonderland.
  • Making pizza from scratch with 17 girls and needing three different ovens to cook them all. So delicious.
  • Having a giant bonfire with the entire girls' house where we roasted hot dogs and drank hot chocolate. Yum!
  • Learning the life of a tía and having 1,000 times even more respect for them now.
  • Getting to know my section of girls in a setting other than just eating dinner with them and hanging out in the section for a few hours at night.
So, I'm alive. Tired, but alive. My time as a tía during Semana Santa wasn't at all the torture I thought it was going to be. It was maybe even...dare I Yeah, a little fun. Do I want to change my job to be a tía? No way. Did we immediately head to Parramos when we got off tía duty on Saturday night for a celebratory beer (or two)? Heck yes. But still, for just a few days, the life of a tía wasn't too bad. :)

1 comment:

A said...

You would so be the person to be awesome at this. You're right about the ages, too. There's a fine line between "I need to go potty" and "I hate you! Don't talk to me!" Finding that line is like nirvana... :)

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