For two whole days before the Mommy Makeover last Friday, I felt nothing but anxiety at the idea of leaving my daughter in the hands of a babysitter, even one who was a loving family member. As I explained in the previous post, it wasn’t the idea of not trusting her caregiver but rather the idea of subjecting both of them to the potential teary rath of my 3 month old who had as of yet never been babysat before.
Yes, I have had the message that crying babies are among the Top 3 most annoying sounds so drilled into my head that I have an irrational fear of her annoying those around her with her crying. Stupid, I know, since my daughter doesn’t cry more than a normal baby and, at the end of the day, who the hell cares if a baby cries because babies cry. It is what it is, right? Right.
We had chosen to do a run through the day before with my cousin, to show her the nap time routine, how to prepare a bottle, how to prepare mentally for a potential Battle of the Bottle, where her diapers were, her favourite toys and games, and how to breathe deeply and step away when an infant has an overwhelming screaming and crying fit. I still remember my own reaction the first time Baby Girl had a long breakdown and, even though she hadn’t had one in a long time, the last thing I wanted was to not help my cousin in case of her losing her patience. No one wants to say “I could have prevented this” when a very caring person loses patience with your crying baby and you have to deal with shaken baby syndrome…It happened to a former colleague, so I learned my lesson.
I decided to leave my daughter in the hands of my cousin while I went and got ready for an event I had that evening. In less than 5 minutes, my baby had a screaming fit like I hadn’t heard in a long time. I bit down on my lip and let my cousin handle it, but when I realized that she wasn’t calming down after 10 minutes, I told them to come upstairs so she could see I was home. My heart was pounding; I really hoped we hadn’t scared my cousin away. I hoped this wasn’t a sign of what was to come tomorrow…
Needless to say I didn’t sleep very well that night, waking up every couple of hours with stupid thoughts: should I just cancel, what if something happens while there’s dye in my hair, what if, what if, what if? I know, cue the eyeroll.
Finally as the morning dawned, Baby Girl woke up giggly and playful as usual so I set about getting ready after enjoying one-on-one time with her. When my cousin arrived, I decided that we should put her down for her nap together just so the baby wouldn’t be shocked when waking up, seeing her instead of me. After repeating everything one last time and my cousin reassuring me and joking that she had studied last night and taken notes, off I went with my husband. It was a beautifully sunny morning and walking hand in hand with my him calmed me down a lot.
I waited a whole hour and half before texting to find out how everything was going, assuming the baby had woken up after her usual hour long nap. But after finding out she was still sleeping, I relaxed a little more and let go, melting into a thoroughly enjoyable osteopathic hair washing. Later on I got a text from my cousin that put a big smile on my face; after a two hour nap and an expected crying fit, she had downed a whole bottle and was playing and laughing in her bouncy chair. A few more texts later, and my shoulders kept dropping. She had had 2 bottles, was laughing with my cousin, and was proving my husband’s theory right: when baby cries, put on the intro scene of Happy Feet II. All the dancing and singing penguins put her into a trance and peace and quiet return. Haha…
Anyways, all that to say that it was a success! I was able to even go out for lunch after the haircut and do so with the peace of mind that it was all going well. When I got home, the baby was napping so my cousin and I waited until she woke up to go get her together. As we picked up a smiley baby, I knew that from now on, everything would be okay.
I’m now looking forward to planning a date night with my husband and have found a great babysitter. 🙂