For better or worse, I am the product of a father whose motto was "well, figure it out" and a mother who elevated "making do" to a science. Thus inspired, I often find myself striving to attain new heights of resourcefulness. Babysitting Beenie this past month has given me ample opportunity to practice those valuable philosophies my parents preached.
With four other grandkids who visit often, I like to think my house is fairly kid-friendly and kid-ready. However, keeping an almost-six-month-old all day long for three consecutive days every week has acted as a harbinger of its inadequacies.
For example, one thing I had never used for the grandkids was a walker. This means Beenie had to pretty well either sit on my lap (or beside me in my big, armless recliner) or he had to lie down, either on a blanket on the floor, in the playpen, or on our king-size bed.
Realizing what a nice option the walker would afford us, I looked to my good friend Facebook to spread the word: Googie was looking for a walker to borrow or buy at a bargain. To keep a short story short, I typed in the SOS about 8:30 one morning, and at 10 I was loading into my van a very nice walker, donated generously by a good friend I had made previous plans to walk with that day. Beenie and I have found the walker to be a great asset ever since.
About a week later, on my way to see my mom, my car, on its own, braked for a garage sale I happened to pass enroute. From the end of the driveway, a small pack-and-play was reaching out to beckon me with its crooked forefinger. "Come here," wafted its siren song through the fall air. "You have two baby grandsons, and I need a new home."
Only five bucks poorer, I left the sale with my new treasure. Now, Zoomba has a place to sleep when he and the other kids come to visit; meanwhile, Beenie has a safe place to enjoy these fall afternoons on our screened deck.
But wait--he can't quite sit up alone for very long yet. Even with the playpen's soft sides to cushion him, it was no fun for him to topple over again and again or for me to keep returning him to a sitting position. Let's see, WWMD? What would Mom do?
A quick trip upstairs, and I am back from my closet with one of those big upright, armed pillows that you put on a bed for the purpose of sitting up to read or watch TV. It turned out to be the same width as the playpen, so instead of falling Beenie either leans straight back or onto one of the arms. Between the walker and this new rig, Beenie is much better able to enjoy Googie's seemingless endless stash of baby toys.
Perhaps our biggest crisis of the past several weeks occurred when Beenie's mama and daddy forgot to pack his pacifier. Now this was serious, as we depend on the binky to transition from the bottle to the nap. We had our system pretty well down, but without the binky, well, you know that line about the best-laid plans of mice, men, and Googies. We found ourselves in crisis situation #NBNN--no binky, no nap--and this was unacceptable.
"Well, figure it out," my dad would have said. So I thought hard. Then, I sealed off the bottom of an extra bottle nipple with duct tape and--voila!--a makeshift binky was born. Unfortunately, however, the only duct tape I could find was a bright, fluorescent pink. This is why we call it "The Pinky," and I am glad to report that, though it may not be much on looks, it did the trick. The nap was saved.
So far, we have only had to use The Pinky that one day. But I take great comfort in knowing that it is there in the drawer in the event of another crisis. Whatever the new week brings, I am ready.
I am strong; I am invincible; I am Googie; and my mama and daddy taught me well.