Adventures in Baby-sitting

May 30, 2007

Last night was the big night, when I got my chance to care for one of the sweetest baby girls ever.  No, really.  I might be biased if I had one of my own, but since I don’t and haven’t spent much time with baby girls, this one managed to win my heart quite easily.  It helped when she fell asleep happily in my arms after smiling at me for about an hour.  She cried some, but our trick of walking, rocking, and patting the back that we mastered with PJ worked like a charm again.  The two kids didn’t spend much time together, but the time together was at least peaceful.  PJ didn’t start wailing when she was crying; he laughed instead.  He was a little jealous, but we made sure to split our time between them evenly and he got over it quickly.  Overall, it was a great experience.

Here’s what I learned from those two hours of caring for two children at once:

  • There’s a lot bigger difference between a 3-month-old and a 19-month-old than you realize is happening in those sixteen months.
  • It’s wonderful to have a kid who can feed himself.
  • It’s much more satisfying to help a newborn stop crying than a toddler, mostly because the newborn’s cry is one of discomfort and involuntary.  You’re just giving in to the toddler’s voluntary demands if you do something to make him stop crying.
  • There isn’t much difference between a boy and a girl at that age, other than the colors they get to wear.
  • I’m apparently not intended to be the mother of a little girl right now.  It felt weird to have a baby girl in my arms.  It could simply be that the baby wasn’t mine, but I think her gender was half the discomfort.  I’ll be more than happy to hold my nieces and friends’ girls, but I can tell that’s not what I was cut out for.  Suddenly, I’m okay with that.
  • I won’t say having a newborn isn’t hard, but especially at this age (3 months), they require a lot less than a toddler who demands attention nearly every waking moment.
  • I’m going to love having that sling (that I’m planning to order online later this week) when I’m trying to calm a crying baby while following PJ around the house at the same time.  My arms will thank me, either way.

And while last night’s experience got me thinking about what BabyN will be like, how about we take another look at BabyN?  I should have thought ahead of time how hard it is to make head or tail of some sonogram pictures, especially when they’re as unclear as BabyN’s were.  Hopefully the labels will make the best face picture a little easier to interpret–if I can ever figure out how to upload this picture here.

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