I recently babysat my lil’ niece the other day for about three weeks and boy wasn’t that a long three weeks!! So I compiled a list of hard earned lessons and honest observations…..Forgive me Baba & Mama Ella.
All these things you hear from people and read in those blogs…are true! But more true even for people in that house. I found myself in an NGO that I am forced to join, #teamnosleep which I hold a vice-chairman position (after the mother who’s Chairlady and the Dad who is CEO). Babies have this style of crying that is just so care free (and unfair to us the audience). It’s like they don’t care that I’ve been out all day shooting. A nigga needs some sleep! However, she will hear none of that. If she doesn’t want to sleep, why would you want to?
- You gotta be able to make at least six different melodies!
Another discovery I have made is that of music/sounds/melodies (Call it what you want) to calm babies. You have to be able to produce more than six melodic patterns with your voice. See, when Ella is crying, (for whatever reason), your way out is to be creative with your vocal chords. Make it good while you’re at it. She will be attentive to your ululating, after a few minutes, you need to change that track or else! Most of the time it takes at least three different melodic noises to shut her up. I have realized that many babysitters including moms have produced numerous ‘musical tracks’ that are only hits in the producer’s throat and don’t ever get to the consumer’s ears (baby).
- What’s funny yesterday ain’t funny today
Still in the spirit of cheering up baby, I am successful and she manages to give me a smile. If I’m lucky I even get a three seconds laughter. Cute isn’t it? So I shout excitedly… ‘Mama Ella! Come and see! She just laughed!’’ Mama Ella rushes to the scene forgetting to leave the mwiko in the kitchen. And I repeat that kasound for baby to laugh. Baby Ella stares. I give it a second shot and add some salt to it….NOTHING. Just a blank stare. By the time I am going for my third one Mama Ella is already walking back to the kitchen. Ella has had enough of my stale jokes. Infact, she’s threatening to cry if I don’t knock it off. Lesson learnt: Jokes are not recycled. What’s funny a few minutes ago ain’t funny no more. DEAL WITH IT!
- All babies are divas! NO EXCEPTIONS!
Take it this way: You are a five star hotel, Baby is your client. Client wants a Sauna, next minute she wants a Jacuzzi, then a massage, maybe candle lit dinner, e.t.c That’s how babies are. One moment they wanna be held by the chest, the next they wanna be held in sitting position, the next they wanna be held up side down! It all comes within the territory of being a babysitter. Much harder when you are a man.
- Babies are just weird, they got no chills!
Yes! I said it! They are lil weird beings. How do you explain those long blank stares baby Ella gives me? She is not hungry, she doesn’t find my jokes funny no matter how hard I try, she doesn’t wanna cry either. Just that stare. Long, quiet, awkward stare. I rest my case.
- Learn and get used to speaking to yourself.
Lastly, you need to get used to speaking to yourself! Kinda like pillow talk but this time, you ain’t getting no response. You constantly have to speak to baby as if you are speaking to a responsive person, and expect no verbal response. Here are some real life examples from my own experience:
‘’Leo umekuwa good girl! Hujajipoopoo’’ (Today you’ve been a good girl you haven’t shit yourself)
‘’Ella look here. Uncle has a gift for you.” (She responds with her favorite stare)
Over and above all this, come to think of it and it actually sounds like fun. That’s because it is! Children are a blessing from God and being able to take care of them means that you are part of God’s blessing…I mean, who doesn’t want to be that, right? That’s it folks! At the end of the day, uncle Willy the photographer did his thing, voila! The results are as seen in these images. I love babies. Oh, Mine? You ask when mine is coming? Lol! MSINIHARAKISHE.