February 27, 2010

babysitters and blankets

This morning was the first time Clover has ever been away from Dustin or me, besides the time my Mom watched her in the waiting room during my doctor’s appointment. “JuJu” as Clover calls my Mom (pucker your lips like you’re going to kiss and say “Joo Joo”, getting high pitched and excited on the “oo” part – that’s how she says it) watched Clover for about four hours this morning while I went to a sewing class and Dustin ran errands. I know it is weird to some people that this is her first time away from one of us, especially since she will be 16 months old! It’s not that I don’t trust anyone to watch her; we’ve just never really had a time that we felt like we needed a babysitter. Plus, majority of the time, we do things together – the 3 of us. If we go out to eat, Clover comes too (she’s great in restaurants, it comes naturally in our family.) If we need to go shopping, she comes too. Our date nights usually consist of watching a Netflix movie on the couch once she’s gone to bed. To be honest, we would feel lonely and like something was missing if we went somewhere without her. She’s our life. I’m not saying parents who have babysitters don’t love their child as much as we do; I’m just saying that we don’t need that time away from her like others might from their child.

It would be really hard for me to have other people baby sit Clover. For starters, I don’t want to inconvenience them. I know that she will cry, and may possibly struggle with the change, and I don’t want someone else to have to take the burden of comforting my child. That’s my job. I’m her comfort. I know what’s best for her. My personality is a very head-strong, natural leader, dominate one. I like things done a certain way, and have a hard time trusting that someone is going to do it the way that I would. So, I tend to want to just do things myself, that way I know they are done “right”. Clover is my daughter. Dustin and I are the only ones who decide how to raise her. I would rather make sure I am doing it, so I know it’s the way I want it to be done. It has nothing to do with trust in others, it’s that I feel like if I want her raised a certain way then I am the best person for the job. My Mom and I may be very different people, but I know that she knows me well enough to “parent” Clover the way that I do. Even if my Mom doesn’t agree with certain things I do as a parent, she knows the parenting decisions I make are heartfelt and are what I truly think is the best for my child; and she will respect that, no matter what.

Before my Mom put Clover down for a nap today, she gave her Jon’s old bear blanket that Granny O made for him when he was little. Jon loved that blanket. (In fact, I think he had two.) My Mom told her that it was Uncle Jonny’s blanket and showed her the bear on it. When I went to pick her up, she went and picked the blanket up and said “Jon! Jon! Jon! Jon!” She knew it was her Uncle Jonny’s blanket. It was so sweet.

We video-chat with Uncle Jonny on Skype about once a week. She loves talking to him. Before we start the video chat I ask her if she wants to go talk to Uncle Jonny, and she goes into the computer room and tries to get in the desk chair. She squeals with delight and excitement up until the point she sees/hears him. Then she gets shy. After awhile though, she warms up and does her best to impress him. They give kisses to each other on the computer screen and she blows lots of kisses signaling “I love you”! Somehow I inadvertently taught her that the sign for “I love you” is a kissing sound or blowing a kiss. I guess because every time I said “I love you” I would blow a kiss after… oops. It’s pretty cute though when I rock her to sleep and say “I love you” and she turns her head up to kiss me. Oh she makes my heart melt. See, why would I need time away from that?

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