Saturday, June 24, 2006

Adventures in babysitting

today marked my first baby-sitting job in about a decade. the main difference between baby-sitting now and baby-sitting then is that a) my husband was totally allowed and encouraged to be here and b) it was for my kin - that is, my 14 month old nephew, baby e.

e stands for so many things.... Elmo, endless energy, eel-like, emphatic, effervescent... i could go on, but i'm really tired, so i won't.

but let me just give you the highlights.

my sister very thoughtfully left me a two page letter, cleverly addressed to Auntie Sara and Uncle Jason. it proved to be a handy napkin for e to mop up the spilled apple juice that he managed to squeak out of a no-spill sippy cup.

but really, the first couple of hours were great. we played peek-a-boo, we sang with the puppet elmo book, we jumped up and down on auntie's stomach while pinning her down to a beanbag chair... and then we fell instantly asleep with a cup of milk, our taggie blanket and a rocking chair.

this was a nice couple of hours. and prior to 5 p.m., auntie had lots of diaper practice.

and then it was dinner time. my sister instructed me to feed him pasta (right. carbs. i should have just put some red bull in the sippy cup while i was at it). i dutifully cut the ziti with my fork into thirds, and piled the pasta on his tray. i've witnessed toddler eating habits before, so i was prepared.

but then there was the jello. as my nephew looked up at me with his expectant, sauce-covered face, i pondered my next move. jello is not a solid. it can't go right on the tray. in fact, jello, when faced with a toddler, becomes instantly liquid and messier than you ever could imagine.

i found a bowl, and what looked to be like a suitable spoon, and sat down. he looked at me with what can only be described as a maniacal grin. i had chosen to wipe clean his face and tray of all sauce particles before moving on to the next course, and he did look very angelic prior to the strawberry jello course.

he pounded the tray, but i was not buying. i spoonfed the jello, and like a little bird (with teeth), we managed to get through the jello course with only a little bit of jello in auntie's hair, down her shirt and possibly some on the chandelier.

(don't worry, jen, i totally cleaned it up. kenny helped.)

of course, dinnertime was when j decided to bail on me and go "check on the dog."

all in all, we all got along quite well. there was a lot of cuddling, a lot of playing, and eventually, a passed out baby e, a passed out husband and a very tired, but fulfilled auntie.


Peter Matthes said...

I was a babysitter once.

It was 1983 and microwaves were still a new invention. The "kids" and I decided to make s'mores in there. As the adult, I punched in the cook time of 10 minutes.

10 minutes later there was marshmallow dripping out of the fan vents of the microwave oven.

Needless to say ... I was not asked back.

KAT said...

We used to microwave marshmallows (take note, Peter... only for a few seconds!) and then throw them in the freezer for a crunch, gooey (disgusting) treat. Of course, I'm much too sophisticated for that kind of thing now (unless we're counting Fluff because I still eat a lot of that). I like your approach, though, P.M. I will have to keep it in mind for when my friends start having babies and requesting babysitters (although I don't think "but microwaves are such new technology, I didn't know how much time to set" is going to work for me!)

stac said...

Just think of all the great baby/toddler practice you're getting with all this baby-sitting! The only difference is that now, you can give the kid back when the parents return!

Anonymous said...

Hearing your story about how well it went..makes me want to say..When are you watching your OTHER nephew???


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you had a good time watching your nephew.
Just to let you know
I found red jello on the wall- just a little- you missed a spot