Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 1 With Baby Melissa


      If you missed Friday's post, Introducing Baby Melissa, be sure to check it out before reading today's post as you may be a little lost. I decided I wanted a whole week to go by before I introduced and wrote about caring for Baby Melissa because I wanted to give you an honest opinion.
    First of all some background: Baby Melissa's parents and us have been friends for three years and in that short time frame we have become so close we consider each other family. We have spent holidays together, been there for celebrations and sad times as well. Baby Melissa's mom and I are very close and talk all the time even more so now that I am watching Baby Melissa. We agreed from day one that some day I would watch her child. I got laid off when I was pregnant with Xavier and decided to be a stay at home mom. When Baby Melissa's parents were considering having a child we thought it would be fun to raise our children together. They are cousins in our eyes. I know if it were the other way around I would not hesitate leaving Xavier in Baby Melissa's mom's hands. In fact they are a usual baby sitter for him.
       Luckily, Baby Melissa's mom is extremely organized and when she was pregnant we worked out our own agreement. Which I think is pertinent if you are going to watch someone's child, even if you consider yourselves family you still need rules and guidelines. So we set schedule times, hours, wages, ideas on who pays for diapers, wipes, food, etc. When we are taking vacations and when they are taking vacations. What is "short notice"? Should you pay if you call sick? All those issues and more should be ironed out and written out before you watch someone's child. That way you have guidelines to go by.
      I was not nervous to watch Baby Melissa, I figured so far I have done really good with Xavier I think five days a week eight hours a day I can handle one more child that is small. It was fun for me that it was a girl. We did not know what Xavier was going to be so I had a few pink blankets and burp cloths I pulled out and made sure to use. I was excited to get  the swing, the boppy pillow, pack and play and floor mat all out again for another baby. My biggest worry of course was Xavier. I knew that Baby Melissa liked me and would be fine without her parents for a while and I with her, but I was not sure how Xavier would like it.
      The first day was hard. I felt like everyone was trying to get used to everyone else. I did not know her cues and cries, she did not know our routine and Xavier was very jealous. Luckily he was not violent in fact just the opposite. Every time I would hold Baby Melissa I would have to hold Xavier as well. It got tiresome.
      As for the rest of the days there were four total and if you are a parent you can relate they all ran together. So I am not going to give you a play by play as though it is a football game, but I will tell you the high points and low points for the week.
     First the low points, learning cloth diapers and failing with callused fingers, being thrown up on so bad that it was in my hair, neck, shoulder, back and butt as well as my recliner, finally getting Baby Melissa to settle down and sleep on my shoulder only to then have my eyes water with the smell that my son just made in his diaper and not knowing how long I can sit there and smell it or wake up Baby Melissa. There are always doubts; am I doing this right? What does she like? what is she used to? I hope it's okay if I do this? Perhaps I should spend more time with him? How can I include him? I think the lowest was the day Baby Melissa was cranky from a growth spurt and Xavier was cranky from his molars coming in and they were both crying at me at the same time and I started crying as well and looked at them both and said "I have no idea what you are crying about! I don't know what to do?"
         That was the second day and after that there was a shift. They felt it and I felt it. I turned on the music and I picked up Baby Melissa and picked up Xavier and danced with them both. (Not too long I am not that strong, though I may be soon) We all smiled and went back to normal again. That's when I went back and remembered the good things.
      The best parts of my week were when Xavier brought Baby Melissa her blanket and pacifier when she was crying. He then proceeded throughout the week to make sure that he helped bring her things. The day I started tickling her while she was on the floor and Xavier leaned over and tickled her as well and she smiled at him and he smiled at her. Or the day that after her mom left I opened her little blanket (it was raining that day so she was covered up) and she smiled at me when she saw me. I think the best day was when I was feeding her in the recliner and doing a puzzle with Xavier at the same time and I realized that yes, I can do this. I can make a difference in this little girl's life as well as her parents. Together we can all steer her down the right path and know that she came from and is always around love.
       Love is why I accepted the privilege of watching Baby Melissa and love of her, her parents, and my family is what gives me the the energy to keep on going.

I hope you all have a great start to a wonderful week!

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