The Baby Sitter
This week, was the first time we left Gia with a complete stranger and went out for a date. I know how it sounds but before the eye rolls begin, let me rephrase- We got a thoroughly vetted, highly educated, professional baby sitter and went out for a date. Gia has been baby sat by grandparents or our friends before but the new sitter was still a stranger and this was the first time ever we were leaving Gia alone with one. We (Me and Daddy) both agreed it was about time to introduce her to a sitter. We also agreed that walking out with her wailing would be the hardest part of the evening but we would somehow grin and bear it.
A bunch of things happened:
First, I went into complete panic mode. What if the sitter isn’t good enough? What if she is mean to my baby? What if Gia cries all evening? After much fretting I decided I would call the sitter and have a long “talk” with her about ..well about pretty much everything. You would think I was going out on a date with her! Anyways, that went down well.
Second, I approved which meant that the sitter was going to be inside my home for a good four hours and my house looked like, pardon my French. Shit! No, no this would not do. Must-Clean-House! So I spent the better part of three hours cleaning up.
Third, I comprehended that after a long time we were going out to a grown up place, which meant there would be other grown up people. People, who dressed well, who enjoyed their wine and did not worry about shoving food down other people’s throats. No baby to tote around meant I had to look like one of those well-dressed. Well, let’s just say I had forgotten how much time women spend trying to look like something other than just a mommy.
Finally the baby sitter arrived. In the half hour “settling in time” we had allocated, I jabbered on and on trying to cram as many instructions as I could before we finally left. I told her what Gia liked, what she didn’t, how she would scream and cry the moment we tried to step out but also how she would eventually calm down. I talked about her potty schedule, her favorite games and again about how she would cry when we tried to leave.
The moment finally arrived -at the doorstep, I got down on my knees, looked Gia square in the eye and said “Mommy and Daddy are going to be gone for a while. I know it’s scary but we will be back before you know it.” The tears and screams were going to start anytime now and I would feel like I horrible mother leaving my child to go out and have a good time. Without batting an eye she walked away and said “Ok bye now. She going to do some painting.”
Did I miss something here?
Then she turned around and came back to me, now it would all begin!
“You forgot to close the door.” And with that she softly shut it.
I stood outside the closed door, fully expecting to hear she screams but nothing of that sort happened. We went out and through dinner I kept expecting the phone to ring but it didn’t. I got back home and expected the sitter to say- “Oh she cried the whole time!” But what she said was “We had a great time. It was fun.” I thought Gia would whine and say that she missed me, instead she said “I have fun, did you have fun?”
I learned- about the resilience of my child, the excitement she has about growing up and her willingness to experience new people- in that one evening of being away from her than I ever gave her credit for.
An uneventful evening in most terms one where nothing really happened, and yet so much did!