My childhood friend recently asked if I would like to be her 7-month-old daughter’s babysitter. I have a 13-month-old daughter so it seemed perfect. I was thinking they’d play together… It’d be super cute… How much trouble could two little girls really be? Haha. (Eyes now rolling.)
An Early Morning That Started Off Great
The morning started off really great. My friend and her beautiful daughter arrive right on time. Both of our babies are all smiles and cuteness. They seem happy to see one another, which is just what we were hoping for. Already I’m thinking,” Oh yeah, I got this! This will work out great.”
In the back of my mind, of course, I knew there was going to be some rough spots but nothing I couldn’t get through. I like to be optimistic.
I start working my magic by putting on some lullabies and showing them toys they can share. Right off the bat it seems like they are hitting it off. They are being too cute sharing and all that. I’m secretly wanting to pinch their little cheekies. It’s a happy moment.
Relieved I get up to go refill my glass of water and at that precise moment, the entire day shifts…
Complete And Utter Madness!
My friend’s daughter (We’ll call her Red.) starts crying. Which, is totally understandable it’s Red’s first time over. No biggy!
Or so I thought but my daughter didn’t feel quite the same way I did. You see, my daughter hadn’t spent any real time with other babies this winter so when Red started crying my daughter must have thought to herself, ” OMG! This is a personal attack,.. on me. This baby is mean!” (Red is not mean, she’s a normal, sweet little girl. But you try explaining that to my now devastated one-year-old.)
Not even joking. My daughter had a full-on panic attack. Tears are streaming down, her face is mottled red, and she’s screaming her high pitched scream at the top of her lungs like someone just pinched her!
If you know my daughter you’d know this is not her normal behavior! She’s a happy girl, almost never cries, so to her this was deadly serious. If it wasn’t so sad I would laugh.
I have been around babies, and I’ve done a ton of babysitting before but had never been in this particular situation.
I’m desperately trying to calm my daughter but her screams are piercing and she’s now scaring the heck out of Red. With every cry or whimper, Red lets out my daughter gets louder and more dramatic! As you can imagine this situation just keeps escalating. I’ve been warped into a terrible babysitting movie and it’s not the least bit entertaining. (Being there at the moment anyway.)
Feeding/ Nap Time
I get them to finally calm down but I have two hungry and somewhat grumpy babies on my hands. I begin with heating up Red’s milk and giving my daughter some of her Puffs baby cereal to tie her over.
So far so good! They are behaving and I’m even able to get Red down for a nap. I’m like, “Yay me! I can focus on one baby for a little bit!” I feed my daughter. She’s happy once again and begins playing with her toys. Fun fact: Babies aren’t very good at playing quietly. Red wakes up and she’s not too happy about it.
Now I want to throw a baby fit because you guessed it… Another crazy freakout session.
My daughter wants milk. Shes breastfed. Red wants more milk. They both want cuddles and I have to handle this! I prop Red in my left arm with a bottle and breastfeed my daughter on the right. It’s quite uncomfortable but do-able. (I now have a small idea of what it’s like to have twins and wow! Those mommies deserve a public award nomination!)
Full and content they play and are okay for a while but my daughter thinks its super awesome to be up on things. So, she’s standing on her little baby bike thing like she does all the time and I’m playing with Red on the floor in front of her.
Everything is going great. They’re smiling and happy but my daughter, being an overachiever, tests her balance skills and leans really far forward. You may have guessed it! She falls forward right onto Red! She’s never fell before but today is a great day for firsts!
They are both fine. she barely touched Red’s leg with her hand and was already low to the ground, to begin with. But it’s so much more fun to make it seem like a really big deal! Red let out a whimper and BAM! Like clockwork, my girl completely loses it! How many times are we going to do this today?
During the soothing process, I get my daughter down for a nap, which is great because I’ve had one hell of a morning and I need a break! Not long into this nap Red is playing and happy squealing and wakes Blue (Aka my daughter.). Blue wakes up and looks at Red like how dare you and she starts crying… again! I haven’t seen her cry this much since she was 2 weeks old with colic.
There’s a couple different times during these fits poor Red just looks at Blue like, “Whats her problem?” Brows furrowed. Completely mystified as to what she keeps doing to upset Blue so much. (Talk about a bad day at a new friends house.) It’s the small things like her facial expressions that made this day survivable.
I settle these two down and give them snacks to share and TaDa! it works! They chill out and eat. Snacks turn out to be a magic calming trick and I utilized this for their next couple freakouts.
Two Hours Before Pick-up Time
By now, I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally drained and so are the girls. I briefly inform my friend that I don’t think babysitting is going to work out but can finish out the day. She’s super understanding. We knew this might not work out and she’s just really appreciative that I gave it a shot. Which, is awesome because I feel horrible about letting her down for a babysitter.
About 30 minutes later things get the worst that they’ve been all day! Trying to care for both babies, I hadn’t burped Red enough. I rarely bottlefeed my daughter so I’m out of touch with just how long to burp her. So it’s my mistake, but Red begins urping up. She’s whining because she doesn’t feel good. And again for at least the 6th time today Blue is in hysterics, screaming and having a total meltdown.
By now, all three of us are traumatized and have flat out had enough. I’m trying to burp Red and calm my daughter whom I’m pretty sure is going to get the cops called on me for her blood-curdling screams throughout the whole day.
This time none of my little tricks are working. I’m a calm, rational person in these kinds of situations but this had been ALL DAY. I’m losing my touch. I gather up a baby in each arm and pace anxiously through the house. Red pukes all over herself, the floor and me. I can’t burp her properly. I can’t calm them. This stuff is just insane! I break down and ask her mom to come get her please which she has to leave work 2 hours early but comes immediately. (She had warned her boss she might have to leave work sometime that day. I didn’t think we were going to have to use it though.)
So I do my best, given the situation, to care for Red which isn’t much. Then I’m back to pacing the house with babies in tow again and singing. It works this time and they both calm down and by the time Red’s mom arrives they both look just fine. I’m the only frantic one… It just figures doesn’t it.
I almost want to laugh but I can’t even. By the time Red goes home, I’m covered in puke and my friend’s breastmilk from the bottle spilling on me. I’m traumatized, my daughters traumatized and poor Red is traumatized.
Moral Of The Story
If you’re considering babysitting another baby when you already have a baby, take the time to set up a couple playdates first. See how these kids interact with each other. Get them accustomed to one another before you end up covered in puke, breastmilk, and lugging around two traumatized screaming babies for 8 hours.
Have a great day ladies! I hope your experiences with this are better than mine. Leave a comment if you’ve had a similar situation, I’d love to hear about it!