The whispering began with Mrs. Buffington’s twins. I proudly announced to my mom that Mrs. Buffington lets me hold her babies STANDING UP! Mrs. B, did in fact, let this eager 7 year old hold her babies while standing up, along with allowing me to feed them their rice cereal, burp them and change their diapers. All the while, she sang my praises. Maybe I have her to thank for inflating my I’m-so-good-with-babies mentality.
My first real babysitting job was for my next door neighbors Austin & Tyler. I swelled up with pride at their mom’s gratitude for a job well done. Then the floodgates opened and it wasn’t long before I was the go-to neighborhood babysitter. Since we lived on a navy base where there was an abundance of dad’s away at sea..I was constantly employed. In middle & high school it wasn’t uncommon for me to have a couple babysitting jobs a week. I loved it and I was good at it. Cranky babies were my favorite challenge. I was an expert at soothing and comforting, swaddling and changing. Throw in some much younger siblings that I adored and held to my hearts content and the infant knowledge continued to soar. Too many nannying jobs throughout college to count, armed with the necessary infant/child CPR and first aid, an elementary education degree thrown in for good measure..there was no child I couldn’t master!
That is, until I had my own. Suddenly a diaper change threw me into a panic. My swaddling never stayed put. The babies gas pains put me in tears. Bathing the baby was a task insurmountable, and clothes? My fingers turned to butter when I tried to work those buttons and onsies. He mostly spent the first two weeks of his life all nakey-like. I suppose everybody needs a good dose of humility and James Patrick served me up a heaping! We are two weeks in now and I am happy to report that some of my baby whispering has returned except this time..in the form of a mother’s intuition. I am learning to trust myself and give myself grace. My baby doesn’t need a baby whisperer..he just needs his mama!!
Before baby James arrival, Marcus shared with me his concern about handling newborns. He worried about their fragility & his lack of experience. I assured him he would be a natural! And guess who can change a diaper without a fuss from the baby? Dress him 5 times quicker than I can? Knows just how to soothe the screaming gas episodes? His daddy!! Will the real baby whisperer please stand up?!