It’s less than 2 weeks before I go back to work (oh shit!), and we think we’ve finally found our nanny. This woman has been a live-in nanny for a family for 10 years. Their kids are 10 and 12, and naturally, she doesn’t have to do much for them besides get them to/from school, so she also cares for another family’s 4-year old. And she just said goodbye to a 3-year-old who just entered preschool, so she has an opening in this so-called nanny share. Apparently the family loves babies, so they encouraged her to bring in more to care for. (Yes! Baby lovers!) They live in a nice neighborhood not far from us that’s walking distance to a park. (Better than where we live, unless you count the backyard karaoke neighbor, the rabid dog next door and the homeless lady who digs in our trashcans — then our neighborhood rules.) It is way cheaper than having a nanny all to ourselves (although still expensive – I just tell myself that I’m spending what I used to spend on booze, and she assured me that she can divide her attention between a 4-year-old and a baby. And she seems great. Very sweet and loving. We meet with the family she lives with tomorrow. We hope our little charmer pulls them all under her spell, and we don’t see anything alarming at the house (meth lab in the backyard, starved pets, flies on the 4-year-old…) so we can finalize the decision and breathe a sigh of relief.
Trying hard to not wallow in the OhNoIHaveToGoBackToWorkOhShitOhShitOhShits and just enjoy my daughter. I’ve been trying to cram in all the activities I meant to do but haven’t so far: Going on walks (when it’s less than 100 degrees outside), dancing to my favorite music (today it was the Sixteen Candles soundtrack), foot imprints (ok, haven’t done this one yet), reading books (I Love You, Stinky Face), riding in slings (she hates most of them so far), etc. I taught her how to hold onto a toy link the other day, and today she reached out and grabbed it for the first time. Little tiny milestones. I’m so proud.
I’ve been trying to get her on a structured routine. The Baby Whisperer book calls it E.A.S.Y., which stands for eat, activity, sleep and you time. So far, it hasn’t worked. We’re more like eat, sleep, eat, don’t-fall-asleep-yet-baby-I’m-trying-to-cram-in-an-activity, sleep, eat, sleep, activity, eat, sleep. And a few brief you times during her naps, but instead of reinvigorating things like showers and naps and painting my toenails, it’s mostly just running around cleaning up and making formula before she wakes again. We’re a work in progress. My little girl doesn’t like to eat much in one sitting, and then she passes out. She’s a snacker and cat-napper. Only a few times has she slept longer than 30 minutes. The baby whisperer says she should be having at least 3 naps of an hour and a half each. Today her naps clocked in at: 1 hour 10 min, 20 min, 30 min and 1 hour for a total of 3 hours. She should also be eating 24-30 ounces a day, but usually comes in around 15, plus whatever she gets from breastfeeding (can’t be more than an ounce or two from my ridiculous boobs). I get stressed out worrying about it all, but then DH reminds me that she’s gaining weight and she’s happy, so I need to chill the fuck out.
The thing is, we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. It’s not like you have to pass a test first to be a parent. We’re just operating on good intentions, a little instinct and a few “let’s try this.” I’m trying to learn more from the baby whisperer’s book, but most of it I scoff at and mutter, “She can suck it.” Asking my baby for permission to change her diaper? What the – ? Some of it I can grab onto (like putting her down sleepy but not asleep, so she learns to soothe herself to sleep), but some of it just makes me laugh. (“It’s not respectful to thrust a boob in Baby’s mouth to silence her.” Oh yeah? Well, you know what? It works so suck it!)
You’ve recently discovered your hands. You clasp them in front of you, or else you try to cram them into your mouth. Your little sucking noises wake me up at night. That’s when I know you’re ready to eat again. It sure beats when you cried. I’m so attuned to you that the second you make a noise, I’m awake. Even if you’re just farting in your sleep. It’s probably not good for my sleep patterns, but I like it just the same.