Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Babysitter

Deep breath. Now let it out.

Today I left Fifi with a babysitter for the first time. First non-family babysitter, that is. The school's end of session lunch was today, and both of Scott's parents had to work, so I asked a lady at church if she could watch Fifi for a few hours.

I was so nervous.

I checked my phone every five minutes (no, I'm being literal) to make sure she hadn't called.

It's not that I didn't think the lady was capable. She's raised three fine children of her own, and she's always been great with Fifi. It's just, well, she isn't mum. She doesn't know what each of Fi's cries mean. She doesn't know when Fi is getting close to hungry (something only I can really guess at with precision, thanks to that tale-tell tingling in my bosom). Or, what if Fi cried the whole time, and the sitter is miserable and never wants to watch her again?

As I showed 'Mrs Anna' around the house, giving her quick instructions, I felt like I was trying to teach her Fifi Parenting 101 in just five minutes. Here's how you warm her milk. Here's where her sterilised bottles are. Here's how you sterilise more bottles. Here's how to know if she's hungry. Here's where her nappies are. Here's where her wipes are. Here are her toys. Here's a blanket to lie on the floor if she wants to play. Here's a list of emergency contacts should she fall and crack her head open. Here's the first aid kit for use until the ambulance arrives. Here's my heart to be crushed as soon as I leave her with a sitter for the first time. I kept thinking of other things I needed to tell her, and then reminding myself that she isn't stupid and can figure a lot out. But the whole way to Glasgow I kept thinking of things I hadn't mentioned, like how the breaks on the pram worked or how to know if it is me calling if the phone rings or what to do in case of a flash flood.

Well, it turned out that all was unfounded. I came home (quite a bit nervous) to a laughing, happy Fifi who apparently spent most of the day sleeping, with a little playing mixed in. And she even waited to fill her nappy until I arrived. What a considerate child.

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