Every Wednesday and Friday my flatmate will come into my bedroom at the horrendously early 6:00am and pass me the baby monitor, its only 2 days a week she has to travel into the office and is pretty thankful for the arrangement. Because she travels further than me I am on babywatch until 8am when goddaughter’s dad can come by and pick up the little one.
From that moment I have the baby monitor I won’t be able to revisit deep sleep, I’ll snooze with the monitor right by my head, sometimes I get woken by baby , sometimes we both snooze through until the alarm kicks in on my mobile phone.
When we first started this arrangement is was quite tough for baby , but that was just a case of seeing less of mum, now its a breeze, she knows when she sees me first thing she is going to see dad soon after and day care is less of a stress.
Recently I’ve had to wake baby , usually I’ll rub her tiny little back , she will cry a little but then she always cries when she first awakes , jittery departure from a cosy slumber.
If she awakes of her own accord she will crawl off the bed making upset noises then the minute she waddles into the hallway still wearing her baby blanket she’ll be happy, the little contented explorer.
If she does not awake of her own accord it has to be the back rubbing and gentle name calling ( as in I call her name not oh! just forget it!) that wakes her up.
The first task I set myself is to change her nappy , never yet has it been dirty although I do feel I have now jinxed this. When I change her nappy I always apply the nappy cream really quickly which she thinks is hilarious, always letting out little squeals of delight. Then new nappy on we hunt around for clothes.
After she is clothed and we have time we’ll go into the living room where I will find her baby cup and give her some water or apple juice with some porridge or chunks of banana and if we have a while to wait I’ll put on Disney kids TV to introduce some mickey mouse or handy manny into our morning.
Whenever the flat buzzer goes she quickly turns her little head to me , eyes lit up her tiny little mouth forms an o then her little helium voice follows ‘oooooooo’ she’ll go knowing who it is, hurriedly making her way to the door, her little body shaking with excitement.
I’ll open the flat door and she will take a few steps into the corridor then peer at the opposite end fire door, around 10 seconds later through the door window she will see Dad, let out an excited giggle and take a couple more steps toward him , the reason for keeping the distance is so she has a head start from the inevitable chase, her ear piercing squeals of delight punctuating our corner of the building as he rapidly advances upon her.
Baby in pram, more clothes added if necessary, more breakfast eaten if necessary (both dependant on when we both woke up) good-byes are then said as dad takes his little daughter out for the day, her little hand giving me a wave as she disappears out the door.
I generally feel a bit beat after the early wake-up call , I don’t get to sleep that early in the evening , usually around 1:30-2:00am so I can be looking at 4-5 hours sleep tops. I’ll head back to bed to catch another 30 mins if I am lucky especially as recent nearby construction work leaves the building shaking as they pile drive huge rods of concrete into the surrounding ground.
Head touches pillow and I’ll remember the baby monitor is still switched on , I’ll press the power button , the screen will light up and there she is , baby standing there looking straight back at me , frozen, the mild flicker adding an eerie animation. I’ll feel a small surge of adrenaline and that moment , that intensely scary moment on the movie ringu will flick into memory. Monitor goes off and I’ll struggle to have that nap I so wanted lying there feeling spooked by the seemingly innocent handheld gadget now placed on the floor so as not to break it and to also get it away from my person.
Other than that it’s a pleasure to babysit in the mornings.