• adventures in babysitting

    How My Stupidity Learning Disability Nearly Starved Baby Dak

    A Really Long Post about Baby Schedules or
    How My Stupidity Learning Disability Nearly Starved Baby Dak

    After my week of woe last week, this week is nothing but pure excitement! That’s what I get for complaining about things on my public webspace! First of all, my mom is back in town with my two nieces and that means there’s a circus going on anytime I feel like attending it. Secondly, I scored a baby sitting job with a real baby! And thirdly, Toby has thought up a million and one things for me to do so that I couldn’t possibly take on a job right now even if I wanted to.

    Check out little Dak! Isn’t he cute? You might know him from reading his mom’s blog. I baby sat him yesterday and found out that even though I’ve been baby sitting since I was like four, I really need more practice when it comes to babies. Toddlers I get. Babies, I need some work on.

    I did not know there was so much math to being a mother! (Although this is what I say about nearly every new experience I come across since I am a complete dunce when it comes to numbers.) I think I have a learning disability. If it’s letters from the alphabet I can memorize them like nobody’s business but throw in a numeral or two and I’m making open mouth fish sounds just like baby Dak.

    Here’s the thing. Babies are all about schedules and regularity. They like routine. Change is scary. Babies need to eat a certain amount and they need to eat it at a certain time, otherwise all hell breaks loose. Not that Baby Dak would ever break loose any hell, he’s very sweet and was really no trouble at all but he does know a thing about when and what he’d like to be doing and variety makes him anxious.

    So here is how I nearly starved poor baby Dak yesterday:

    Dak’s mom has baby Dak’s schedule all worked out so it’s very simple to follow it by reading it from a neatly typed list. Baby Dak’s mom is very organized. Dak is very predictable and organized too. When he wakes up, he’s hungry. After he eats he likes to sit in his exercisor to digest his food. When he’s done digesting, he needs his diaper changed. It’s like clockwork. Then he likes to play and when he’s done playing he gets tired and fusses just a little bit, sort of like a little alarm clock so you know it’s time to put him down. He goes right down when you put him in his crib and everything works perfectly.

    Except when you’re Brenda and you read his schedule wrong.

    For his first nap I read “8:30-9-10” as “8:30-9:10” (instead of “from 8:30 until 9 or 10″) I thought to myself. Wow! Dak’s mom really has this worked out to the minute. What if he sleeps until 9:12?!!! Or 9:15!!! Which he did. In fact at 9:15 he didn’t really look like he was going to wake up so I rubbed his back a little and woke him up. Gotta keep to the schedule little buddy, I thought. He seemed good natured enough about it.

    So then I fed him and then… instead of playing and going through his regular routine he got sleepy again! In fact he was so sleepy he started to fall asleep right on the carpet while I was trying to play with him with his little turtle that lights up and plays songs. Oh no! I thought, it’s not time for his afternoon nap it’s only 11 and he’s not supposed to go down again until 12! The horror! So I put him down at 11:30 and figured I’d get him back on schedule next time around. I was only a half an hour off.

    But then things really got whacked. He woke right back up at 12 and he is supposed to sleep from 12 until 2!!! Two is a long time away from 12. It’s my fault too because I was being a clutz and I accidentally dropped my fork while I was making my own lunch and I woke him right up! Dak’s a light sleeper and he knew something was fishy. So here it is 12 and he’s wide awake. I feed him lunch and then we attempt to play the rest of the day away. His next nap isn’t due until 4 pm and that’s a long ways away from 12 but I try and distract him with a walk to the park and my shiney new cell phone. He was such a little trooper. He really tried and tried to play with me all day but as the afternoon wore on he really wasn’t having that much fun.

    In fact when 3 came around and he started to get really fussy I thought I better put him down for a nap because babies need their sleep. That didn’t really work either. He figured out how to crawl up the side of his crib and look over the edge. You can’t fool Dak. What I didn’t realize is that Baby Dak is used to eating between his naps and that was all thrown off now because I fed him lunch too early! I had no idea. Thankfully his mom called to check on me and figured it out in her head (because unlike me, she’s a math genious) what was wrong and had me feed him his dinner a little early

    Oh he was so happy! You’ve never seen a little baby eat ugly looking green bean puree so fast. It was just one happy bite after another and lots of smiles in between. I felt like a ray of heaven had shined down on me.

    So the moral of the story is, I need to learn to read. And boy do I have a lot to learn about babies!