Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nothing Like Riding a Bike

Today was race day at the Texas Motor Speedway, and while we are not NASCAR fans, we are good friends with a couple who is. We kept both of their girls while they rooted for their favorite drivers. Their oldest daughter Rachel spent the majority of the day upstairs playing with Bub and Gracie. We hardly saw the three of them all day long. The baby, Rebecca, behaved as babies do -- eating, sleeping, and filling her diaper.

Rebecca fell asleep about as soon as her parents walked out the door, and I smugly thought to myself, "This is going to be easy." Forty-five minutes later, she woke up, all coos and smiles, and needed to be fed. I had to sit for a good long while to coax an exclusively nursed baby to take a bottle, and I thought while I sat that it's been forever since I had to sit somewhere. Sounds weird, I know, but since I was a nursing mom myself, I rarely just sit without at least mentally moving on to the next thing.

After her bottle, she was ready for another nap, but the bottle made her burpy and she needed some soothing. We moved from sitting in the rocker to reclining on the bed. Some back-patting stopped the boo-hooing, and as the tears stopped, the sleeping started. At that point, I was stuck. I knew I wasn't as sneaky as I once was, so I was left holding the sleeping baby until she decided to wake up (which was not a bad thing at all).

James came into the bedroom while the big girls hid Gracie's Hide-and-Seek Hayley, and noticed the baby was asleep again. He said, "Looks like you've still got that magic touch. It must be like riding a bike."

I smiled in acknowledgement of his comment, but I learned that caring for a baby is nothing at all like riding a bike. I mean, the technical caring for a baby was easy to manage. (I don't think one could ever forget how to change a diaper.) But the things that come with being the mother of a baby is long gone, those instinctual things, such as knowing how to balance a crying baby with dinner-making. I didn't realize that second-nature response wouldn't be with me forever. Fortunately, Rebecca is a patient little girl.

The kids enjoyed having a baby here. They made silly faces and were surprised at every smile. They kissed her face, rubbed her head, shared their favorite toys, and argued over which of them Rebecca liked the best. It was a sweet and fun day, and I am far more tired than I've been in a very long time.


  • Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness she's getting so big! You are good to keep those girls.

  • We are THAT Family

    I kept my sister's kids for the weekend a little while ago. She has two, I have three. That's a lot of kids. And you do forget so much! Looks like you had fun.

  • The Dukes Family

    Sounds like fun ... she's getting big! And I think you're wrong - you don't lose that second-nature multi-tasking, you just need to warm up a bit! :)

  • Anonymous

    One big HUGE thank you for keeping the girls for us. Again, I rarely read blogs, but wanted to see how you were doing this week. It did not even occur to me to read about the girls on your blog, but I am so glad to see them and hear more detail about their day at your house. It touches me so deeply that you did this for us - just a simple "thank you" will never be enough. Love you! ~DeDe

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