Babysitting Beenie three days a week reminds me of a truth I used to know well but had kind of forgotten since the days when his daddy was five months old: Babies have it pretty easy.
Our days have fallen into a pleasant, easy (Dare I say lazy?) rotation of three basic activities--eat, sleep, and play. Always in the market for a good acronym, I think of this as our "ESP" cycle.
Eating is easy right now, consisting primarily of a four-ounce bottle of Enfamil formula every three hours or so. Before long we will graduate to some baby food solids like sweet potatoes and bananas (I always loved both of these!). Most likely, doing that will involve a high chair, an extra bib, and a little more intensive clean-up operation, but I am looking forward to it anyway. Among other things, it means that Beenie and I might be able to eat lunch at the same time.
Sleeping usually follows eating (Is this a guy thing?). Beenie's naps vary in length from fifteen to ninety minutes and in frequency between three and five on a typical day. Once in a while I hold him while he sleeps, but lately I have been practicing putting him down either on our king-size bed or in the Pack 'n' Play. This gives me the chance to do a few chores, think ahead a bit to the evening meal, or maybe catch a wink or two myself.
When Beenie gets to rolling around more, I will try the technique of putting a foam swimming noodle under our bed's fitted sheet on three sides, an idea I saw on Facebook. If that doesn't work, I will just put him on our bed when I plan to lie there with him in order to keep him from rolling off. Meanwhile, I will hone my skill at lowering him into the Pack 'n' Play, which gives me the option of putting him down on whichever level of our house might be quieter at the time.
Playing is the best part of our day. One of my friends, recently gave me a walker, which enables him to sit up alone and play with an eclectic assortment of baby toys on the tray. I should say "on the tray AND on the floor," as these toys have a way of moving back and forth frequently between the two places. Other times, our "play" session involves reading; Beenie especially likes Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Our last mode of play involves the timeless and more physical baby games like "Peekaboo" (with his blanket), "This Little Piggy Went to Market" (with his toes), and "Patty Cake." Once or twice a week we deviate from our indoor play and take a field trip around the neighborhood in the stroller or into town to visit Beenie's great-grandma.
Put these all together and you have our typical day, which may rotate through the ESP cycle four times or so. I guess, realistically, our acronym should include a "D" for "diaper," but I wouldn't know for sure where to put it because of the unpredictability (and sometimes urgency) that activity implies.
Beenies's cousins, my other grandkids, live so far away that we rarely get the pleasure of this lazy, day-to-day routine. With their once-or-twice monthly visits, it is often a special occasion of some sort and a couple-day visit into which we try to cram as much fun as we all can stand. One manner of grandkid contact is not necessarily better than the other, but I enjoy the variety and, of course, the chance to be with any of the kids any time I can.
If you are a regular rummager in "Googie's Attic," you know that all the kids and I have lots of fun, but right now I am also enjoying these more laid-back days with Beenie. I think Beenie is pretty happy with the deal too; he doesn't seem to cry much. With the ESP cycle in place, he has things pretty good, and so do I.