Baby & Me

IMG_1257 (2)Who would have thunk it? My new part-time job is babysitting with a curly-headed, energetic 13 month old precious Baby Boy.

My children were born in the 60s and my grandchildren in the 90s and the year 2000. Since then most of my exposure to little ones has been oohing over the grandbabies of friends.

After being interviewed by said Baby Boy, his parents, his dog and six cats, I was hired and reported to work the next day. I remembered to not wear jewelry or leave a cup of coffee unattended. I had forgotten the difficulties of interpreting a pointing finger and uuaghh sound.

This child is very, very active. He walks. He climbs higher and higher each day. He explores everything–the pantry, the shelves of collected glassware, the dog’s water bowl when I forget to put it up out of his reach.

He nods his head in time to Christian music and Fruit Loops commercials. He brings me the books of his choice to be looked at as many times as he wants. He rubs both sides of his curly head when he is really, really tired.

That first day, after waving goodbye to mommy, questions flooded my mind. How big a bite can he manage without getting choked? Did his mother say 2 ounces of warm water plus a scoop of formula into the bottle to then be filled with whole milk? Was that a 4 or 6 oz bottle? And one I never figured out with my own–Does he feel cold when I feel cold for him?

Then there is the new paraphernalia in baby land!  It took me three tries to successfully assemble a four-part baby bottle.

Gerber’s oatmeal and banana cereal?IMG_1362 Replaced by Earth’s Best sweet potato cinnamon quinoa, barley & oat pouch, made with flax, unsweetened & unsalted, vegan with no genetically engineered ingredients in non-BPA packaging.

Snacks are dehydrated puffs of fruits and vegetables. No soda crackers or even a goldfish to be seen.Yogurt is common ground in both our diets.

IMG_1287I love that the household includes pets. Chestnut the dog appears to think of himself as the older brother, one who took kindly to a baby and gladly shares toys. He is ecstatic to receive food dropped from the high chair. He howls in sympathy when Baby Boy gets upset.  Callie the Calico       IMG_1249 doesn’t like for Chestnut to get too close to her and emits a hiss every time that happens. I was holding the boy one day. Callie hissed, Chestnut barked, I jumped, baby clutched, I eeked, baby cried.

Many of yesterday’s toys remain favorites–Fisher Price, dump trucks, wooden puzzles and books. New ones have more bells and whistles, movements, and batteries.

FYI:  Barefoot Books, videos found on YouTube can mesmerize a little one.IMG_1388 Franchising merchandise is represented by a Star Wars sanctioned, stuffed, fluffy Chewbaca.

Three weeks into the job and we are both still standing. My muscles and joints have settled back down to their normal ache level. Ibuprofen, a hot shower and sleep are great restoratives.

What causes aggravation is my aging fingers struggling with those snaps on the legs of sleepers and pants. My lord, it takes me as much time to get them lined up correctly and fastened as it does to convince Baby Boy to take a nap.

Being a sitter is somewhat like being a grandparent. The job carries responsibilities but you can leave at the end of your shift happy to pass the torch back to the parents.

I love that at my age I have been given this amazing opportunity to watch a little one develop.IMG_1244

His eyes take in an action and you can almost see his brain turning it over until it is added to his memory bank.IMG_1304

Words are becoming important to him. Momma, Daddy, ba (for bottle), dog, cat, moo are on the tip of his tongue. When was the first time he heard “no” and turned with a measured look to see if you were serious?

His sense of humor shows as he anticipates the last page of the book where he sees himself in a mirror and starts chortling before we get there.

And that smile….which could be why one day I pranced around the kitchen doing a cheer leading routine, using colorful tights for pom poms, with a too small Spidyman cap on my head.

 

 

 

Resolutions

I do hereby resolve for the year 2016……..

  • to keep in my heart the joy and love I felt during Christmas 2015.
  • to push myself when inertia engulfs me.
  • to use my talents.
  • to squeeze more laughter out.
  • to connect to the positive energy around me.
  • to remind myself that one person’s actions can make a difference.
  • to be ready to listen rather than speak.
  • to spend minimum time wondering why I can’t remember someone’s name.
  • to lie in grass on a spring day.
  • to accept the things I cannot change.
  • to relish my children.
  • to sweat only the big stuff.
  • to practice those exercises so I can remember people’s names.
  • to build on honoring myself as I honor others.
  • to ignore urges to overeat, overdrink, under exercise.
  • to keep a carrot-games, travel, books-in clear sight at all times.
  • After the name remembering exercises move on to “where did I put my…”100_1766

My 70th Year – Boomsday 2014

Being in my 70th year I can tell you that my balance is not always tip-top and I find myself thinking more often about where I place my feet. The fear of falling is a very real fear for older people. Lose of mobility is a big deal. But a fall doesn’t always spell disaster. Thank goodness.

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Knoxville is home for the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the United States. A friend invited me this year to watch the excitement from her condo close to the Henley Street Bridge. It is a lovely place with a backyard ending at the edge of a hill that drops to the riverwalk.

It was still early, not yet twilight, and people sat in lawn chairs talking while the youngsters  played. Jodie brought out Boxie, their 15-year-old miniature Schnauzer, for a walk before the fireworks began. I thought I would help out by walking the dog so Jodie could visit with her guests.

Although Boxie is legally blind she realized that someone else had her and after about fourIMG_9859-001 steps she started to resist and pull back on the leash. I was afraid she would slip her collar and became very concerned because I know that Jodie loves God, her family, the UT Vols and Boxie, not necessarily in that order.

So I turned, bending down to grab Boxie and the next I knew we were rolling, over and over, down the hill.  A large post in the ground about half way down stopped our fall. Boxie was above my head and I still held the leash. Unhurt but trying to figure out exactly what had happened I lay there.  In seconds some of the guys from the party came down to check me out. I told them just to make sure that Boxie got to Jodie and that I thought I was fine. One was an EMT and he scrutinized me for broken bones before letting me sit and then stand up. Miraculously I was ok, with only a cut on an elbow.

Embarrassment set in when I realized people down on the riverwalk witnessed the fall. At the same time  two policemen and other rescue people came racing up the hill. I assured them there was no real damage to me and with the help of my heroes  from the photo 2party I got back up the hill. After receiving first aid on my cut I went to get a report on Boxie who hadn’t suffered any outward wounds.

Other guests couldn’t believe I hadn’t broken a bone and when you consider my age I was very fortunate. I mostly couldn’t believe that I  slid on my stomach and then rolled. My t-shirt make it look like I dove into third base. One of the young guests took a look at the mud streaked front and said, “You look like you have been doing art.”

The sun went down and the fireworks display went off with many oohs and ahhs. I sat there, replaying my spill in my mind, shaking my head, and giggling to myself.      IMG_2871

My 70th Year – Post 1

On July 4, 2014, I began my 70th year of life. It is December now. What have I been doing with my time? That is a more difficult question than it seems.

I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, where my car keys are, or what it is I am suppose to do this Wednesday. Some, mostly the very young, will find this forgetfulness an oddity, as I can remember the words to Pinky Lee’s theme song and what I named kittens born in 1956. I do notice people in their forties having the same problem. While their forgetfulness is caused by busy lives involving work, children and relationships, mine can definitely be traced to an old brain.

No serious deterioration yet and hopefully there never will be. I look at it in the same way my hearing was explained after an auditory test. The results showed that I was not getting hard of hearing, but rather that what was said to me was not getting processed by my brain as quickly as in younger years.

Great help. I still say “Huh?” which produces the same effect, people speak louder and pro-nounce as dis-tiNCt-ly as possible.

Next my eyes jump on the bandwagon by developing two conditions caused by aging. After 54 years of wearing contact lenses, these are replaced by progressive glasses. I loved my contact lens and I really would like to whine about having to wear glasses. I am constantly pushing them back on my nose, trying not to fixate on the bridge portion of the frame which is always in my sight. They seem to need a lot of cleaning, or is that just floaters I am seeing?

Joint aches and pains must be the most common, constant and controlling issue of an aging body. At least I am not alone. A gathering of friends entails grunts and groans as we sit or stand. Time is devoted to talking about ailments, but we still follow our rule: No discussion of bowel movements. That is to be saved for the nursing home.

Most phases of life–childhood, marriage, career, parenting, empty nest, retirement–had beginnings and ends.  Few of us can even pinpoint when our aging process started, although the need for reading glasses after the age of 40 is a tell.  After that it is a toss of the coin, God’s choice, or how much yoga you practice as to what hits you before that last breath.

Knowing that state of the mind is important, I accept aging as a matter of fact most days. Then someone’s innocent remark about it being 50 years since our high school graduation sends me flying to the mirror. As I study my face with its wrinkles and neck sags, I am in disbelief. I look old or older than I imagine myself to be. The way I look is not about vanity as much as what others see when they look at me. I want to cry out and say I am the same as always, don’t look at me differently.

My thoughts are on the future, sex, and fashion along with everything else that has been on my mind throughout the years. Would that surprise young people? I sure couldn’t imagine my grandmother thinking of anything beyond cooking and her television shows when I was a teen.

I use to think life would get easier with age; that it would be quieter and less complicated. Instead each day still has the ability to surprise, challenge and change me. If I am smart I will be open and feel and experience what every day brings. Watch out world! Carpe diem, indeed.

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