Adventures in babysitting

We finally did it – Hubby and I got away last night for an overdue date night while Monkey’s aunt and uncle babysat. I prepared detailed information for his caretakers – emergency contacts, instructions for warming bottles, and an outline of his bedtime routine (pajamas, vitamin D, book, bottle, humidifier, music, swaddle) – tiptoeing the fine line of offering instruction without micromanaging. By the time his babysitters showed up, I was fairly confident that things would go okay. And if they didn’t, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Of course, the evening wasn’t without its hiccups. Monkey refused to nap yesterday, so he was an absolute mess as we were leaving. His cries escalated as I hugged and kissed him goodbye, and I cried for the first half of our drive to the restaurant. The wait at the restaurant was over an hour, so Hubby dutifully plied me with alcohol at the bar. By the time we got to our table, I was pretty good and buzzed, drowning out some of the panic and guilt I was feeling. Hubby and I did enjoy ourselves, although much of our conversation centered around Monkey. As we left the restaurant to head home, I was, against all odds, in a good mood.

And then we walked in the door of our condo. Monkey was still awake, nearly 3 hours past his bedtime. The humidifier and music hadn’t been played, and I was pretty sure his vitamin D was untouched. Monkey was in his crib chatting to himself, still in his onesie (not in the pajamas I had laid out for him). He was swaddled, sort of, with his arms out and flailing around, and a heavy quilt was laid over his body. It was a SIDS nightmare; at least Monkey was lying on his back.

Somehow I kept my cool through it all. I thanked Monkey’s aunt profusely for watching him and gave her a hug as she headed out. Then Hubby and I proceeded to initiate Monkey’s bedtime routine – changing him into his pajamas, giving him his vitamin D drops, Hubby reading a book while I gave him his bottle, then turning on his humidifier and music while I swaddled him and put him down (without the quilt). Monkey went promptly to sleep, and stayed asleep until 7 this morning. And, somehow, I woke up this morning without a hangover.

In spite of the less-than-optimal circumstances, it was a successful night out. Hubby and I had some time to ourselves out of the house, and Monkey eventually got to sleep. We get another shot at a date night when Grandma comes to visit in two weeks. Hopefully we can avoid the SIDS infomercial next time around.

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5 thoughts on “Adventures in babysitting

  1. Congrats on the escape! I found that it is hard to get grandmas et al. to follow the “routines”. They all seem to feel that their experience w/ kiddos back in the day makes them some kind of expert! It is sort of amazing how much the “rules” have changed over the years

    Still, it is great that you had a good time. We have regular “date nights” and Mini-G has so much fun playing with the babysitter. Before long, you won't even talk about Monkey when you are gone (as much) 🙂

  2. Glad you were able to get out on your own for a while! We have yet to do that. Without any family around, it's hard to find someone that we truly trust enough at this early age.

  3. My mom still doesn't listen to me, but she's really the only one who suffers so I let her do her thing. My sister, on the other hand, has really come to be my better babysitter and she was the one I was worried about the most due to her inexperience. But she listens to everything I tell her, does things exactly as I describe, and just trusts that I know my kid. It's awesome.

    Unfortunately, she's the one who gets paid. 😦

  4. @Gerty and JLK – I think people who know nothing about kids would be way more willing to do things “our way”. I've thought about getting some of my friends who are thinking of having kids over to look after Monkey. They're smart and dependable, and don't have any preconceived ideas about how to raise children. It'd be like working with a blank canvas. 🙂

    @Alyssa – You might think about looking around at some of your friends/old coworkers for babysitting, especially those that swoon over pictures of Evan. As noted by JLK and Gerty, family can be difficult to work with.

  5. @Alyssa- bonus when you start your baby in day care: a lot of the day care workers babysit! That's what we do if my parents aren't in town and my sister and our other babysitters are all busy.

    We have an embarrassment of riches on the babysitter front, and they all listen to our instructions. We're very lucky! But we still often come home to awake kids.

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