Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Between rehearsals for and performances of the 40s Show last week, Ryan went through quite the range of babysitters. Of course, all the grandparents stepped up to the plate, but with that many babysitting slots, we also ended up hiring several different people to watch him, either at our house or even at the theater. He stayed with Grandma one time, with Bammy one time, with Julie a couple of times, with Colleen one time, with Ashley one time, with Katie one time, and even a whole roomful of Rockettes one time. He was quite a trouper about it, but by the time the week was over, I think he was very happy to be with Mommy and Daddy again for a while.

We’re really fortunate that he is so easy-going and was delighted to have new people to play with. Each time we left him, he was happily marching around with the new sitter, showing off his walking skills and his toys and his vocal abilities. He never cried when we left or even seemed unsure of himself. And according to all the reports, he was sweet and well-behaved. I have no doubt that he was happy and well taken care of on each occasion.

Even at the cast party at the end of the run, he was perfectly happy to trot around from person to person, sharing Pappy’s chips, studiously examining Michael’s guitar, tasting Bammy’s necklace, tugging at Cathy’s hair, and snuggling in Julie’s lap with his bottle. But by the end of the evening, every once in a while he would look over to me or Herb and reach out with a plaintive look on his face – not unhappy, just ready to be back in a pair of more familiar arms.

It was actually the perfect balance of being contented with having someone else look after him for a while but at the end of the day still wanting to be with Mommy or Daddy. Sure, he loves his grandparents and his aunts and uncles and cousins, and he loves playing with anyone who’s willing to play with him, but when he’s tired or hungry or cranky or just plain running out of steam, it’s Mommy and Daddy who can make it all better. It makes me feel treasured that I have the “magical Mommy power” of being one of the two people he wants to be with more than anyone else. Being a parent really is magical.

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