Childrearing

Please Don’t Hand Me Your Child Because I Forgot How To Baby

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Sometimes, people will think that I’m being modest instead of honest, and foolishly hand me their child, assuming that it will be happy, healthy, and know its alphabet when I hand it back. Sorry, but I can only guarantee that if you hand me your kid it will be alive when you get it back because I have zero idea how to handle or interact with your little human unless it is the same age as my little human.

I like babysitting, but I am super sucktastic at it because I no longer have the formula to water ratio memorized, don’t remember any of my foolproof potty training tricks, and I don’t even know where to buy outlet covers or how to operate a toilet lock anymore.

For instance, I once volunteered to change my niece’s clothes when the child was about six months old. 45 minutes later, my sister in law came to check on me and I had to confess that I still hadn’t gotten a onesie on her because while I used to put onesies on my own kid every day, I no longer understood how you could fit a massive baby head into a tiny onesie head hole without snapping the child’s neck, and could she just change the kid, after all?

The truth is, no one ever saw me as a mother, least of all me, and to be honest I only made an exception the one time with my own kid because she was just so damn cute. There are some mothers that are born to do this job. They can lull the colickiest kid to sleep with one hand while dicing organic cucumbers into non-chokable bite sized pieces with the other. As these mothers get older, and their kids grow up, they have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon that makes them go-to sources for the neophyte parents out there and I can tell you that I am not that person. I admire that person, but I am not that person.

Surprisingly, do you know who that person is in my family? My husband. He’s been dubbed the baby-whisperer by our friends for his uncanny ability to get kids to shut their cryholes for one second so they can play a game or eat some Goldfish.

This is another thing I don’t remember. I had always assumed that I was the primary—and flawlessly maternal—caregiver for our child, because I am now. Baby amnesia strikes again. I had two jobs and a full courseload when my kid was a baby. I think I really only saw her when she slept, so hubs must have been the primary. The magnitude of my selective memory all came flooding back to me one morning when a close friend dropped her baby with me for four hours.

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