We have been at our babysitting job for over three years so it seems like a good time to provide and update on the working conditions. Yesterday was a pretty good sample of what a day with Lo and Cora now entails. It should be noted that their house in under construction (or at Lo puts it “my house get bigger”) which translates that for the time being, the living space is smaller and the noise level larger.
10:00 am – we arrive. Cora is sleeping. Lo spends the next 20 minutes hopping. (“Remember rabbits?”). We settle in to play on the floor. Mr. Potato Head and flower garden.
11:00 am – the weather looks good, so we spread a blanket in the shade, play catch and decide it’s a good day for a “pick-wick” aka picnic. Surveying the lunch options, Lo has a full blown meltdown because there are no hotdogs. Papa comes to the rescue with a yogurt. Cora wakes up and is happy, happy, happy. She poops.
The girls lay on the blanket and look up at the leaves. I experience pure joy in this little moment. Cora poops.
Noon to 1:30 ish. Feed the girls various snacks, bottles, lunches. Also do some coloring, eat my own lunch while Lo watches a show on the iPad.
1:45-4:15 – Cora takes a long nap. Lo watches My Little Pony and plays independently, including putting all her little people in their school bus, taking them to a pick-wick all the while doing a high-pitched voiceover. She then uses her toy lawn mover to mow the floors. We retreat to her room to play “pumping” which involves covering her chest with a cloth and pretending to pump milk for her “lots of babies.” Then, unexpectedly, she noticed 8 bears have infiltrated her room. We remove them and deliver them to Papa. Several times. Lo has a friendly encounter with the guy doing the tiling in new addition. She clearly has a solid relationship with him and even introduces me. Then we take a little break and have a serious conversation about moving from her crib to her big girl bed. Lo claims “my eyes don’t close in the bed” and that “I like my crib” so we practice closing our eyes. Later, Lo decides that it is time for Nana and Papa to go home. She doesn’t balk at the prospect of taking care of Cora and fixing dinner. I almost believe she could do it.
4:15 – 6:15 Cora is awake and has pooped. She is happy and snuggly and enjoys a little treat of kale and pears. And promptly poops. We enter into the busy time of the day where Logan requires both an apple and orange and then asks for dinner. At the same time, Cora needs to fed and is clearly having a digestive issue as I change my 4th poopy diaper. Lo comments that “it doesn’t smell good.” Lo tickles Cora and we all laugh at a baby’s laughter.
The bedtime routine is intense and has to follow a precise order. I try to get some of the prep done before Daddy gets home. More snacks for Lo. She refuses to make a decision on pajamas but Cora lets me move forward with mermaid pjs. Which was a stroke of luck since Lo also has mermaid pjs and can now match. Score!
6:15 to departure – Daddy’s home! Lo asks us to leave again before he is even in the door. Daddy takes Cora and I proceed with the bedtime routine. Teeth brushing comes next which only works if I also brush my teeth. So I do. Story time. Lo selects 3 books, one of which is extraordinarily long and complex, so (grandparent pro tip) I make up the words and the granddaughters are none the wiser. The others are mercifully short. Lullabies are a new addition to the routine. Daddy is a lullaby champ and will google Bob Dylan lyrics or create original songs to include Lo’s requests. (“A song about Nana and Papa and Mimi). But tonight, as she snuggles down in her beloved crib, with her Wubanubs and her stuffed animal menagerie, she requests that Nana do the honors. So I sit on the floor next to her crib, hold her hand and and deliver my lullaby repertoire: Try Not to Get Worried from the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, the nursery rhyme Tender Shepard (let us help you count your sleep), the Beatles’ Golden Slumber Fills Your Eyes and Simon and Garfunkel’s Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast/Feelin’ Groovy. These are not all technically lullabies, but they do the trick.
In the last job I had, I attended many meetings. I made budgets. I managed people and problems and projects. The pay was good. I loved that job. But somehow, my new career, in spite of the diapers and sitting on the floor has quite a lot has a lot to offer and we are paid handsomely in laughter, memories, and snuggles.