A Rookie Babysitting Mistake

A Rookie Babysitting Mistake

Grandbaby Blakely Faye and my niece, Ashley

This week’s inspiration, first published on Nanahood, is from my niece, Ashley, and her recent babysitting adventures with our family.

It was countdown time. We were supposed to arrive in Columbia, South Carolina (where I saw my dear Aunt Pearl) at 3 p.m., but our GPS said nope, we would arrive at 4:30 p.m.—for the 6:00 p.m. wedding.

“We’re not going to make it, we’re not going to make it, we’re absolutely not going to make it,” Brittany mumbled as she tended to her ten-month-old daughter, my grandbaby, Blakely Faye.

“I can’t go any faster,” said Brian, her husband. “There aren’t any shortcuts, but I think the traffic is moving now.”

“We’re not going to make it,” Brittany kept repeating. “We have too much to do!”

Her panic was understandable. We had to check-in, unload, shower, get dressed, get dinner ready for Blakely, and feed her.

“I have to show Ashley all the nighttime routines, Mom. I thought we’d have more time for them to get to know one another.” My niece, Ashley, would be babysitting Blakely for the first time.

Although an exceptionally happy baby and good traveler, Blakely was in the sweet spot of the “separation anxiety” stage. She preferred her mom to anyone else.

“Well, Britty, there’s not much we can do about getting there faster. But Rachel is already there. She can meet us and grab some food for Blakely. What will she eat?”

I jotted down the foods and called my sister to craft our arrival plan. Rachel pre-checked our rooms to make sure mine was accessible and adjoined to Brittany and Brian’s room. Her husband, David, and her daughter, Ashley, our babysitter, picked up Blakely’s food, met us in the lobby, and helped us carry the luggage to our rooms.

From my room, I could hear my daughter instructing her twenty-year-old cousin.

“Blakely’s a good eater, Ash. She can feed herself.”Blakely-eating-watermarked

Ashley, a SnapChat connoisseur, captured the moment.

“I’ll change her and then we’ll put on her pajamas,” Brittany continued. “After I leave, give her a bottle. Put her down in the crib, no blankets. Leave her for a little bit, she will cry and then go to sleep. Text me if . . . ”

I closed the door to our adjoining room to finish getting ready—touched up my make-up, added a little bling and a spray of Tory Burch perfume. Minutes later, we all met up in the hall.

“Is Ashley set, Britty?” I asked.

“I think so.”

“She’ll be fine,” Brian said, taking Brittany’s hand. Although Ashley was comfortable babysitting, she hadn’t had much experience with children that young.

“I don’t hear any crying. We better roll,” I told them. We headed to the parking lot, piled in my van, and made it to the church in record time. As their tagline promised in the hotel’s welcome magazine, Columbia was hot, “Famously Hot.” My van thermometer read 102 when we pulled up to the church.

After the ceremony, Ashley’s SnapChats lit up our phones.

“Looks like she’s having fun, Britty!” I said.

“Wait, she’s texting me with questions.” Brittany squinted into her phone “Is everything alright?” Brian snuck behind her to read the text. They both burst out laughing.

“What’s funny? What happened?” I asked.

“Well, apparently Blakely fell asleep without crying. Ashley wanted to know if it was okay to skip that step!”Blakely-sleeping-watermarked

We all doubled over with laughter.

“Now that’s a rookie question!” I said.

“The truth is that Blakely doesn’t usually cry,” Brittany told us, “but I wanted to prepare Ashley, just in case.”

“Smart thinking, Britty.”

Exhausted from the trip, little Blakely slept well that night. She and Ashley became fast friends and we all enjoyed the time together. It took a team effort to make it happen, but isn’t that what family is all about?

How about you? Any family stories of team efforts to share? Tell me about them. I’d love to know.


Becky  (Nana B)

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