Thursday, March 10, 2011

Luck Be An Auntie

So, remember what a big deal I made of getting out of the house for our first real post-baby date? It felt like we were busting loose and fancy free, albeit guilt stricken and in a hurry to get back to cuddle with our kiddo. We were gone less than three hours and only a few miles from home. Just three weeks later, we went away for a night. Without the baby. Across three state lines. Sounds like a huge leap, no?

It would have been a major hurdle had it not been for the bestest sister a girl could ask for. Had it been anyone else, I would have been hyperventilating, waking up in the middle of the night to check my phone. I’d be up for the day at 5:00 AM, just to see how the night went. But you see, Mary takes care of babies for a living. She works with preemies and babies with heart conditions and babies waiting for transplants. And she’s been an all-star babysitter for more than a decade. As soon as she was old enough, my regular babysitting clients stopped calling me. I think their rug rats were begging for her and not the strict, boring big sister.

I wasn’t worried about Bennett. I was worried about Mary. Being that he lacks any real mobility yet, he’s relatively easy. He wouldn’t be running away or jumping off furniture. He eats, he squeals, he dirties diapers. But the sleep. Oh the sleep. Putting him down for bed or a nap can be tricky. Very tricky. Bennett has this very small window between awake and asleep. It seems he goes from “maybe he could be tired” to epic meltdown of “why didn’t we put this kid to bed fifteen minutes ago” evil proportions. Rocky and I know it, expect it, and can handle it. Asking anyone to deal with it for a twenty-two hour stretch seemed like asking someone to walk the plank.

It didn’t surprise me when I called Saturday morning and she was exhausted. She needed a vacation from her babysitting vacation. We rushed to get dressed, check out, and on the road. I was in such a hurry I left my makeup behind. Hopefully, the maid has the same complexion and can benefit from my only regular self-indulgent splurge. We skipped breakfast and burned rubber back three state lines. I had an hour and a half of worry and regret and “we’re never doing this again” second-guessing.
By the time we got there, he was napping. Apparently, Mary just needed an hour break, because she was back to her old-babysitting-angel-self. Mary learned to roll with Bennett’s naptime nuisance. Then, we had almost two more days with Mary to recover. She had a few tricks up her sleeve to help us get him to giggle and even to go to sleep a little easier. Bennett is lucky to have the lady for an auntie and I’m even luckier to have her for a sister.

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