A Babysitter’s Guide to My Son

photo by Thomas

Babysitters Guide: Version 9 ½ weeks,

Install date: February 1, 2002           Standard Operating Procedures

Dear Babysitter:

My son’s a touchy feely tactile infant. Therefore do not put him down alone for longer than 15 minutes at a time. That means anywhere: his bed, his parent’s bed, in the car seat, the hammock, the bouncy chair, the living room sofa, etc.

Because just when you think he’s asleep, ha!, he’ll open one big blue eye and start the whole symphony again.

The one exception may be the swing, but make sure he’s wearing trousers so his legs can fit through the holes in the seat.

If you gently touch his scalp then lower your hand to his third eye he croons.

If you gently touch his earlobes then the side of his neck he’ll give you the biggest Cheshire cat smile you’ve ever seen.

He’s extremely emotive and expressive and will exercise his lung capacity when he feels the need to let you know in no uncertain terms that he either: a) wants to be fed, b) wants to be held, c) wants to be stimulated, d) is tired, e) needs a nappy change, f) wants to play, or g) wants to suck

The boy has a major oral fixation and loves to suck. Before holding him always CLEANSE your hands with the anti-bacterial soap. Why? Because before the day or night is through he’ll give your little pinkie or 4th finger a run for it’s money. Forget the dummy, dummy! He knows plastic from the real thing. (But please do not give him your nipple. That’s reserved for mommy alone.) He’ll even suck your nose if you get too close and that is strictly forbidden by mommy’s Germanic/Jewish sanitary laws. Snotnoses are strictly forbidden in the mouths of babes.

His most active times of the day are in the morning between 8:30–11:00 and between 9:00–10:30 in the evening. Don’t try to get him to sleep; he won’t buy it. Give him educational toys or turn a light on and off like a disco ball.

The boy’s motor performance is intense. He’ll win the Indie 500, the Grand Prix or a Thai kick boxing match. When he starts cycling and flaying his arms it’s an indication that he’s acutely aware of his limitations and so he likes to be moved about.


On his tummy in your arms as you dance around the room.
On his side in your arms as you sway to music.
Facing an interesting shadow on the wall with his chest against yours.
On his changing table facing the ceiling or looking at himself in the mirror while you play with the rattle.

He loves dancing. Dance with him to rock, pop, jazz, new age or blues and his eyes will light up along with his mouth. Watch out for spittle and extra milk on the carpet!

He loves when you sing to him, even if you’re terribly out of tune. Sing along to a nursery rhyme or a favorite song or with the radio.

He’s a voracious eater and will fuss on the bottle if he hasn’t had enough. Just let him eat till he konks out and lies happily in your arms with both limbs akimbo.

Thank you! You’re a life saver.

Elise Krentzel gave birth naturally at 44 in Europe and is so glad she waited. She thinks motherhood is one of the greatest gifts of life.

Photo: Thomas


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