Tuesday 15 June 2004

adventures in babysitting

So the very lovely and incredibly trusting Jack and Heather asked us to look after little Rebecca on Saturday. Since we need the practice (if minding someone else's baby for a couple of hours actually counts as "practice") and we think Rebecca's cute as a button, we were happy to oblige. Jack whipped up a very nice dinner, and we chatted for a little while before they went out for the evening. I had the crash course in Baby 101 courtesy of Heather, and they got ready to leave.

That's when we learned that Rebecca has the lungs of a younger and somewhat balder Luciano Pavarotti.

The poor wee one screamed and screamed and screamed, which in babyspeak is the equivalent of saying "I can't believe you're leaving me with these strangers! Your own flesh and blood! These people don't even have kids, for crying out loud!" Jack and Heather reluctantly left her in our care so they could enjoy their very first evening out (and have a belated anniversary treat). I carried Rebecca up to her room thinking that maybe the heat was bothering her and the cooler air upstairs would help. Nope. I tried giving her a bottle again. Nope. Checked her nappy. Nope. Patted her on the back and rubbed her tummy. Nope. Put her down to sleep. Nope. Made silly noises and twirled her mobile over her head. That worked, sort of. In between gasps and sobs, she momentarily got distracted by the felt animals swirling above her. Phew. Silence. The phone rang, and it was Jack checking in and all was well. Five minutes later, the wailing began again. Right - bottle, nappy, rocking, cuddling, walking, burping, singing, talking, bouncing, hey look at Mr. Bunny!, and let's try the bottle again - bingo. She finished her bottle, let out some rather impressive belches, and very happily watched the football on my lap and then Paul's. Oh, the drama.

She was lovely, though. There is something so infinitely cool about seeing a baby smile and giggle at something you're doing, and to see her eyelids droop in a milk-induced drunkenness. And to cap it all, I am still baby barf-free! Go me.

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