Babysitting

Grandparents Embrace Nighttime Babysitter Challenge

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You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

Sweet Madeleine is my amazing and mesmerizing seven and half month old daughter. About a week ago, Maddie’s parents ran into a scheduling conflict. Both of us had previous engagements right smack in the middle of the baby’s bedtime on the same night. So the answer was easy, one of us would have to skip our event.

But before taking that step – we pondered the pros and cons of bringing in a third party to put Maddie down to sleep. It was gut check time – Were we really ready to turn Maddie over to a family babysitter?

Our throats went dry as we pondered the possible outcomes.

  • What if the baby’s inner honey badger strikes?
  • What if Maddie became inconsolable?
  • What if she goes medieval on Ahmadinejad?

Silly stuff to be sure, but we never expected to even consider a move like this so early in the game. So I made the call to my Mom and asked her if she could entertain the princess for a couple of hours. My parents jumped at the offer, but I wondered if I was putting too much on them.

Maddie’s other grandmother, MiMi, has fought the good fight many times and successfully put the baby to bed. But in each case, we were staying with her or she was staying with us. This time we were calling in reinforcements during Maddie’s witching hour.

During a typical day, from about 5am to 4pm – Maddie is pretty peachy. She has her moments, but the girl is in a perpetual good mood. But once the day starts winding down, I like to use a saying I learned while living in the Deep South – She gets snakes in the head. Simple translation, my honey bunny morphs into the honey badger. The bottom lip replaces her smile, her laugh is drowned out by grunts of protest and a crying fit or two is not out of the question.

My parents showed up bright-eyed and busy-tailed just before 4pm. Things went swimmingly from the start and Maddie was more than happy to have an extended audience. So far, so good!

We all ate dinner together, but the time for me to leave was fast approaching. I could feel the doubt creeping in, but I didn’t want to get melodramatic. I gave Maddie a bath and set her up on my mom’s lap for a final bottle before bedtime. Maddie started a little bit of crying and fussiness and I could feel my will weakening. My mom assured me that all was well, but Maddie was eyeing me suspiciously.

I left the house peppered with guilt, only to find out later that my fears were unfounded. The evening was a great success as my wife arrived home to find a quiet and orderly house where Maddie was sleeping without a care in the world. Maddie’s grandparents made all the right moves and Maddie proved once again that she is AWESOME!

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