Adventures in Babysitting

Auntie Bat gets baby snuggles.
Auntie Bat gets baby snuggles.
A week! It’s been over a week since I’ve arrived in CT. What a crazy learning curve it’s been! Since I’ve gone through baby boot camp with my very cute (and teething) nephew, I’ve reached levels of tired that I haven’t experienced since the first week of fall Teva. My sister has been working nights at the hospital all week, so when she goes to work in the evening, my shift begins.

Mr. Baby and I do the following: We snuggle. We drink bottles of formula (well, he does the drinking, I do the feeding and holding, but I like to think it’s a team effort), we have tummy time on the mat, we play with toys. He simultaneously enjoys and is highly frustrated by his baby chew toys: They have a delicious texture, but he can’t effectively cram them into his mouth. Tags and the ears of stuffed animals are much more enjoyable to chew on, but they quickly become soggy and less delectably crunchy.

I’m learning not to fear the screaming, because it usually stops as soon as I figure out which of the things he needs: bottle, diaper, sleep, burp. I have sung, adapted, stolen and made up new songs about sleeping, eating purple baby food, pooping, peeing, blurping, burping and tummy time. (The baby thinks my “Tummy Time” version of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” is hilarious. Thanks, baby! )

Shout out to all the mommies, daddies & caregivers who do this everyday and one-handed (because the other hand is holding a baby.) This past week, a baby sitter has come during the day to give me and dad a break. It’s hard to sleep when there is laundry to fold, dishes to wash and crud to spritz off of the high chair. And it’s not even like it’s due to obvious sleep deprivation: The baby has mostly slept through the night each time I’ve watched him. It just takes a lot of energy to take care of a baby and I haven’t learn to shepherd it as carefully as I might. I had the same problem during fall Teva – I just keep going at 150% and then crash dramatically when I run out of steam.

When the baby is being watched, it’s time to entertain Dad. Dad likes to go to the grocery store, and insists that I come along with him. It is good, because we are also in charge of making sure my sister eats. But I when I am tired and cranky from baby-time, I am terrible grocery store company. I had a mini meltdown yesterday in the incredible Fairway Market in Stamford, muttering and uttering indecipherable obscenities, I was so tired. I said to my dad, “You are a mean man for making me go to the grocery store with you.” Eventually, we made back to the house where I ate lunch and had a 2 hour nap.

Dad went back to KS today and I will be here for the next couple weeks helping out. Lessons: learn to shepherd energy, take ‘Me’ time and take naps as often as possible.

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