Adventures in Babysitting (and other childhood games)

Epic 1987 Film starring greats like Anthony Rapp

I’m 25 years old and I have recently survived my first babysitting experience.

That sentence will shock some readers, I’m sure. What 25-year-old female hasn’t made her summer living by babysitting, I mean honestly. Right? Well, you see, it’s not that I don’t like kids, it’s that I have no experience with them. I never babysat for the next-door neighbor, I didn’t work in the nursery at my church, I didn’t have younger siblings or cousins, … my experience with tiny humans is limited at best.

So, when a dear friend messaged me out of the blue and says that she is in desperate need of a babysitter, I was nervous, but I knew that duty called! Who am I to turn down a friend in need?

Query: Is it bad if one of the first thoughts I had after agreeing to this endeavor was, “What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s probably worse that my brain responded, “Well, the kid could fall, choke, get sick, vomit, cry all night, poop, and be a general terror.”

I’m sure there are moms reading this and shaking their heads at my ignorance, but it’s not your story about babies, so hush!

My friend drops off her Kiddo around 6:30 p.m., gives me the breakdown of the diaper bag, and is off. I sit on the floor across from Kiddo and we stare at each other. I’m quite sure he was sizing me up. As for me, I was analyzing any outwards signs of possible crying, peeing, vomiting, and tantrums. No signs were detected.

As things seemed like they were off to a swimming start, I breathed a sigh of relief. After playing with him for a few moments, I turned him over to my husband to watch with eagle eyes while I finished dinner.

As this entire experience didn’t seem to mark any major milestones to my husband, allow me to fast forward back to me and my experiences with this evening.

Dinner is now eaten and dishes are done (well, done enough). Now it’s back to me and Kiddo. I was assured by his mom that he would be ready to sleep by 7:30 p.m., no problem. Well, 7:30 p.m. came and went with no physical or emotional signs of sleepiness. I assumed this was due to a new environment and people and that by 8 p.m. he would be ready to hunker down and sleep.

Oh how wrong I was.

8 p.m. came and went, as did 8:30 p.m. and 8: 45 p.m. I would have been worried, but Kiddo seemed happy as a clam to hang out with me and play with his blocks.

Side note: I discovered that he loves knocking down blocks. I would build a tower with the blocks and he would giggle through his Godzilla impersonation. It was quite entertaining.

Around 8:45 p.m. when he started to get a bit fussy. Time to pull out the bottle that his wise mommy had prepared for him. He loved that, so I figured, “This is it! It’s bedtime!” But, alas, no. He seemed to gain his second wind after the bottle. I thought, “Hey, why not give him a snack and see if that might make him sleepy.” (If you are a mom reading this and judging me for this guess… I stick my tongue out at you).

I hand him a piece of teething toast and he goes at it, apparently thrilled with this treat. He chews and plays and plays and chews. Everything seemed quite lovely until…insert Jaws theme here…. Everything went wrong.

He began to crawl, teething toast in one hand wooden spoon in the other, toward the previously abandoned pile of blocks. He pauses. He rocks back and forth for a moment, then looks down and vomits on the floor, then carries on toward his initial destination. (Am I being over dramatic with the Jaw theme and doomsday wording? Yes, yes, I am.)

For those of you that don’t know me, you probably should be made aware that blood, guts, and gore don’t faze me, but gagging and vomit typically reduce me to a quivering mass of uselessness.

I watch this whole scene play out before me and after the initial wave of horror and nausea wash over me, I’m pleased to say that I didn’t vomit or panic! I quickly picked up Kiddo to wipe him of and move his playing area and then cleaned up the mess on the floor. I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF! This was a victory for me, let me just say.

I’d also like to point out that Kiddo wasn’t in the least bit upset by these happenings. He didn’t cry or even whine about this. He just carried on playing for another half hour, then rubbed his eyes and held up his hands to be held. After a few minutes of cuddle time, he was off to dream land. I laid him down on the pre-arranged blanket and pillow nest that was created on the bed.

It was at this juncture in the evening that I discovered what may be the bane of my existence when I become a parent: I was terrified that Kiddo would somehow suffocate in his sleep. I checked every five minutes to make sure that no blanket was covering his nose and/or mouth and that he was still breathing. This was a true source of panic for me! I breathed a sigh of relief when his parents returned and their child was still alive and in one piece.

To say I was proud of myself for my first successful endeavor adventure into babysitting was an understatement. This was a person victory for me! Though I’m not jumping into parenting anytime soon, at least I know that I can survive an evening with a little human in my charge and survive.

I celebrated by falling asleep, exhausted from the ordeal.

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  1. * Nicolle says:

    I laughed out loud several times throughout. Superbly narrated 🙂 I will be sure only to send your bat babysitting signal into the sky in only the most desperate scenarios 😉

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
    • I’m glad you laughed 🙂 And you can turn on the Bat Signal whenever needed and I will do my best to answer the call!

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  2. * Jon says:

    So, after reading this while eating dinner I told my wife, “wow, this is really funny!” Imagine my shock when she replied, “yah, Lynette wrote it.” “NO WAY!?!” I said. Funny thing is, while I was reading it I was picturing the little nug playing the part. That is too funny! Sorry he ralphed all over the crib, but so you know, it was worth it; we had a much needed break from the kid,life,etc. PS, very well written and entertaining =)

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
    • I’m glad you got a much-needed break! Josh and I were glad to be able to help, though it did remind us why we aren’t parents yet 😉 I’m convinced that parents are super heroes!

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  3. Love that little human! Lynette, great article!!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  4. * Brenda Fager says:

    Your first babysitting endeavor?? Wow! On a side note, I’m glad you’ve not been encouraged to create your own ‘adventure’….:*p

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago

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