February 16, 2011

In the blink of an eye

Posted in Firstborn, Working tagged , , , at 10:37 pm by Lauren

What just happened? I wrote my last post and ran my last (first) run (er, not good for training) on January 20? Where does the time go?

I’ve gone back to work, and it was easier than I expected. Expect the worst, I guess, and you’ll always get better. I don’t miss Stinkerton too much during the day because my job is insanely busy this month. The two biggest challenges both relate to timing: getting up an hour and a half earlier than I used to so I can get to work on time (nurse baby, change baby, pack pump supplies, restock diaper bag, shower and dress self, drive to and from daycare), and trying to leave work shortly after the workday ends at 3:30 so that I can have more waking hours with the baby. (I used to work regularly until at least 5 pm, but I set that as my daycare pick-up time, so those days are past! That means trying to be much more efficient during my workday.) If I had to choose a challenge to put into the third place slot, I’d go with pumping breast milk in a school bathroom. Unsavory.

So I’ve been back to work for 2.5 weeks, but it feels like I never left. As happens when you work at a school, I’ve been smacked with a pretty good cold. I hardly have a voice today. That’s my excuse for not running last weekend (and the weekend before was poor time management, which was fine for missing one weekend’s run, but which I regretting last weekend when I had to skip that one as well). I haven’t mentally committed to the idea that if I want to run during the week, I may have to do it after the Stinks goes to bed (thus on a lighted trail) or miss out on some time with him.

Stinkerton’s still a giant, and when we look at him, we can’t believe he’s only 3 months old. Seems like he’s been around forever. He smiles very readily now, from the first moment he sees us in the morning to the last look before he falls asleep. Last weekend, he started laughing out loud, but those moments are not yet regular. He sleeps from around 6:30 pm to about 6:30 am, waking once in the 2 am hour. (Our challenge is just going to bed early enough to take advantage of this.) In the past couple weeks, he’s started drooling heavily, chomping down on our fingers, and sticking his tongue out even further (he’s a big tongue-sticker-outer and has been, but he apparently has much more control now), so we’re looking forward to teething soon. (Of course I mean, “looking forward to.”) He’s over 26 inches tall and 16 pounds – we haven’t measured or weighed him in a couple of weeks though, but suffice it to say that he continues to hit the top of the growth chart percentiles. And there are signs that he may be growing a neck! (But I think he may have stolen it from some other baby, because where did this Chunky Cheekerton get a neck?!) Finally, in the litany of “things I should write down before I forget when they happened,” I think it’s safe to call the eye color as brown.

Caught up? Okay, good.

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December 30, 2010

Sleep of babes

Posted in Firstborn tagged , , , at 11:12 pm by Lauren

We’ve been entirely indulgent of Colin’s schedule – he sleeps when he wants, he wakes when he wants, he eats when he wants, he says jump – you get the idea. But with only four weeks until I go back to work, I started worrying that a 10:30 pm bedtime was a little unrealistic, no matter how much I loved sleeping in until 10:30 am with him.

So last night, we instituted a 7:00 pm bedtime. Fortunately for us, he happened to fall asleep right at 7:00 pm. Because really, who are we kidding? He’s still the boss.

Anyway, we put him to bed at 7:00 pm. (Show no weakness!) He slept until 8:20, when he needed to eat. He went right back to sleep, woke and nursed again at 11:00 pm, and slept until 3:00 am. (Usually he’s up for an hour sometime between 9 – 11 pm, which is why we were putting him to bed then. Last night, he fell right back to sleep after nursing and skipped that hour.) The 3:00 am waking was a little harder; he was up for an hour and fifteen minutes. But when he woke at 6:00 and 8:00, he went back to sleep within 5-10 minutes. When I got out of bed at 10:00 am, I felt fairly refreshed. And confused. He went to bed earlier, and we were still in bed at 10 am? Well, that wasn’t so bad!

I got up, took a shower, waited for the baby to wake up any minute… And then I waited, and I waited. And waited. And finally, at 11:30 am, a full hour later than he usually gets up, he decided to join the world of the waking.

What.

He had a totally pleasant day, filled with happy waking times and appropriate naps (including the one above). And then he went to bed at 7:30 tonight. Shabam!

November 11, 2007

The job I’d been waiting for

Posted in Babysitting, Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:34 pm by Lauren

After weeks of waiting, I was slated to begin my new job on Monday, October 29. The family had hired me for the five weeks between the end of October and the end of November, and I’d taken the job and put off finding anything else for the past three weeks. Now it was time to work! I plotted my route the night before to figure out how early I’d need to leave if I walked, and I slipped my cross stitch into my bag in hopes that the baby would have a nap during my watch. I’d be working mornings four days a week. I was excited about the schedule because it would allow me to wake early (having a purpose to my day), work early, and then enjoy the afternoon. (Of course two days a week, I’d go to my English lessons afterwards, but I’d have Wednesday completely off!) The little girl (a year and a half old) had seemed bubbly and personable when I met the family. The parents too had seemed very nice, and the mother had seemed very low-key, which is a quality I enjoy in mothers I babysit for.

I was allowed a later start than usual this particular Monday because the family had just returned from a trip and were all jet-lagged. It was the weekend after daylight savings time in France, and I was concerned that the mother wouldn’t realize it (and would think I was an hour late). But how much of a worrywort can you be? I arrived right on time, ready to start. (At some point during the day, we did find out that she didn’t realize the time had changed, and I had to specify that I had indeed been on time.)

It was immediately obvious that the little girl was going to cling to her mom, and her mom explained that between the jet lag and the recent trip where the baby’d been left with nannies all day, the baby was really feeling separation anxiety. The mom said she’d be hanging around to show me the ropes.

It’s not worth divulging all the details of the day, but suffice it to say that I spent a long, awkward day with the baby and her mom. The baby was fussy, jet-lagged, and hyper-aware of where her mother was at all times. And that was the easy part. I have come to some sort of zen with babies – they are going to cry, they are not going to like being in your company all of the time (especially when you’re new with them), and if you pay attention, you can figure out how to make them happy most of the time. And that’s fine. The mother on the other hand seemed stressed that the baby was fussy, stressed that I was there (I sensed she didn’t really want to leave me alone with her child), and stressed that I wasn’t taking more charge. Meanwhile, with the mom there all day, the baby didn’t know who was in charge, and I don’t blame her because it was difficult for me to figure out too!

The most awkward part came at the end of the day. I was supposed to be working until 2, so I thought the child needed to be at the daycare by then. It was her first day of daycare (just a little detail to add to the upheaval). The mom went to take a nap at 12:45 once the baby was down for a nap. She said to me, “I shouldn’t sleep more than an hour.” But when an hour had gone by, she was still sleeping, the baby was still sleeping, and I wasn’t really sure what to do. I waited, a little, to see if somebody would wake. Then at 2 pm, I woke the mom, apologizing for waking her, but explaining that it was 2 o’clock, and the baby was still sleeping. The mom springs into frantic action, saying we’ll be late for the daycare, and how is the little girl going to have time to eat, and what time did I go to sleep. It becomes clear from her indirect statements that her earlier (also indirect) statement about how long she should sleep meant she had wanted me to wake her after an hour. We throw the little girl into the stroller, bring some food with us, and race to the daycare in a frenzy. (Actually, for the record, neither the child nor I were frenzied.) The mom didn’t know what bus stop we were supposed to take, so we carried the stroller down the subway stairs. Once there, she got lost at the other end, and we finally arrived at the daycare at 2:40. It turns out we were supposed to be there at 2:30 (which I thought was curious, since she’d told me I’d be working until 2), and she was glad we weren’t that late. Inside, we found out that the woman who was supposed to orient us to the daycare would be there at 3. We sat inside with the little girl for a few minutes, and around 2:45-2:50, the mom offered to pay me and let me go home. She calculated, “10 am to 2:30 pm, that’s 4 and a half hours, so 45 euros.” I wondered if she was leaving off the last 20 minutes I had been there (because she knew full well it wasn’t 2:30 because we’d been late to the daycare!) to punish me for not waking her. I have been fortunate in the past to work for people who round in my favor, not theirs, but I kept my mouth shut. She said she needed to make a large cash purchase that day and could she only give me 40 euros for now. I said that was fine; what else would I say? (I was again slightly annoyed though; we had gone to the ATM for her to get out cash earlier that day!)

I left at the end of the day thinking that it was very likely that it would go better once the mother started leaving me alone with the child. That, and it’s only five weeks. I like to tell myself that I can do anything if it’s for a set time period. I can make it through the school year because I know when it ends. I can force myself to work through stressful situations (graduate school papers, for example) because I know what my deadlines are. So, it would only be five weeks, and the first week would only be Monday and Tuesday, and I’d already made it through Monday!