Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Days

Our youngest is four years old. We are done with the baby stage in our house. Yet, if you had come to our home this past week, you would never have known the difference! Between the stroller on the front porch, the highchair in the dining room, the playpen in the den area, the diaper bag by the front door, the baby clothes neatly folded on the couch, and of course, the baby on my lap, it would appear as though we were right back in the midst of it! This past week we actually have been.

Hubby has a co-worker who has a son that visits three days each "weekend", which really amounts to Sunday-Tuesday and then Friday-Sunday later that week. Then one week off from the baby. It's kind of a confusing schedule but anyhow, that's not the important part. On the Sundays that the baby goes home, I babysit him in the morning while his dad works. So every other weekend, I watch him and take him to church with me and we have a blast.

The baby's mother decided at the beginning of April to move out of state at the last minute. She gave up her apartment and moved across the country, leaving the baby with his father. The interesting part though, is that the dad works double shifts on a lot of the days that he normally doesn't have the baby and the schedule had already been made for him to work.

So, he ran into a bit of dilemma this past week. He has a paper route from 2a-4a then works 8a-2p, has a short break and then goes back to work and works 5p-9p. Rinse and repeat the next day. Fine and dandy. Unless you also have a little one to take care of.

So, Babycakes ended up spending much of this past week with us. He was with us Wednesday morning then went home with his Dad. Dad dropped him off on Wednesday night and he was with us until Dad's break time on Thursday, then back to us and stayed the night Thursday night. Then went back to Dad on Friday after Dad got off work and then came back to us Friday night. And then he was with us from Friday evening until just now, on Sunday afternoon.

We have been in full-on baby mode this past week. And I'm exhausted! It is such a shock to my system to suddenly be on baby duty again. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVED having him but it was a big change to wake up in the middle of the night, change diapers again, watch to make sure that things don't go into the baby's mouth, tiny bites of food, wracking my brain trying to remember which foods are not be given before which age. No honey before 1 or is it 2? And what about citrus? It was quite the adventure.

I was very happy to have the baby around. He's such a joy and he really likes being here. Another co-worker of Hubby and Babycakes' Dad commented the other day that Babycakes doesn't like women (it's odd but it is true - he prefers guys WAY more than women) and then another coworker said that Babycakes doesn't really like anyone at their work, then stopped herself and said, "Well, other than his dad, of course. And her," at which point, she motioned to me.

It was one of those moments that really hit me. She was right. Babycakes HAD taken a liking to me. And I AM a woman. He even had started to prefer me over my husband (who he used to prefer, even though I was the one taking care of him). I had finally come into my own where Babycakes was concerned. And that was awesome to realize.

But the baby is gone now. He won't be back til Tuesday. So the baby toys will actually all be put back into their baskets on the shelf, the highchair will go back to the corner of the dining room instead of  pulled up to the table full-time, the stroller will go back to the garage, the playpen will be broken down and the diaper bag is not even here right now, and I have the computer on my lap, instead of a baby. My house will get cleaned in a way that I wasn't able to accomplish with a baby that ended up being VERY attached to me. And I will sleep the WHOLE way through the night. And on Tuesday, we begin again. I don't quite recall. Is it possible to stockpile sleep and energy? No? Darn. Well, I am still going to nap this afternoon and enjoy it. And I am going to sleep through the night and I will most definitely enjoy it.


As I had mentioned before, the kids have developed some new quality friendships with some kids. Part of this came with the change in Scouts and part of it came with a change in my own relationships.

You see, Jeriah's first non-family semi-regular babysitter is a woman whom I have known for 22 years now, maybe longer? Bree is my friend that I mentioned here. She has two children, T and S. T is 8 and S is 6. T and Koren get along extremely well and so do Oralee and S.

Bree's great grandmother and my grandmother were best friends back in the day. I grew up calling her great grandmother, Grandma Thelma. And she grew up calling my grandmother, Mrs. K. My grandmother was introduced to her great grandmother as "Mrs. K" and Thelma was introduced as, well, Thelma.

Every single morning, my grandmother would call Thelma and they would talk to each other, then three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), my grandma would go over to Thelma's house (she lived two doors down in the townhouse community where they lived most of my life) and together, they would drive to the senior center for lunch. It was so cute and I have such fond memories of it, that go back as far as I can recall. On breaks from school, I'd go along with them and spend the morning helping the seniors take their plates to their seats, going up and picking out prizes for them from the prize table during Friday Bingo and would just overall, do whatever I could to help out. I would eat lunch with them too. It was like having a whole community of grandparents while I was growing up. Trust me, if I even thought about doing something wrong, any one of those grandmothers wouldn't hesitate to stop me, scold me, or even give me a quick swat to get my attention. Love those ladies! I really do!

So anyhow, since Bree's great grandmother and my grandma were best friends, I spent plenty of time with both of them and since I claimed Thelma as another grandma, I also claimed her family as well, which if it were real, would make Bree something like a distant cousin of some sort. :) I think of her more like a sister and definitely as a best friend!

Bree and I actually share the same birthdate, year included! Kinda crazy, huh?

Bree and I only knew each other a little bit growing up, but we did know each other. Last year, we connected and really got to know each other and now, we talk on the phone at least 3 or 4 times a week and try to get together at least once (outside of Scouts) and we trade off kids and babysitting and all that.

So it is only natural that with our friendship, our children would also develop a friendship and I am grateful for it. You see, most of my years growing up, I was accustomed to being disciplined by whatever adult was closest to me. Family member, family friend, whoever. And I developed a major respect for my elders.

The friends that I am the closest to are the ones that are as quick to discipline my children as I am and they discipline in similar ways as well. They are the ones who have similar expectations of their kids and we feel totally comfortable in the role of being in charge of each other's children.

This is not true for most of the adults I know. I hesitate to discipline another child, even when they are in my home. Even if it is something as simple as telling them to stop something or redirecting them. I mean, I still do it, but I hesitate and am not totally comfortable with it.

So it has really helped all of us for the kids to be developing these new relationships and so wonderful for Bree and I to have developed our relationship as well. And who knows, sixty or seventy years from now, we might be the ones living two houses apart and going to the senior center for lunches together too. It's a neat thought.