Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Adventures in Babysitting

Things I forgot, things I remembered & things I learned.

In 2004 on her fiftieth birthday, Oprah Winfrey proudly proclaimed, "Fifty is the new thirty!"


Spreading that sort of unsubstantiated tommyrot has to be stopped. In the immortal words of Barney Fife, we must nip it. Nip it in the bud! The woman is as rich as Croesus, has Bob the personal trainer, Dr. Phil, her best pal Gayle, her main squeeze Steadman and Lord only knows who else to make her life easier.

What she doesn't have is a 10 month old granddaughter that she kept for four days last week.

I forgot just how much work babies are. Of course, I'm at that age where the memory begins to fade, unless you believe that malarkey that subtracts two decades from your age. Yeah, yeah, yeah, fifty is a great time to wear purple with a red hat and make up for the sobriety of your youth. It's a time to enjoy life and reap the rewards of a couple decades of hard work. But sometimes fifty sucks has its limitations.

I had to squeeze in a shower while she napped. I thought I could prop up my feet while she slept and read a new book I'd bought the week before. HA! I'm not sure what I did during nap time, but it sure wasn't reading.

I dragged out plastic bowls and spatulas for her to play with. We watched her Elmo videos (la la la la, la la la la, Elmo's song) and Bob the Builder on PBS. While I didn't completely blow my diet by grabbing junk food between stopping her from eating cat food and eating lint from under the sofa, my diet kinda went to hell in a handbasket this week. Tomorrow I'm back on track.

What I did remember, though, was how to change a diaper on a squirming baby, how to blow raspberries on a baby's tummy and the lyrics to many of the songs from Sesame Street. I also remember what a mess it is when a baby sneezes in your direction with a mouthful of Gerber lasagna dinner.

I remember too how sweet a baby smells right after a bath and how her giggles can make me giggle too, even when I'm covered in lasagna dinner.

I also remember why you have babies in your twenties and thirties. The next time I read a headline about some fifty-something woman giving birth, I'm going to write her a note and ask if she's lost her ever-loving mind!

Don't get me wrong. I love my little granddaughter to pieces. But it's hard work to tend to one day in and day out when you're not used to it and your house isn't childproofed. Folks talk about waiting until they can afford to have children. If I'd done that, I'd have a toddler right now. Take my word for it -- have 'em while you're young.

And now that she's gone back home, I've learned that exhaustion is cured with a long, hot shower and good night's sleep, little fingerprints will wash right off the window in that back door, apple juice is easily mopped off the kitchen floor and I'll be finding Cheerios all over my kitchen and den for weeks to come. I also discovered that Kermit the Frog sang "Kokomo" and "Who Let the Frogs Out."

When I met my son at a halfway point between their house and mine and handed her back over, she greeted her Daddy with a big smile and a hug, and she waved her little backwards wave and said "Bye" to her Grammy. Once I returned home, I put away the bucket of makeshift toys so they'll be ready for the next visit. She'll probably be walking by then and I'll forget, remember and learn a whole lot more.

This has nothing whatsover to do with writing unless one of you can somehow make the connection. My brains are still a little fried and I'm trying to get them rested for Saturday's luncheon. My good friend Annie is driving in from Kentucky to attend the luncheon with me and I can't wait. I haven't seen her since last summer, though we email with regularity. It's going to be a great weekend. The DH has already said he's running away from home on Friday.

I'd forgotten he was such a wuss. :grin:

P.S. What's your best baby story?


Problem Child said...

There are many reasons why AC is an only child. She's a cutie, but a handful.

When AC was 10 months old, we took her to Scotland to meet the rest of the family. On the way back from the airport, we stopped at the grocery store. Juggling AC on a 9 hour flight had taken its toll, and I went to pass her off to her grandfather. DG's dad took off his hat before he reached for her.

DG's dad is bald.

AC's eyes got huge. You could practically hear her little brain wondering where his hair went. She put her hands on her own head as if to assure herself her hair was still there. Once sure her hair was safe, she had a great time playing with Gramps's head.

Jen said...

I hate to shop but in a moment of desperation, I took Girl to the mall just to get out of the house. She's in a stroller but getting fussy. I hand her my purse to play with. After a few moments people are staring and the crowd is parting like The Red Sea. I look down. Girl has gone into my purse and is sucking on a super tampon as if it's a pacifier. :-) ;-) :-0

Instigator said...

LOL Jen!

You know, at the moment all the funny stories escape me. I know there are some because my children are incorrigable and adventerous.

What I remember most are the scary ones. When the dog bit Sweet Pea on the mouth because they were playing share the paci and our dog is blind and missed.

When Sweet Pea ran a temp of 105 in the middle of the night.

The afternoon I realized she could open the front door by herself and remove her clothes and found her naked in our front yard in forty degree weather (she'd only been there about 60 seconds).

When I realized Sweet Pea had a broken collar bone for 4 days before I noticed. (We thought she'd hit her head not her shoulder so it never even occured to us).

The time I got up in the middle of the night to check on the girls and Baby Girl wasn't in her bed. She'd crawled in with Sweet Pea and was buried beneath a pile of stuffed animals and blankets.

Those are the things I remember most - the ones that took a year off my life.


Smarty Pants said...

Little Sister almost never saw her first Christmas. At Christmas Eve dinner, we're all sitting around eating and she's happily sucking on one of those biter cookies for teethers. Well, she sucked on it too long and it snapped in half. She immediately breathed it into her throat and started choking. We whipped her out of the high chair and mom had her upside down with her finger trying to wedge out the cookie. She got it out of her throat so she could breathe, but when she tried to take away the cookie, LS bit the crap out of her. It was her cookie.

Typical LS.

Playground Monitor said...

Those are the things I remember most - the ones that took a year off my life.

Hey, when you're fifty then you'll really be twenty-nine instead of thirty. :grin:

Too funny, Jen!

Did AC have a head full of hair as a baby? She has such pretty hair now.

I remember strolling through the mall one day and realizing #1 son had something in his hands. In horror I discovered he's "shoplifted" a little knickknack from a low shelf in a store.


catslady said...

I was one of those people waiting to have "enough" money but gave that up at 33 lol. Yeah, I'm not Oprah and my 50's are really 50's. It's a heck of an age to have dealt with teenagers. Since I'm so addled brain the only story I can think of at the moment is when my youngest climbed out of her crib one morning and with a black crayon started walking and drawing on the wall as she walked, down the hall, into the living room, across the book shelves and around the living room. - not nearly as funny as the tampon sucker lol. Her punishment was no more black crayons for months. She just turned 20 and is and "artist."

Playground Monitor said...

#1 son got up early one morning and got a bottle of Wite Out from my husband's office and painted the end of his bed. Then another time he drew on the wall in his bedroom with a stick of margarine.

He's an architect now.