My first all day grandmother babysitting gig was Presidents Day.
The daycare was closed but my daughter and her husband still had to work. Nervous but excited, hubby Ron and I travelled to North Carolina to watch over baby Leo (3 months old). The last time I cared for a baby was my daughter some 32 years ago. Here is a pictorial essay of what I learned as a new grandparent.
Babysitting is pretty easy when said baby is in good humor. This is Leo smiling. This is how most babies are represented. Like me, people are less likely to post pictures of a baby wailing. Believe me, babies cry.
Managing a baby is hard on older body parts. Here I am struggling to rise from the floor after one on one time with Leo. I can get down, but getting up is a challenge. Once Leo starts crawling he will always get quite a head start if I must first rise from a sitting position to follow him.
Babysitting requires innovative approaches to keeping baby occupied. Leo has one of those baby walkers but of course he is too young to propel it with his feet. To keep him happy I devised a way to push him without bending over (see above comment on body parts.) The broom stick tucked in the back of the walker had its limitations. I tried to hook the baby walker to the robot vacuum cleaner but was unsuccessful.
New baby equipment is heavy. Taking Leo for a walk required lifting a baby stroller the weight of a refrigerator down porch steps. The baby cradle that fits into the stroller frame weighs only slightly less. Fortunately, Ron could do the heavy lifting. I miss the ultra-portable ultra-light umbrella strollers from 3 decades ago.
Babysitting is more stressful for some than others. That is me alert and watchful as I cradle Leo through his nap. That is Ron asleep as he and Leo both take a nap. I stayed nearby, alert and watchful, during their naptime so I was in position to catch Leo if he tumbled from Ron’s arms. Ron clearly has a more relaxed approach to babysitting than me.
I was exhausted by the end of the day. When Molly and Andy arrived home I happily handed them a healthy, well fed baby, I then went to the refrigerator and poured myself an ice cold beer. I am shown here raising a glass to the 3 million men and women my age who are raising their grandchildren. You are my heroes.