Thursday, May 21, 2009

Babysitting Thoughts

I babysat my sister's kid today, and we had a good time. The baby is almost one-and-a-half now (when do they stop being babies, I wonder), but this is an amazing age, when he babbles incoherently, and runs around and laughs and seems to enjoy life more than he used to (or maybe just in a different way). I asked my mom if this was the age that's the most fun, and she said everything between one and two is pretty great.

So, we hung out, and my sister called me to say that she had tickets to see Dane Cook, and wondered if I could tend the boy for a few more hours. I agreed, and while he tested my patience, especially with his insistence to be held while I was trying to get some work done (for a change), I had two strange, rather emotional experiences with him today.

The first was in changing his diaper the first of three times. He had some kind of diarrhea mixed with toxic waste that had not only filled, but overflowed his diaper. And I gotta say, part of me just wanted to run screaming from the room. It was such a mess and smelled so bad, that I literally came close to crying. That hadn't happened before, to my knowledge, and I wonder if it's typical.

He took an extremely long nap, from between two and five-thirty, so when it came time to put him to bed at night, he just wouldn't go. I kept trying to get him to go to sleep by rocking him or giving him a bottle, but he just wanted to hang out. Finally, I gave up, and we both sat on the couch watching UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS. The whole time, he stayed awake, fiddling with the remote control, or poking me and then laughing.Around midnight, my sister came over to pick him up, and another strange thing happened: he didn't want to go to her. Initially I suspected that some dark being had taken the guise of my sister and the boy could sense the danger, but she explained that, like Kamala in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the child bonds to whomever he spends the most time around, and that had happened to me.* He cried and reached for me, and when my brother-in-law loaded the carseat in, the baby ran for me again like I was his only hope. He began to wail when they loaded him into their car to take him back to his house, and I felt extremely sad witnessing this.

When the car (and the boy) was gone, I experienced a new emptiness, quite different from the emptiness I feel every other day of the year. I don't really get it. Not sure why I thought this was worth sharing, either.


*Um, my analogy, not hers.

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