Nov
10
2011

More Adventures in baby sitting

Babies are strange creatures. and sometimes it is hard to believe that they are even human. They have strange obsessions. I mean, what is it with keys? Why do they have to put everything in their mouth? Why do their fathers dirty sneakers just look delectable?

My grandson is like the energizer bunny. If you put him on the floor, he heads directly toward the path of greatest danger. He loves electric wires. And the staircase.

Oddly enough, he bears me no ill-will when I repeatedly pick him up and head him in another direction. He just turns himself around, and heads back. He doesn’t mind when you take the dirty sneakers away, or refuse to let him put those keys into his mouth.

Recently my baby has been unhappy.

“My baby?”

“Shhhh.”

“Love, he is almost 11 months old, and you have probably babysit him less than 6 hours.”

“Shhh.”

“And don’t let his mother hear you call him ‘My baby’.”

I’m not that afraid of him anymore…I mean…I am not afraid that I will hurt him, but I am still afraid of his single-mindedness.

He’s had a bad cold the last few times that we babysat him.

(“We?!!!”)

I mean, when I get home from work, my husband looks way more exhausted than my baby. I call him on my way home, and ask if he wants me to pick up any take-out.

“Well, if you want to eat.” he answers. “It’s not like I’ve had a chance to cook anything.”

I suspect that my daughter-in-law takes care of her baby and cooks too, but I sure don’t know how she does it. I think I did it at her age, but I don’t remember how.

When I arrive home, I know the drill. Its my turn to hold the baby.

As I hold him, I look longingly at my computer as I stroll thru the rooms. After five minutes my arms are starting to burn.

“So…aren’t you grateful that you’re working and haven’t been babysitting for the last 6 hours.”

I refuse to answer on general principals. I can only hope that if I hold the baby long enough, someone will cook my supper.

Recently my baby hasn’t been happy. He has a cold and is teething. If he’s in my arms, he wants my husband to pick him up. If my husband has him, he wants me to take him. If he is being held, he wants to be on the floor. If he is on the floor, he wants to be picked up. I’m sure he’s hungry, but he throws all his food on the floor.

I spend the next hour and a half hour rocking him in my arms and looking out the window.

(“Calm down. It’s only been five minutes. His folks will be here soon.”)

I look longingly at my computer.

And then I am surprised, because my baby nuzzles me. He puts his head on my shoulder and cuddles.

“He really doesn’t feel well, does he?” I sigh. “Let me see if he will eat some Tofu.”

“Umm…Try the carrots.” my husband advises.

Once upon a time, I was able to hold a baby and still do stuff. Now I can’t take the cover off his food dish and hold him at the same time. Actually, I can barely hold him. After about 5 minutes, my arm muscles stop working.

“How do you do this for 6 hours?” I ask my husband. “Umm…Do you have any dirty sneakers for him to eat?”

And then something truly exciting and miraculous happens.

“Look! Abel! ” I exclaim “Look who’s coming! It’s Mama! Look who’s coming! Say Hi Mama. Hi Mama!”

But he’s not paying any attention. He is on the floor and headed straight for an electric wire.

Babies are very strange creatures. They don’t really seem human. But. I still just melt when he nuzzles.

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