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Entries in babysitting (1)


Need a Babysitter, Any Takers?

Grandpa took a selfie while feedingMy family uses a group messaging list for communicating.  Coordination for events, announcements, issues….it’s all there.  As long as a string of them don’t come while working it’s pretty convenient, although I would prefer to talk once in a while.

One thread the other day had me reflecting on child raising through the millennia. 

“Need a babysitter on Saturday, any takers?”   My son rarely initiates a text thread. My daughter had the privilege of babysitting one day, since she lives 2.5 blocks away. 

“I need to work overnight 2AM to 6AM on Saturday and April plans to drive her mom home during the day.  We’re flexible on time.”  April’s mom lives in Western MA, and was ending a week’s visit with the newborn.

“I have a haircut at 8:30, and could come over after.”  Wow.  My first solo ride with the newborn. Let the spoiling begin!

“Thank you, we really appreciate it.”  April chimed in with a nice expression of appreciation.

“No problem.  I’m looking forward to it.”  I was happy, no, thrilled to spend some time with my granddaughter.

“See how long you last before you beg me to take over.  :)”  Did my son suddenly doubt me?  It turns out each grandmother had spent a week at the home, and they were pretty tired by the end of the week.  I can certainly handle a few hours.

“I may have done this before.  Maybe….”  Given two offspring are on the list, I was hoping this would be a funny note.  As I shared this with other parents, we all do the same thing…checking in on the grandparents and making sure they still have it.

“30 years ago?”  Hmm, my son was pointing out my experience was not “recent.”

“Like riding a bike.”  I was not going to be held down.

“You aren’t the young stallion you used to be.”  Darn him. He wasn’t letting go.

“Aged to perfection.”  I got my wife a t-shirt with this inscription for her 40th birthday.  I got the t-shirt from PBS, so it was highbrow.  We are now divorced.  J

“Pretty sure I’m only 27.”  There’s my daughter, coming to my aid, and defusing the situation. 

“Pretty sure dad didn’t take care of either of us until we were 1.5 years old.”  OMG!  They actually read my blog?  They are using my own words against me?

I caved.  Pulled out the white flag and surrendered.   “There is a little truth to that.”

I did do my babysitting duty, and had a glorious time.  The little one and I bonded between feeding, diaper changes, and sleeping.  It was all good.

While she rested, my thoughts went to changes over the years.  Children have been raised for tens of thousands of years.  Disposable diapers are a big change still in place today.  The formula was mixed with purified water…frankly we always thought town water delivered through the tap was pretty pure. 

Overall, it comes back to the same things with a newborn.  Feeding, cleaning, napping….loving.  The specifics may change but the basics are unchanged.  And like riding a bike, once you have it you have it forever.