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Friday, March 12, 2010

Baby Brain: Baby Training

I babysat as a kid, I think every young girl does. My mother taught me the basics and generally I had few issues. There was normally a pizza involved and a movie and I never had to deal with baby babies, the youngest was probably 5. Let’s just say by the time I went to college I had the superficial exposure to young children that any girl does at the age of 20.

I did not actually get training on how to care for infants; the little tiny ones that you feel like you are going to break them, until I got to college. I had a good friend whose mother was a single mom, her husband walked out of the house to go to work one day and never came home.

INSERT RANT: How COULD YOU - you despicable piece of elephant toe jam of a man, leave a young uneducated wife with three boys under the age of 4!
END RANT.

So she did something incredible, she started a daycare in her basement in order to meet the bills and still be home with her three growing boys. Over the years she kept her day care up as her only means of income and without it she would be in dire straights financially. Her day care was thriving and she watched anywhere from 5-10 kids all under the age of 5.

I knew my friend and his mother for three years, three wonderful years of his mother treating me like a lost lamb. Three years of her offering to feed me every time I walked in the door because I was too skinny. She made the best manicottis I have ever had and with my own mother 450 miles away I gobbled up the attention she lavished on me. Three years passed before the cancer hit. She was so ill after her kemotherapy sessions that I started going over to help out so she could go to her appointments and then come home and rest upstairs. That few hours a couple times a week for months left me with ALOT of knowledge about babies and kids. Random insider knowledge that you normally don’t learn until you have had your own small child. Let me tell you THAT this experience is what enabled me to keep my baby biological clock suppressed for all these years, those little buggers TOOK ALOT OF ENERGY and although they were adorable I knew I was not ready.

INSERT SIDE NOTE: I wonder if teen pregnancy would go down if every high school had a daycare center, kinda like home economy, where the teens would have to spend an hour changing diapers, cleaning up vomit, and holding screaming infants until they slept. I think it is BRILLIANT!
END SIDE NOTE

I remember the first few days I helped her, we watched the children together and I was APALLED by how much I did not know. With that many small children I was always wishing for an extra pair of arms or eight and I learned quickly how to prioritize needs vs. wants. That time was difficult and I felt in those first few weeks like I had jumped into the deep end of the pool without taking swimming lessons. I remember wanting to curl up on the floor and scream right along with the four children who were crying for my attention at a particular moment. However, months later I was juggling toddlers and infants, napping schedules and feeding times like a pro. I feel empowered to be able to manage it all. Six months later my friend’s mother was better, her cancer was in remission and we all rejoiced at her recovery. However I was a little sad when I was no longer needed and stopped by often just to nuzzle some glorious babies.

Now I have a few nieces and nephews and soon a host of friends who I am excited to bring back all that stored knowledge. Baby Fruit is already a constant visitor at my house and I am able to help more because of what I know.

031110_babyFruit

I thank that experience in my life. Not only did I help a wonderful woman through a difficult period in her life, I learned how to juggle multiple infants and toddlers. I feel like when I am blessed to become a mother I will have a little easier time transitioning from childless to having a wee one of my own.

5 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

I think your side note is a brilliant idea. Why don't you pass it along to the school board and see what happens. I've often thought women should have had eight arms like an octopus - that could have come in very handy with three toddlers of my own.

lilmansworld said...

You are absolutely right about being 20 and having a small clue about children! When we were in the hospital after Jake arrived, the nurse asked, "would you like to change his diaper?" Mr Lambchop and I stared at one another, and I said, "I'll let you do it, I'll be doing it several times over." Secretly, I had never changed an infants diaper and it had been about 14 years since I did! Glad that babydom has grasped ahold of you fiercely, jump on the bandwagon:) How old is baby fruit now?

Sarah said...

You know whats sad? Where I work there are so many teen pregnancies there are day cares in almost every school. Teens look at that as a reason to have kids....someone will watch them during the day. My ex and I tried for 2 1/2 yrs to get pregnant. When I worked in an ER we'd get 14 y/o girls on their 3rd pregnancy. Miscarried or aborted the first one or two....it took everything I had not to share a piece of my mind with them. Its like its a game.

It wouldn't fly where I grew up -- just shows how different one area of the country is to another.

Sarah said...

Oh, pertinent part to my comment I left out. Ex and I never got preggo. Someone who could provide for a child...while kids are out there having kids like they're playing house or so they can have continual "baby mama" drama.

Cheryl said...

Isn't it such an awesome experience? I am sure you will be a good mother of fourrrrrr :)

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