I’m here at my son and daughter-in-law’s place caring for my grand baby. Yes, I am Granny Annie on Tuesdays and every other Monday.
Shhhhh. The boy just went down for a nap. I’m typing super fast since I may only have 10 minutes here at the keyboard. Or 2 hours. You never know with little ones. They’ve got no awareness of a “schedule,” not yours or the one you think you’ve set up for them. And they sure don’t have any respect for what you “have to do” other than feed them, keep them warm and dry, and be infinitely entertaining. “How about this story…again?” “Show me how you knock down this tower of blocks!” “Let’s take a ride in the stroller and look at the leaves.” “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes…. toot toot!”
We’ve got a great kid here and I’m not exaggerating when I say these full days of hanging out with him are a gift. I’m having a ton of fun… as long as I drop all expectations that I can get any “real” work done while babysitting. That’s the trick… I simply surrender and allow myself to experience time unfolding, moment by moment, just as a six month old does. This is life in the ultra-slow lane. It’s a form of mediation and I can totally get into it.
I only have trouble when I fight the reality of Baby World, like if I try to write a blog post, compose show notes for my podcast, answer important email, or work on my novel. Once while I was here, I attempted something completely insane: I co-hosted a twitter chat! Seriously. What was I thinking, right? It’s tough enough to type with a squirmy baby on your lap, but to actually read real-time parenting questions addressed to me and then hurry up and formulate cogent 140 character responses? Inconceivable! Desperate, I called my David at home. The guy’s a prince. He logged into the chat room as me and read me questions as they zipped by. Then, as I soothed and fed the baby and did my best to dictate nuggets of parenting advice, David tweeted for me.
David and I raised two kids. Admittedly, it’s been awhile. But if I’ve learned anything, this time around here it is: When you’re with the kid… be with the kid. It’ll make you a saner, happier parent. And if you’re lucky, every now and then, the baby will take a two hour nap.
uhhhh… but not today. He’s up again.