Last weekend I babysat two adorable children. A little boy of 3 and an 11-month-old girl. Meeting the kids went great. The little girl was roaming around the house and asking to be picked up. She was wide-eyed and smiley the whole time in the beginning. The little boy was shy, mostly talking to his parents but curious. Hell, I was curious. I’d never met the kids before or the parents for that matter. I adore kids and think they’re awesome so it’s fun meeting new ones. I’ve had a couple babysitting gigs in the past, but an 11-month-old was new territory.
To be honest, I’m not really sure what to do with kids if it doesn’t talk or walk. I kind of just stare at them because they’re cute but interactions beyond that confuse me. I’m not sure what babies are thinking or what they want. Older kids, 3-4 can at least tell you what they’re thinking and usually do, but the little ones either smile or cry and poop. Entertaining babies isn’t exactly as easy as talking to them. Or maybe it is, I don’t know. Babies also make me nervous. More nervous than older kids. I’m super paranoid I’m going to put them to sleep wrong and they’ll stop breathing or they’ll cough and choke on our the mucous they’re excreting. Like, crazy person status. Like, listening for breathing while they sleep status. Not sure how I’m going to handle this paranoia when I have my own child because it’ll probably be out of hand. Hope my husband is a calm person. That man is going to need to learn some serious calming exercises. I’m a bit neurotic when it comes to children.
Anyway, back to the story, so the kids are good while the parents are there. But obviously they won’t be there the whole time otherwise why hire a sitter. The dad orders pizza while the mom gets ready and I bond a bit with the baby. It was nice finally making a kid smile. My experience with babies isn’t great. When I met my friend’s baby cousin she literally cried when she saw me. Tears poured out her eyes at the sight of me. You can imagine how reassuring that was. Apparently I have not lost my touch. The little was completely aware that her parents had left. She stood at the door, binky in mouth, hoping that was just a joke, that they’d walk back in at any minute. They wouldn’t have left their young children with some strange lady with jeans so low her butt crack becomes visible when she sits to play with us. Who is this monster? She doesn’t smell like my mommy. She doesn’t even look like my mommy. Why is my brother okay with this? Why is he welcoming her with his toys? She doesn’t know us. She doesn’t know who we are. She doesn’t know how we like our food. How can she possibly care for us in the few hours before bed time?? What if she makes my bottle wrong, or can’t properly change my diaper?? What if I drop my pacifier and she won’t let me put it back in my mouth???
Yes, these are the thoughts I believe the 11-month-old had prior to bursting into tears for the remainder of the time she was awake. Once I started to try and make her forget about her parents she broke down. Her brother seemed unaffected by sister’s wails. He also seemed uninterested in making her stop crying. Unfortunately for him that was my only goal. I held her, bounced her, tried making funny noises. Nothing. Not even a little bit of not crying. Eventually she calmed down…for about a minute. Then her little baby memory kicked in and she remembered she was crying and started up again. That was nice of her.
Meanwhile, the little boy was hungry and upset that his pizza wasn’t there yet. So he begins to cry at the kitchen table. That was nice of him. Not really crying, just attention crying. I can dig that. I decided to bring the baby in and start crying myself. What’s one more person in tears, right? Well, the little boy immediately stopped, looked at me and said “Adults can’t cry”. Oh, little boy, just you wait. Adults cry all the time. We just cry in secret. Or while driving. Or completely intoxicated at a bar. Or if you’re like me and my friends, at a McDonald’s.
He eventually stopped and then the pizza guy showed up. Thank God! I was beginning to lose it. Well, the baby cried a lot through dinner right in my ear because she only stood in her high chair and my arms needed a solid work out. After dinner I tried to put her to bed but she just kept crying! I tried the old “leave her and she’ll cry herself to sleep” trick, but couldn’t bear to listen to someone else’s child scream like that. So I picked her back up and put the little boy to sleep. Easy peazy. Like, surprisingly easy. And the baby stopped crying long enough to listen to two stories. I mean, the kid had to have been tired of hearing her own voice by now.
Now it’s time to put her to bed. Instead of placing her in her crib, I rocked her to sleep. I was NOT taking the chance that she might get upset again. Rocking her to sleep was extremely rewarding. She passed out on my shoulder a few minutes later. I felt like a real mom. Look at me, world, I can make a baby fall asleep! Now the task became difficult. I’d never had that “please don’t wake up” moment until then. You know, when you have a sleeping baby and if it moves in the slightest it’ll wake up and resume where it left off. It’s a real fear, folks. And I was paralyzed by it. How soon after the kid falls asleep can you get up? When you try and put her back in, how do you go about doing that? It was definitely a learning experience that I got an A+. Booya bitches!! Best sitter in the world kept her asleep! Maybe I’m not the “best” sitter, but I’m pretty good. And I think I’ll make a pretty good mother. In the far future. When I’m married. With a husband. That I love. That was my boyfriend for a significant amount of time. And is funny.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to motherhood. And then hiring a babysitter to deal with my kids. Mwahahaha!
Will babysit for food & cash.