Last month, I stayed overnight in Ohio for a professional development workshop for theater interpreters. It was the first time that I was away from my baby, overnight, since he was born. I was looking forward to pooping in complete privacy and getting a full night’s sleep (without being woken up by crying or a c-pap machine), but I was terrified of being in another state from the little man. To top it off, my partner (Charlie) had a last minute function he had to attend… and we had to find childcare.
Normally, my mother will claw, kick, and scream to get dibs on watching that baby… but it was a very long week, and she just needed a break.
Sooooo, we enlisted my bestie with testes (Tony) and his husband (Ryan) to come and baby sit. Here is the email I sent them in the time before they arrived:
Tony and Ryan,
Thanks so much for doing this for Charlie. Feel free to read through these instructions for the night (no need to print them out, i will have a copy posted on the wall under the clock in the kitchen.)
Here is Grayson’s routine:
(He normally gets a bath – but that’s “advanced Grayson care 106″… let’s just stick with the “Grayson 101” stuff.)
*This is about feeding time for the baby shark. He has a new high chair that sits in the dining room on a chair. The tray comes off either by unlatching the brown release in the front, or BOTH of them on the sides. It goes on the same way.
*He can eat the gerber raviolis that i have out on the counter. HE CAN FEED THESE TO HIMSELF. Cut them in half and put them (a little at a time) on the plate. (otherwise he stuffs his gullet – no baby foie gras – it’s a choking hazard.)
*if he is still hungry, there is baby yogurt in the fridge on the top shelf in the bin to the left. i’ll leave a spoon out for you. YOU NEED TO FEED HIM THIS (unless you want to do the “Bathing 106” option.)
*top him off with a sippy cup of milk. he can carry this around with him, but when he drops it somewhere and leaves it – please pick it up… it all leaks out after a while, and the carpet is already disgusting. (this is why we can’t have nice things.)
630 – 830
*play time. good luck with that. 🙂
If you want to take a walk outside, he is getting better at holding hands. Otherwise, you can just carry him. please don’t let him play in the street. 🙂 he likes to feel the leaves on the coniferous tree out front… and mommy can’t remember what the tree that changes color is called – so she just calls it “TREEE.” he likes it, regardless.
*For indoor playtime, shut all 3 doors in the hallway, put the gate up at the top of the steps, and open the sliding glass door to the porch.
Grayson can run around at his leisure with these things done. just watch out for the kitchen area. if you really want to let him run with minimal supervision, you can cordon off the kitchen, as well, with the gates. (one inside the laundry room door to the right, next to the washer… the other is in the dining room, behind his high chair seat.)
*8 oz of milk can go into a BOTTLE.
*Change his diaper one last time, and put his sleeper onsie on. (laying out on changing table… if it happens to get moved, get a 24 month one out of his closet.)
*If he has a red butt, put on some desetin from the purple canister on the changing table. if his but is just skin colored, put on some but paste from the white canister.
*feed him in the rocking chair. feel free to use the boppy at your comfort.
*tell him a story or sing him a song. if he is really tired, he may just point to his crib. in that case:
*lay him in the chair in the crib and strap him on both sides.
*give him his bottle to self feed.
*turn on the monkey ceiling light (it’s on a timer. and the button is round, and on the top, near his butt.)
*Turn on his sleep sheep, full blast, by pressing on the bottom button on his back. it should be whale sounds. – if not whale sounds, try again… tony, you speak whale, right? you should be able to recognize this. 🙂 Grayson only “really” likes the whale sounds. he doesn’t mind the rain sounds. he absolutely hates the “inside of mommy’s belly doplar heartbeat sound.” (who wouldn’t? it’s creepy.) if you play that one, he is likely to cry.
*tuck the sleep sheep under grayson’s right arm.
leave the door open enough for the cats to get in and out when you leave the room.
there are some munchies. not many. but eat whatever you want.
there is also wine.
if you have sex on the bed, change the sheets (probably best to do that before AND after, just to be safe.)
You probably won’t hear him make another peep, but just in case, the monitor is in my bedroom on the nightstand when you walk straight in. you may need to bring the cord out if it’s not charged.
Charlie will lay him flat on the bed when he gets home – no, we don’t leave him in that egg chair all night.
ps this is the first time that grayson is staying with anyone, other than my mom, when he is awake!
i’m a little nervous!!!
Remember: he puts everything his grubby little hands get a hold of into his mouth. he especially loves to eat paper. (dr. already checked for pica. he doesn’t have it.)
My mom said she is available for advice – call her at any time.
*Here, I inserted the phone number for my hotel, every cell phone number of every member of my family, land lines… pretty much every number I could think of… and ended with:
Poison Control 1.800.222.1222
911 for any emergency!!! (omg. sigh. i’ll be out of state!!!)
… And all was fine.