Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My adventures in babysitting

Despite being 37 and having borne a child of my own, I have never looked after a baby all by myself. Ever.

In fact, I changed my very first diaper just a few weeks ago when the neighbours asked us to watch their little girl after getting one of those horrible family emergency phone calls no one ever wants to get.

We did fine, My Beloved and I. But there were two of us there. Two Nervous Nellys worrying that we'd somehow break the kid in the few hours her parents were gone.

We didn't. We did fine. She survived and so did we.

But then they asked if I'd fly solo yesterday morning. Me. Alone with a baby. Can you imagine??

The thing is though, I did fine. I think I did really well, actually. There is no one to corroborate this information because Jessica can't really talk yet, but trust me, I did good. I played with her, put her down for her nap, gave her a bottle, changed a big poopy diaper and fed her lunch. Yeah, I also sat on pins and needles for an hour and a quarter while she napped because although I had the monitor on, she was out of my sight and I was panicked that something would go horribly amiss during the time I couldn't actually see her. But still, I did good.

And I walked on a cloud for the rest of the day.

When I was pregnant with Thomas I worried endlessly that I wouldn't be able to do all those kinds of things right - that I'd be a colossal disaster when it came to doing all the physical care-taking tasks required of me. I knew I'd love my boy. I had no doubt about that. But I worried that I'd do everything else wrong.

Yesterday, when I was able to look after a one-year old child for 3.5 hours with not one single glitch, I realized for the very first time that I would have been just fine. That I have it in me. That I'm a good mother in more than just name only.

I realize a morning isn't the same as years of mothering. But to me it was huge. It was incredibly, blissfully affirming. I could see - I could feel- that I am cut out for this.

I never really knew before yesterday. I hoped it was the case, but I didn't know for sure.

And now I do.

So now I just need to get me a baby and I'm all set.


Ruby said...

You're already a good mom.

I'm praying you get that baby VERY SOON!

delphi said...

I completely recognize what you are saying here. I panicked just before BB was born. I knew everything about pregnancy, fertility, etc. that I could possibly think to know. And nothing about actually caring for a baby.

Then I discovered that I didn't need any "What to expect" books (despite buying and reading them all). You love your child, learn your child, and respond to your child. I know, absolutely know, that you would/will be a wonderful caregiver to a child.

Julia said...

Good for you. And for Jessica.

Maybe some day Jessica can come for a playdate-- Monkey enjoys playing with somewhat younger kids as well as with her age-mates and somewhat oldre kids... And maybe Jessica's mom can return the favor. I hope it's soon.

JMB said...

I knew that you had it in you! You're right in that it takes that one on one, real experience to build a little confidence. Delphi makes a good point-over time you learn your child, they figure you out, and off you go.

I'm still crossing everything that I can that the next cycle is THE ONE.

CappyPrincess said...

I agree with Ruby. I hope you get that baby very soon. I understand much of what you write about and send you "stranger love" to keep on getting along.

Abby said...

I've never doubted you had it in you, but I'm glad you believe it yourself now. There's always a babysitting job in Oklahoma for you if you want it! :)

Margaret said...

I had no doubts you are a wonderful Mom! I'm so glad you got the opportunity to reaffirm that for yourself;-)