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Babysitting the new-age kid

Published on: December 30, 2013

It was the first time we’d spent quality grammy-grandson time alone. At nearly six weeks old, he could now, it was decided, be left at my house. He was ready.

But was I?

I realized we would have four hours together - during which I needed to do everything just right.

That meant feeding him when he was hungry, changing him when he was wet, entertaining him when he was bored and letting him sleep when he was tired.

Sounds simple, right? Not anymore. Times have changed since we grabbed a copy of Brazelton and went along our merry way. Take the feeding part. I was worried about the bottle. Was it plastic? Glass? Recycled? Recycled glass? Microwavable? Environmentally correct? Bisphenol A negative?

Diaper changing was easy, if not messy, but the entertaining part of the babysitting package? Whew! Now that we know infants learn from birth, can imitate facial expressions, recognize family members and have a very limited window of opportunity to master Mandarin, there’s just no relaxing and humming “Twinkle, Twinkle.”

By the time I finished reading Hop On Pop (it’s all about the rhyme); playing Chopin’s Walz in E Minor (Mozart is so yesterday) and challenging him to follow the red and black smiley face patterns I’d bought (Why red and black? No one knows), I was exhausted.

He seemed happy enough, so I switched on the TV to catch Judge Judy when I remembered that the American Academy of Pediatrics says - quite sternly - No TV Till Two. So what if he couldn’t yet focus on a real object let alone on moving electronic signals?

I sighed and took a good look at him. It was clearly nap time. Luckily, he was sleepy, too. A successful afternoon.

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