Better living through mild neglect

I started a second part-time job today (on top of my full-time — is thirty hours full-time? — job with Goober and Goobrette). On Tuesdays I will be taking care of La Saucisse, a burbling three-month-old, and occasionally of La Fille, her three-year-old sister, as well. La Saucisse’s parents are diplomats, and her mother is now using her Tuesdays to learn a very difficult language in anticipation of an upcoming foreign posting.

Better her than me!

At any rate, the day was uneventful except for the fact that La Saucisse decided that she wouldn’t take her bottle from me. Her mother had breastfed her before departing, and after her nap I attempted to give her a bottle of expressed milk — only to be met with Baby Rage. You know that thing they do where their entire tiny bodies arch backwards in fury? La Saucisse did not want her bottle and was personally offended that I was trying to nourish her.

I know, I’m a huge jerk.

So I stopped trying to feed her. I sang, rocked, swaddled, etc. We all calmed down, and I offered the bottle once more. Rage! Angst! That was about when I stuck her in the bassinet and called my mom. My mother suggested trying to spoon feed her (Rage!) and then if that didn’t work, to just let her cry until she was good and hungry (Angst!).

Let her cry is a route I’m familiar with, but it always seems rather sad to me and so I try to avoid it. So I sang, rocked, swaddled, etc., and was really as attachment-nanny as you’d like… until my bladder came a-calling. Some things can only be put off so long, and so down she went into the bassinet (Rage! Angst!) and off I toddled to take care of business. Much to my surprise, when I re-emerged she had fallen asleep on her own.

She slept an hour and then sucked down four ounces like a champ, the little prima donna!