Philosophical Monday: Dubious Achievements or How I Finally Broke Down and Hired a Babysitter

"You've calmed me down this time, mother, but I will live to cry again!"

"You've calmed me down this time, Mother, but mark my words: I will live to cry again!"

“This is the first time that I ever had a girl pee on me,” the babysitter informed us, when we got back from our second official date night.

CH laughed, and I said, “Good job, Betty” in the chagrinned way of a mother whose baby has just peed (and later spit-up) on her 50+ babysitter.

In retrospect, the more appropriate response would have been to apologize on Betty’s behalf. But instead I added this to the list of Betty’s Dubious Achievements. Other than being the first girl to pee on our babysitter in her triple-decade career, this list also includes

1. Protesting and then later managing to pee down the back of the pretty dress we had put her in to meet her great grandmother — but only after she had actually met her great-grandmother and we had taken her back to the hotel room. This required great cunning on Betty’s part, since I knew she was gunning for the dress and I was ready for her. She waited 5 whole minutes into the change and somehow managed to arch her back just as I was making the clean diaper switch. I was really impressed … as I changed her into a simple onesie.

2. Looking really angry, whenever we give her a pacifier, even though she was literally just crying for a pacifier. See the pic. This also happens in regards to nursing, but I’m not going to post a picture of that.

"Good morning! Good morning! Um, where's my binky?"

"Good morning! Good morning! Um, where's my binky?"

3. Looking really sweet in the morning, as if to say, “Did I wake you up 5 times last night? Pardon moi. And if it’s not too much trouble might I have some more milk now?” See the other pic.

In other new mom news, last Monday I decided to get back to my second novel rewrite. And as of today, I’ve managed to write all of zero pages. By Tuesday, I was frustrated. By Wednesday, I was angry. By Thursday, I picked up the phone and engaged our peed-upon babysitter for three hours a day, three days a week until further notice.

After years of living with myself, I can now state emphatically and in a total Bruce Banner tone of voice that “You wouldn’t like me when I can’t write.” So my romantic notion of being a write-at-home mom who is able to juggle both a thriving baby and a rewrite (which will turn my second book into an actual novel as opposed to the unreadable collection of scenes that it is right now) was totally shattered in one phone call. But that ruined dream and the expense of a regular caregiver is offset by the fact that I won’t fall into a terrible not-writing well of despair, anger, and depression. So I guess I can now add “Staying (relatively) sane” to my own list of Dubious New Mom Achievements, which includes…

1. Managing to avoid all pee and poo attacks to keep Betty in the same outfit for a whole day two weeks ago.

2. Driving all by myself with Betty on the highway. Once.

3. Only turning in this column 3 hours late, considering the mood Betty was in this morning.

Ah well, it’s the little things that count.