Babysitting

Jenny and Elena invited a very little guest into our apartment this week. A new mom that Jenny is friends with needed to take care of some business and couldn’t take her two-month old boy along. Jenny offered to take care of him on Tuesday and Thursday; both times, he was here for most of the day.

Elena was very excited when the baby showed up. She had a similar experience several weeks ago when another of Jenny’s friends came for a visit with her four-month old girl. It was clear that she wanted to do two things this time: play with the baby, and take care of him. She had a hard time distinguishing between the two, and that caused some conflict.

The first day, the baby cried as soon as he arrived. Jenny soothed him by rocking his car seat basket. Elena wanted to help, but she isn’t even big enough to pick up the car seat, much less swing it. Later on when he was crying again Jenny had to hold him. Of course, Elena crawled up on the couch and wanted to hold him too, but it just didn’t work out.

Thursday’s visit started out differently–the baby fell asleep as soon as he arrived. Without even taking him out of the car seat, Jenny put him in our closet, the only place where could nap in the dark and quiet and be outside of Elena’s reach. She did not approve of this at all and threw a fit because Jenny wouldn’t let her play with him. Even after she accepted the situation, she would go running down the hallway as if to check on him. When he woke up, Jenny put him in Elena’s old baby chair and rocked him gently for a bit. She went to the kitchen to check on something, and as soon as she looked back Elena was rocking the baby as fast as she could.

Elena’s a good little girl. She just wants to help, but it will take time and practice. Jenny took a trip down memory lane with this little baby, remembering all the things we tried back then. She reminded me about some things–those were crazy times! Being a new parent is hard.

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