When my wife told me we were pregnant with our second child, I jokingly responded:
“Whose is it?”
She playfully tapped me on the forehead with the pregnancy “stick” and smiled with more joy in her eyes than I had ever seen.
“No seriously….who got you pregnant?!?!?”
It was a running bit throughout the pregnancy. We tried so hard for so long to get pregnant. It was almost miraculous how it just happened. So….I decided to put a tactless, good-natured spin on it. Every couple of weeks, I’d slide my off-colored quip into the conversation:
“I promise that I won’t get mad – just tell me who the dad is.”
Even in the hospital, after Ily Belle was born, I asked one the nurses when they’d be doing the paternity test.
TK laughed. The nurse and my mother-in-law didn’t.
I KNOW Ily is my daughter. She looks like a clone of my son, Crash. But I recently received another heavy dose of confirmation. I was reading an old blog post that I had written about being a first-time dad. It was a set of instructions for one of Crash’s babysitters.
As I read through the detailed directives, I laughed out loud at the similarities between Ily and her brother – from “fire ants” in the diaper and being burp-challenged to possessing exhibitionist tendencies on the bathroom counter.
“Definitely siblings,” I thought to myself.
I also chuckled about how wonderfully anal retentive we wear with Crash. Ily is definitely getting the short end of the stick, in regards to parental over-kill.
Anyway…I HAD to share. At first, I thought about only posting some of the relative excerpts, but then I decided to re-post the whole thing. (Even the Editor’s Note that kicked it off.)
Trying to Get a Win for the Babysitters;
Solid Tips Give Game Plan a Chance
EDITOR’S NOTE: These are the instructions that we typed up for our babysitter. We’re going to attempt to go out tonight. I say “attempt” because the last time we tried being normal adults and have dinner with friends, Crash turned into Jack Jack from the “Incredibles” and forced our babysitter to change our name in her cell phone to “People With Crazy Baby.” (I really miss talking to my sister.)
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Thank you so much for helping us out on such short notice – you’re a rock star!
Reminder: The blog post about our first babysitting experience was a little embellished. I’m sure Crash didn’t scream for an hour straight. My sister, who watched him that night, is a little over-the-top.
Here are some tips/instructions/secret weapons to help you avoid the same fate as her. We’ve got him on a pretty tight schedule, which should help your cause. He’ll already be fed and about ready for his evening nap when we walk out the door.
Quick tip: Don’t get cocky and/or arrogant – heck, I would even avoid confidence – he’ll eat you up and spit you out.
6 to 6:45 p.m.
(a.k.a. Keep him awake)
- Sing to him (I just make up stupid songs or try to get through “American Pie”)
- Tummy time (keep an eye on the dog…TK doesn’t like Brother Gus licking Crash in the mouth for some reason)
- Read to him (I would avoid “Runaway Bunny” – it will give both of you nightmares)
- Put him in his bouncer (don’t forget about the vibrating functionality – it’s like crack cocaine for him; his eyes might roll back into his head – don’t be alarmed.)
SECRET WEAPON: He LOVES going outside and sitting on neighbors’ porch swing (just ignore their over-protective Boxer…the fence should hold him)
Between 6:45 & 7 p.m.
- Make sure he has a dry diaper (he’ll scream like he has fire ants on his business when he’s wet)
- Hold him tight for a few minutes (he may or may not take a pacifier)
- Once he doses off…put him in his crib. IF he wakes up, let him cry it out for 20 minutes. If he’s still crying after that….start over. (usually re-insertion of the pacifier after 3 or 4 minutes of crying knocks him out)
SECRET WEAPON: Utilize the “Womb” noise on his sound machine (we realize he’s been out of the womb for almost 3 months, but he tends to like it)
Between 7:45 & 8 p.m.
(He’ll be ready to eat AND you’ll hear about it)
- Check to see if his diaper is wet (Reminder: Fire ants. His wiener. Pissed off. Bad feeding.);
- You’ll be giving him a bottle (No worries about nipple confusion – this kid would suck breast milk out of a garden hose if he had to);
- He’ll usually take 4 to 5 oz. – if he’s still hungry, we have plenty of breast milk on reserve. (Thinking about packing some up and shipping to hungry babies in Africa);
- You can try and burp him now, but you’ll probably have better luck after his bath.
45 minutes after feeding
(This is usually the happiest he is ALL DAY)
- See engagement tips above, or…
- I like to prop him up on my knees, drink a beer and watch the Rangers. I engage him by giving him play-by-play on the game.(Beware: He tends to get a little upset when they’re losing.)
Between 8:45 & 9 p.m.
(This is usually the highlight of MY day)
- If you want to see the happiest baby in the world…strip him down, wrap him in a towel, and lay him on the counter. (It’s something about being naked under the bright lights.);
- We usually put on a mini-concert before getting in the tub. You’ll probably bust out a show tune, but we sing made-up songs like “I Love My Daddy, Yeah Yeah” and “I’m a Smiling Burrito.” (Beware of the the “fire hose” – music sometimes makes him urinate);
- About the temperature of the bath water…if it’s warm enough, he’ll pee on his feet. If it’s too cold, he will shoot you a look a sheer terror;
- I like to tell him which body parts I’m washing (e.g. hands, fat rolls, taint) Don’t feel like you have to do this, though;
- Crash has battled baby zits his whole life – please use the Neutrogena on his face (We will not get offended if you refer to him as Baby Zit Face while you’re doing this) .
SECRET WEAPON: If you apply just a little Boudreaux’s Butt Paste when you’re getting him dressed, he will love you FOREVER!
Between 9:15 & 9:30 p.m.
(We should be on our way home at this point –
if he bursts into flames, just hold on tight.)
- He HATES being hot. I usually dress him in white trash sleep wear – diaper and T-shirt. (If you put him in something that has “footsies” – consider yourself doomed.);
- If he hasn’t burped after his feeding – consider this priority No. 1, 2 and 3. (If you put him down with a trapped air bubble, he will make it his mission in life to send you to the insane asylum.);
- 15 minutes in the rocker – with a pacifier – usually does the trick. You might have to refer back to tips from his evening nap – specifically re-insertion of the pacifier after he’s cried for several minutes;
- If he happens to scream bloody murder while he’s in his crib, he’s wet. (I can’t re-emphasize the fire ants on his pee pee analogy.)
Other than that…it should be pretty easy.
Reminder: Here is a text that my sister sent on our maiden voyage:
“He’s screaming again! Loud!”
He was a formidable opponent that night – and ended up “winning.” If he starts heading towards “victory” tonight – feel free to call or text…. we’ll be home in a flash.
There is beer in the refrigerator. If Brother Gus is too friendly in your crotch region – put him outside. Feel free to dust, mow the lawn, or wash out the cloth diapers.
You’re in our prayers,
Drew and TK