Sunday, July 01, 2007

Motherhood jitters

Last night my friend, Valerie, called.

"Hi, Nancy," she said timidly, and sounding slightly embarrassed, "I know that I'm your visiting teacher...and your home I'm supposed to be the one serving you...and I know that you're 37 weeks pregnant...but..."

She took a deep breath and let it out all at once, "Would you mind babysitting for me?"

I, of course, accepted. Her baby is so adorable and also very well behaved.

She brought him over this morning, still acting very nervous.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" she asked, "You're not going to go into labor or anything while we're out?"

"I'll be fine," I assured her.

"Okay, well...if he gets gassy, he likes to be held this way," and then she demonstrated the classic football hold, "And he really likes to be held like this," she continued, making sure I was listening with bated breath.

It seemed to her that I was, so she continued, "He also likes to practice standing...I wish he wouldn't yet."

"Do you have our cell phone number? Our new one?"

"Did I pack diapers? Yes, they're here..."

"If you need anything just call..."

"Are you sure you'll be alright?"

After assuring her that I would be fine, she confessed what I had already figured out, "This is just the first time I've left him with someone who wasn't a family member. I'm a little nervous."

I figured as much. And her baby (whose name is Sawyer, which I happen to think is cute now...I didn't think it was all too cute when she first told me about it) was perfectly charming.

Andrew, of course, scared him out of his wits by "boogity-woogity"-ing right in his face within seconds of Valerie's prolonged departure. I taught Andrew that little babies like to be talked to with high-pitched voices and they like gentle games. Tongue sticking out is funny. Boogity-woogity is not.

Andrew is so used to our neighbors twins (11 months) that it took him awhile to get the hang of playing with a smaller baby. After he felt he had gotten the hang of it, he asked if he cold hold Sawyer. I gave him the baby and Andrew, in turn, gravely offended him by coddling him like a newborn. After screwing up his face and holding his breath for a few seconds, Sawyer let out a tremendous scream and was hurriedly placed back into my arms.

I got him to settle down again, and then it was time for Andrew to head to work.

I was wondering how Valerie was getting along--it had, after all, been about 45 minutes since she left and I was sure she was missing her baby. Almost as if on cue, the phone rang.

"Hi, Nancy?"

"Yes, Val...?"

"How are things? Is he okay? Did he cry? Does he miss me?"

"Things are fine. Sawyer's fine. He cried because Andrew made strange faces at him, but he's just fine now. I'm sure he misses you terribly."

"Okay, good!" sighed Valerie.

"Valerie," I said, "Try to have a good time."

"I will," she said.

Ahhh...this is to be me in just a few short months. Except, since it will be mid November when our baby is four months old, I really doubt that I will go boating on Utah Lake--a little too cold for that. But I'm sure that I will be just as nervous to leave my baby. Valerie, I know, though is a perfectly capable babysitter and, as she pointed out, already owes me a free babysit! Sweeet!

Things with Sawyer really did go well, except for one thing...I have this huge bump in the way of all the cuddling he wanted to do.

Kim's twins and my sister's twins really don't care about the huge bump. They are more interested in getting into mischief than in snuggling in for that nice cozy mama-warmth. Sawyer, on the other hand, is only 4 months old and is still a very cuddlesome baby. It was fun to hold such a baby again, but it was much, much more awkward than holding a rambunctious 1 year old--as counterintuitive as that may seem.

That is why, I guess, babies typically have to be at least 10 months that you don't have a huge bump and a little cuddly baby at the same time. The bump just gets in the way.

I can't cuddle my husband. I can't cuddle babies. And, at times, have been known to turn around and bump into things with my belly.

Soon it will be out of the way, soon.

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