Monday, July 16, 2012

Please don't cry

What age is a fitted age to look after someone else's children? I'm not sure. Remembering my first babysitting years, there were different children I used to look after. Some were toddlers, others were teens. The first night I looked after someone's child, I was only 13 myself. The parents had asked if I had done this before. I nodded - and I lied.. for I had never looked after anyone.. The child was not even a child. It was a 2 month old baby. So tiny, so fragile. It was endearing to hold this little creature and cuddle it. It felt a bit awkward to be in someone else's house and hear all of those different sounds. But I sat myself down on the couch with this little cutie and I enjoyed "motherhood". The fun didn't last long though. Little baby woke up and started to cry. First a soft sound, a bearable sound that I could hush down. When the crying started to go up, I stood up, held the baby against my shoulder and walked around a bit, not knowing why it was crying. Was it discomfort? Did it feel ill? Was the baby longing for its mommy? I didn't know and the idea that the baby couldn't tell me about its grief, scared me. A bottle of milk was sitting on the counter, but I had no idea how to warm it up or how to feed a baby.. I tried to heat the bottle on the stove, in a pan of water. I tasted the milk and it was too hot, so the baby had to wait just a little longer. How would I know you had to hold the bottle up high for the milk to flow out?? The baby went ballistic for the milk didn't come out of the bottle nipple. I started to cry along and was in total despair, for not being able to comfort nor feed this child that was trusted to me. So I called my mom and she came over and showed me how to...

You have been looking after these 4 children for a while now. You're only 15 and the family lives only a few steps away from our house. Little Marie is only 5 months old and she's the cutest baby ever. Well, that's what you keep on saying. She was a little less cute the night she woke up and screamed her lungs out for half an hour. You panicked for Marie woke up her brother Cyriel and all of a sudden you had to take care of a baby in tears and a toddler who wanted his mommy. If only mommy had taken her cell phone along, but it was ringing in the kitchen when you tried to call her in despair. Luckily daddy had his cell phone on him, but how unfortunate that he didn't hear it ring.. You had no idea why Marie was crying so loud. She had been fed and her diaper didn't need to be changed. For 1.5 hours she had been sleeping and all of a sudden she woke up, stretching and kicking her legs like crazy. There was not much you could do to comfort her or make her feel at ease. She didn't want her pacifier either. That's when I got your phone call. You were crying along with the baby and I recognized the despair. So I hopped into my clothes and came to help you. The front door was open by the time I got there and you were more than ready to hand over this cute little girl. Her little face was red and in tears and so was yours. I calmed you down and held the baby, but she was inconsolable. I checked her diaper and her temperature. She was not having a fever but the way she was kicking her legs and making fists, made me assume she was having stomach ache. You told me she had had meds after her bottle, for she has cramps every now and then. We tried to give her some water to drink, for she was exhausted by then. She drank but it was not enough to calm her down. After another 15 minutes I decided to give her some pain relief. You were comforting Cyriel in the other couch who was crying for his mommy. You were very unhappy with the whole situation and I had a hard time calming you down as well. When I started to hum rock-a-bye-baby, Marie seemed to relax a little. I hummed this lullaby at least 30 times in a row, rocking her back and forth in my arms, holding her pacifier and streaking her eyes with her favorite cuddle. Her medication started to work as well and finally she fell asleep. Not for long, because we heard the car park in front of the house. Cyriel woke up as soon as he heard his parents come home. Little Marie opened her eyes and was more than happy to see her daddy. What a night... I hope it didn't scare you in that manner that you would be afraid to go back another time. You did what you had to do. Children cry you know. They are not always happy and cheerful. And sometimes you need help. That's okay sweetheart. You did the right thing. I'm proud of you!

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