So it turns out that I’m not really a baby person. Not that I don’t love them or think that they’re adorable, I just have no idea what to do with them. My sister tends to claim any baby within a five mile radius, so I’ve only ever babysat older kids. One of my visiting teachees asked me to babysit for her tonight while she and her husband went out on a date. The older daughter was in bed by the time I got there, but their little 7 month old son was still awake as can be. They left, and I sat with him for a while and he was happy as a clam.
Until he wasn’t.
He started crying, and I could not figure out what to do to get him to calm down. I held him, sang to him, rocked him, and offered toys and fingers to chew on (I’m pretty sure he’s teething). He had been fed about 9 oz. just before I had arrived, so he couldn’t be hungry, although I did give him little banana flavored snacks they had left with me. At this point, I checked, and he had a poopy diaper. Ah hah! A problem I could solve.
I’ve never changed a diaper before tonight. But that did change! It wasn’t really too hard, although I was afraid he would pee on me (aren’t baby boys supposed to do that? I don’t know!). So I cleaned him up, changed him, and he was happy. For about thirty seconds. When he started crying again.
Help! I kind of felt like one of those episodes on a TV show where a baby is left with somebody who has no idea how to care for it. I knew a few things, I just hadn’t had a whole lot of experience with babies! I wanted to call my mother, but she’s half a world away and eight hours ahead, so it was in the wee hours of the morning in Scotland, where she was. So I called Amy. Three times. No answer. >.>
So I called Kyle. “Hi honey. How much do you know about babies?” “About as much as you do. Maybe you should call my mom. She knows a lot about babies.”
I thought this was an excellent idea, so I called her. My mother-in-law is my new-found favorite hero. She went through a list of things that I might try, one of which was “Does he seem hot? Maybe you could cool him down some.” He was wearing a onesie and a pair of pajamas, so I took his little jammies off, plopped him on my legs, and offered him toys. Miraculously, he calmed down. He happily played on my lap for the next thirty or forty minutes while I chatted with MIL. Hooray! All hail the great wisdom of mothers-in-law!
Thank goodness California is an hour behind and not eight hours ahead. I didn’t even feel too guilty for calling because it wasn’t too late over there (as opposed to Amy who is an hour ahead and I did feel guilty calling because it was kind of late there). I chatted with her until he got fussy again and I could hear over the sound of his piercing cries. So I said goodnight, and sang to him until he calmed down enough to be left in his bed without fussing.
What a relief. And what an experience!