Lessons from a Baby
Article ID: 15372
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,325
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Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: April 14th. 2013
Times Viewed: 2,535
I just recently spent two days babysitting for my baby sister (she is just over six months old) ! She is the cutest baby in the world and when my dad asked me if I would be willing to babysit for two days while he and his wife (who is a wonderful lady and an amazing mother!) are at a conference, I jumped on the opportunity to have two days off and spend them with my sister! I have had the chance to babysit her a time or two before during the evening, but she usually was only up for an hour or two and then was she was asleep. So not much time to play with the baby!
In anticipation for the two days ahead, I made sure I packed some fun music for us to listen to, a big picture book I had from when I was a kid and a few things for me to amuse myself with. I also swung over the night before and spent an hour visiting her so that I wasn’t a stranger in the morning. I got my instructions from dad regarding her schedule and got myself set up. Within an hour she was awake! The next two days flew by and taught me a heck of a lot, not only about babies, but also about life in general.
One of the first things I found out about a baby is playtime! I had her in this saucer thing; the baby basically sits in it, with the supports going to her chest, leaving her arms free. Along the saucer are toys and bobbles she can pull at, chew on, spin around and push on. From the moment I put her in it, she had to play with each and everyone of them, pulling on the plastic flower for a good chew (for babies everything goes in their mouths!) . She then would spin the piece that spun around and made noise! She was constantly playing and laughing, having a great time!
When I got home I couldn’t help reflect on how much fun I had! It was so much fun to sit down beside her, making animal noises as I handed her soft plastic toys, making them dance around just to hear her laugh! So often in my life it is about deadlines, reports, balancing the household budget, cleaning the house, cooking, getting lesson plans for the youth group ready, discussing rules and regulations. It is very easy to get caught up in the details of day-to-day living. The two days with my baby sister gave me a chance to let loose and just play. To let my imagination take a run and to delight in the simplicity of a stuffed lion and making lion noises for her. Thanks to her I remembered the sheer joy of being alive, and what a blessing each day is!
The next thing I noticed is babies are busy! And my sister is no exception! She would wake up, have a bottle then a diaper change. From there we were ready to go! Often we were ready to go before slowpoke sister had finished changing the diaper. I had to figure out how to pin her with my arm long enough to get the diaper securely on (as it was the first time when I picked her up off the change table to dress her the diaper fell off and landed at my feet. Thank goodness she did not need to use it at that moment in time!) She would wiggle and kick and squirm about, and then giggle at me trying to keep up!
After the diaper change and the challenging task of getting stocking on her (she has figured out how to pull socks off) I finished dressing and then we had playtime. And she was not the kind to play with just one thing for hours on end. Nope, we had multiple things to play at, kind of like stations in Kindergarten. We would sit on the sofa, her propped up in the corner and me in front of her playing with all kinds of different toys. Then we would move onto the saucer, and I would often hand her toys to play with. Around then it was bottle and change time, then we might then play with this cool little device that played sounds and music when you pushed different buttons (not sure if the baby or I had more fun with it) , sometimes she would playing the jolly jumper, and other times I would dance around the kitchen with her in my arms, singing silly songs! Eventually she would just crash and have an hour-long nap.
She never could seem to stay in the same place for long; she had to keep moving, keep busy. I thought of myself over the past winter. How many nice winter days I could have gone outside for a walk, or even tried an exercise video inside during the rough days? How many opportunities have I missed just by sitting on my derričre watching television (and DVD’s that I can watch anytime for that matter) ? She taught me the importance of staying busy and staying active. Since those two days, I am trying to get up and moving at least a few times a week, and rather than plunking my butt down to watch television, I try to do something active, even if it’s just trying a new recipe, cleaning something or doing a craft of some kind.
The third thing I learned is that babies are curious! From the moment she woke up she had to watch, listen and touch everything. I was sitting with her on the couch, after feeding her I decided to have a banana. She was playing with some toys on the couch, watching me eat the banana. After I finished eating it I put the peel down on the table in front of me. I picked her up onto my lap and we began to make faces at each other. Suddenly *SPLAT* something slimy and banana smelling hit the side of my face! There was an eruption of laughter and another *SPLAT* to the side of my face. She laughed some more and I took the banana peel away from her. She held onto it and was trying to inspect it as I took it away from her.
Every new item I handed her had to be examined; she looked at it from all angles first, turning it around in her hand, dropping it and picking it back up. She would then give it a couple of ferocious shakes to see what it would do. Then she will put it in her mouth, and move it around, so that she could sample all edges. Anything that made noise received special attention, and had to be examined multiple times! She would do this without fail every time! If you handed her something twice she would examine it just as thoroughly, but at the third time she would put it down faster and reach for something new.
She seemed to always be looking for new experiences, new things to try. That made me think a lot about myself, in my Witchcraft Practices, and my everyday life. In my day-to-day life, I tend to be far less adventurous! I often have my rut. I go to work, do my job, come home, cook dinner, clean a little, surf some of the same websites and go to bed, get up the next morning and do it again. She taught me to take the time to learn new things, to examine the world around me. I have decided to start saving some money and look into taking some interest courses. I have also bought a nice book on trees and plan on learning about the trees that grow in Central Alberta. I have also swallowed my fear and have applied for a new job!
The same runs in my witchcraft practices. I read the same authors; try the same variations of spells. Being with my sister for those two days taught me the importance of trying new things and not letting yourself stagnate! I am now currently going to try and learn the Tarot. I was gifted a deck years ago, but never really took the time to study it! I am looking at perhaps learning two cards a week. If I get busy, I can cut it down to a card a week and that should be manageable for me. This will give me a chance to expand my practice, and hopefully inspire me to pick up books that I normally would not read.
There were also lots of little, less earth-shattering lessons I learned. For example, I learned that if you put a baby in the center of a crib facing north, by the time you hear her wake up she will be facing south and be pressed right up against the bars. I learned that when dressing her you will get one leg into the stocking or pants, but by time you get the other leg in, the first one is out. I learned that if you have long hair with a baby you really need to keep it tied back, otherwise they will try to pull it out of your scalp to examine it. I also learned that a baby could fill a diaper to an extent that I did not even think was humanly possible, and will laugh almost manically when you go “OH MY GODS” at the sight before you.
All in all, it was a very enriching two days. I was far busier than I had imagined I would be, had a ton of fun playing with her, and learned a lot about babies. I realized how blessed I am to have her in my life, and while I can't wait for her to grow a bit more and teach her some fun stuff, she is already teaching me more than I fathomed possible. I realized just how much courage and strength it takes to raise a child, and how blessed I was to have my parents. I realized how blessed she is to have our awesome dad, and a mother who is so kind, loving, creative and strong (and an amazing cook) ! I also realized that while I am nowhere near ready to have a child (I need a few more years to grow up) , I would still babysit every chance I am offered!
The Redneck Pagan
The Redneck Pagan
Location: Alberta, Alberta
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