Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby-sitting An Entire Family

I've got a number of posts that are just sitting in drafts waiting to be finished and posted. It has been an eventful last seven days. But Easy requested I finally finish and post this one, so I'm skipping a few and getting right to this one. The other's can wait.

There's only one kid in my family that needs baby sitting. It's my younger cousin's baby son, whom I haven't actually met yet. So it's safe to say I'm not referring to him when I say I baby-sat an entire family. Of course, I'm talking about Easy's family. Last weekend, Easy was out of town, but most of the women in his family weren't. That mean someone had to take care of their children.

The oldest of Easy's nieces who live in the Chicago area is 19 years old. She's in college, but was home for that weekend. She agreed to watch the kids. That included an 11 year old, two 4 year olds, and a 1 year old. I had only met the 11 and 4 years olds, so I was glad to be around for a bit to spend some time with them. I expected to see them for a bit before Easy and I headed out, but that's not at all what happened.

I got there last Friday afternoon to spend some time with Easy before we headed up to Hyde Park (one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago) to meet one of his friends and that friend's girlfriend for an early dinner. Then we were supposed to head to the bowling alley for my league bowling night. Then we were either gonna go out again or just hang out the two of us. I was gonna head back home and get up the next day to have a girls' day with my mom. None of it happened as expected.

Almost right after I got to Easy's parent's house, the oldest niece shows up with the smallest three. Then she had to go pick up the 11 year old which left the bottom three with us. But then Easy had to get in the shower, so it was just me. The two 4 year olds (who are twins) were fascinated with the baby and interested in playing with her with no concept of how not to be too rough on the baby. All of them are friendly and patient so it was fun, if nerve wracking. Easy gets out of the shower and starts to get dressed.

I was so glad to see him because I figured he could help me split up the kids so I didn't have to watch the 1 year old while trying to make sure the 4 years olds were being safe and not about to crush the 1 year old. He was setting up the gate on the steps and the four year old decided to watch television in the back room. They demanded that the 1 year old join them. She followed them back there but quickly got bored and left the room. One of the 4 year olds chased her to get her to come back, but quickly over took her. The 1 year old tripped and long story short, the 1 year old ended up sliding face first into the side of a china cabinet and bleeding out of her nose.

The doctor training in me came out and I checked  her over. No broken bones, no excessive bleeding, no mouth trauma, just a hurt face and feelings. We cleaned the area, hugged her, warned the 4 year olds about chasing the not-yet-toddler, and resumed our day. The 1 year old decided it was piano time. I sat her down on Easy's parents' piano and this baby was a GENIUS on the piano. One years old and able to do things that most people can't do at any point in their lives. She was playing individual notes and singing them back perfectly on pitch. When I noticed what she was doing, I started playing notes, and she would play the same note in a different octave and sing it. Easy began playing songs that he plays for his kids (he's an elementary school music teacher) and she was singing along. Not real words, she's too young to talk, but she can mumble along in the right key. And she can clap and play in a rhythm that matches what you just did.

I was amazed. I've only ever seen one small child do anything close to that and that kid was almost 3! Easy called his sister (the 1 year old's grandmother) and some other family members and had them listen on the phone to what she was doing. That baby is a virtuoso! So amazing.

We finally left when the two older nieces returned and were late to dinner. When we go to the restaurant, without my bowling ball, we were in the middle of an argument, and the friend wasn't there. We didn't have time to eat barely as it was and the friend was at a freaking car wash. We had to take a rain check and headed back south to get my bowling ball. The argument didn't get any better so we took a break from each other and I went bowling by myself.

While I was bowling, we working out the argument via text messaging. I love that he and I can't argue for long. We're both solutions people, so we spend more time working out a solution than we do arguing back and forth for the sake of arguing. But after bowling, I headed back to Easy's parents' house. The kids were all down and Easy and I talked and finished out our solution to whatever the argument was about.

But then the 1 year old woke up. She wasn't happy about spending the night in a strange house and Easy went and got her out of the bed. I was helping him get her to calm down. We walked, we rocked in the rocking chair, we spoke in soothing voices. And because he's practically a narcoleptic after 11 pm, I took over when he fell asleep. I ended up falling asleep cuddling her in Easy's bed while he slept in the rocking chair in the basement. When I awoke the next morning, she was sleeping peacefully. I do like a baby that can sleep a whole night as long as she's comfortable.

Easy was talking a lot about how nurturing I was with the baby on Friday afternoon, night and Saturday morning. I really enjoyed spending time with the kids and it was funny to me after that because kept touching my stomach. I would push his hand away and say, "stop plotting on my uterus!" It made him laugh and made me chuckle. I'm glad that we're on the same page when it comes to our future. We're sure we want to get married and start a family together. But we agree that kids are at least three to four years away. So no plotting on my uterus!

I would say more about the kids, like watching the 11 year old roller blade, and trying to help the 19 year old mature and get around the city without a GPS, but this post is getting too long. I will just end with this statement. I'm so glad the1 year old is Easy's god daughter. I am so looking forward to being a big part of her life and helping her hone her piano skills. I promise that girl is a natural! She's gonna be great.

2 New Hypotheses:

Sounds like a marvelous day, uterus plotting and over-bearing 4 year olds aside. I look forward to hearing from this little 1 year old genius.


Lol, he's stopped with the uterus plotting. for now. I didn't mean to make the 4 year olds sound over-bearing. They're really very sweet girls. But yes, I'm also looking forward to spending more time with the 1 year old, especially by the piano.

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