Strangerville Live is this Friday! Grab your tickets if you haven't already. It's shaping up to be a great show. FYI also, you don't need to bring a printed ticket to the door. We will check you in by name.

My baby sister and her husband are out of town right now so I was put on a sign-up sheet of sorts for child care for their three children. They needed someone to come and stay the night. I was signed up for two consecutive nights. Essentially 48 hours. Or, as it turns out, 1200 years in child care time.

This didn't seem like a big deal. I mean, how much trouble could these three be?

Did you guys know that raising children is difficult? Like, really super hard.

They want something ALL the time. And 98% of the time, what they're asking for sounds like something their parents most definitely wouldn't allow. But what do I know? How do I know what is allowed?

I mean, I guess I could have read the 722-page document in micro print that my sister created, explaining every speck of her children's DNA.

But I didn't read it, because I kind of thought I could just figure it out on my own. And then once I got to the house it was impossible to read anything because that's like trying to read the owner's manual to a car while driving in a blizzard. Oh, and three children are pooping while you do it as well.

But even if I had read the manual before arriving, I doubt it would have instructed me on whether or not Emrie, the 7-year-old, really was supposed to take the giant bag full of toys to school this morning, like she insisted was the case.

I'm not kidding you about this bag. It looked like Santa's sack of toys. And it was so heavy that she had to drag it on the ground as she waddled off to the school bus that she insisted comes at exactly 8:05 AM, which I'm just realizing now I totally took her word for this and didn't even attempt to verify, not that I would have known how to verify the school bus schedule because I don't know any of the other parents and even if I did, I don't want my family to look like the mess that doesn't know what time school starts.

Unfortunately the youngest was sick when I arrived. Did you know that when a one-year-old has a fever, the doctor prescribes eleventy drugs and none of these stop the one-year-old's explosive diarrhea anyway?

I had to change her diaper so many times the government is automatically forgiving all of my tax debt for 2017 as an apology for the torture.

Did you know we're still doing diapers? That's still a thing. They haven't invented a way out of that yet. Some of your friends are probably changing diapers if they have babies. You should be nicer to those friends. Their lives are very difficult. Let them cut in line at the grocery store and clap when they get on planes.

Emrie stood next to me (later I found out she was recording a video), directing me to aim my gagging and possible vomit into a bowl she had retrieved for me as I changed said diapers while rapidly shouting phrases like "you can do this, Eli" and "oh shit" and "don't tell your parents I said 'shit.'"

Can someone explain to me why my sister's house is 98 degrees? All of my clothes are drenched in sweat (and, probably, human feces). Every 10 minutes or so I asked the children if anyone else thought it was hot and I never did get a straight answer from any of them but I think they disagreed with me considering that when I told them to pick out their jammies they each chose clothes that I imagine an Eskimo would wear hunting.

Did you know that children have 1500 different pairs of jammies? And they all smell like pee.

And I think I have tinnitus now. I got it because three children that came from my baby sister's body have been screaming into both of my ears for the last 48 hours.

It started because they are apparently the world's biggest Utah Jazz fans. The moment I arrived at the home, Emrie gave me a 2-hour lecture on the topic. Here's 15 seconds of those 2 hours:

And then this is what happened for two more hours after I turned on the game:

What you don't see pictured is me, checking to see if the youngest has pooped somewhere, and Duncan, running around in the backyard looking for a new family.

Did you know that when you're taking care of children, you want to go to bed at like 7:00? This is because children are Melatonin that you have to work really hard for. Plus they poop. Have I mentioned the poop?

I truly cannot believe that the human race has not died out yet. HOW have billions of people over the course of human history decided to reproduce? Some of them THREE times!

Single parents have been my heroes for a long time. I know some excellent ones, and I'm constantly in awe of them. But these 48 hours have given me a new perspective.

This isn't facetious. This isn't hyperbole. This isn't patronization. I really, truly mean it when I say that after experiencing these 48 hours, I don't feel like anything I've ever done in my life is very impressive compared to anyone who has raised a child as a single parent.

You people--parents--especially the single ones--amaze me. I hope people tell you that every single day. But in case they don't, let me tell you this today.

Because I was a part-time single parent for 48 hours to three beautiful children that I love madly. But now I get to go home to my relatively quiet life where I don't have to tend to anyone else's poop. You full-time actual parents carry on, every day, doing amazingly-important work. And yet, somehow, I still see you contributing to the community, and working in my office, and running for office, and starting your own businesses, and supporting your friends, and on and on and on.

For 48 hours I didn't even change my clothes or take a shower because I was overwhelmed. And I even went to work during the day while someone else took over.

So, yeah. You people are rock stars. And I hope you don't forget it.

~It Just Gets Stranger