Monday, November 5, 2012

The tale of last Saturday with Brendan ...

 Last Saturday, this cute baby and I spent a lot of our day ... together! Brendan even got to ride in my car for the very first time in my brand new (used) car seat. Look at his cute little face peeking out at me from underneath all of the straps, jackets and hats he was wearing. 

Dylan and Kelly were traveling to Kalamazoo for a wedding for which Kelly was the soloist. And since I had twisted my left foot Wednesday evening and was still somewhat hobbling around, it was decided that grandbabysitting for the most part would take place at my little beach house, where everything is on one floor. 
 I spent Saturday morning making double sure my place was "Brendan proofed," and then I set up each room with colorful toys to play with so that in case he got to missing his mama (and daddy too), we could switch rooms and distract him. I also picked out some good children's music to listen to, since Brendan is a musical little fellow. 

Dylan and Kelly told me that Brendan had only had a tiny "cat nap" that morning and he most likely would fall asleep in the car on the way to my house. But that didn't happen. Brendan knew he was in a "strange" vehicle. He wasn't unhappy about it, he was just curious I think. So he stayed awake and got even more awake playing with the toys he found at my house. He was a little bit camera shy Saturday, and I wasn't very good at taking pictures. I found that being a primary caretaker was just about all I could handle!
 This is Brendan playing with "crinkle bug" the very first toy I ever purchased for my very first grandchild ever -- Emma Joy. This was one of her favorite toys when she was exactly Brendan's age!
 Brendan likes the toys at my house very much. I was playing a children's Christmas CD that has about an hour's worth of really beautiful music. Brendan loved it. He followed along and was interested in each new song.
 Brendan really liked this monkey toy ... perhaps it reminded him of Curious George?
 And here he is "talking" to me and clapping his chubby little hands ... 
 He did not cry one single minute ... until it was diaper changing time. He decidedly does NOT like to be forced to lay down and have his playtime disrupted in any way!

 We played and played. I thought sure he would want to take a little nap ... but he just kept right on going!
 Look how excited Brendan got over this toy! He is such an animated baby!

But finally at nearly 2:00 in the afternoon, he was rubbing his eyes and his face and he looked SO exhausted. I wrapped him in a soft flannel blanket and sat down in the rocking chair with him and sang along with the pretty music. It didn't take long before he was soundly sleeping. And it was so sweet to have this precious baby sleeping against my chest that I just rocked and rocked while he slept. 

Brendan only napped about 30 minutes and then he woke up, but continued to cuddle for 10 or so minutes while he drank his bottle. Ah, those are sweet times too aren't they? 

But then I remembered that we were invited to one of Brendan's best friends' birthday party ... baby Abel had turned ONE and we needed to eat our lunch/dinner and get packed up and travel over to join in on the baby fun.
 Kelly had packed lots of nice food for Brendan to eat at my house, plus I remembered how much he liked watermelon and had some chunks all cut up for him. He enjoyed himself hugely and I was so pleased that he was eating so much watermelon. However, I later found out (when cleaning up the chair he'd been sitting in), that all of the chunks of watermelon were tucked in between his chubby body and the side of the chair ... 11 chunks total!) Thankfully, he had eaten lots of yogurt too and had a bottle when he was cuddling with me in the rocking chair.
 This is Brendan being somewhat "shy" for my camera ... which is so darling of him!
This is Brendan enjoying his watermelon ... well, at least he enjoyed sucking on it because he certainly didn't get much of it into his stomach otherwise!

After we were finished eating, we went over to Abel's birthday party. We arrived slightly late because Mapquest gave me terrible directions. But the party was FULL of people and children and music and fun. Brendan was a little bit clingy to me so I didn't get any pictures of the party that actually turned out.

We stayed and celebrated with Brendan's friends for about an hour, but then our baby got SO tired and a little cranky. I packed him up and drove him over to HIS house to put him to bed. We did a little bit of playing and a tiny bit of eating before getting his jammies on, but then ... I knew it was doomsday for me because he was now at his own house and there was no mama or daddy in sight. He was keenly aware of this and not at all pleased. Poor baby.

Thankfully, about a week ago, Kelly was telling me that sometimes she has a rough time getting Brendan to settle down for the night and since she is a song writer (with a fabulous voice), she "makes up" songs as she is walking him and trying to get him to go to sleep. She even sang part of a song she's been writing titled, "Why won't my baby go to sleep?!" and it is bluesy and great to hear Kelly sing. I had been walking and singing to Brendan for 20 minutes trying numbers like: "O Holy Night" and "What Child is This?" and even songs like "Row, Row, Row your Boat" ... but Brendan was nearly hysterical with his grief ... and then I remembered! I started to sing Kelly's song: "Why won't my baby go to sleep?" in as bluesy a voice as I could possibly muster (if you can imagine). And the most amazing thing happened! Brendan stopped crying/screaming ... looked at me squarely in the face (as I am dramatically singing Kelly's song) and snuggled into my neck and listened. And every few minutes, he would open his eyes and look at me. I only knew ONE line of the song ... so I sang it ... and sang it ... and sang it! Finally! He was sleeping and I laid him in his crib. 

That will always be a sweet memory for me ... baby Brendan snuggling and sleeping on my shoulder. And speaking of shoulders ... mine is SORE but ... definitely worth it.

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