Oh my word. Someone spread the word that there were some absolutely nutty American ladies (and some kind-hearted Japanese ladies) with nothing better to do than to keep babies all morning on Thursdays. Why do I say that? We had TEN infants and probably TEN toddlers this morning! (Like I said last week, it seemed more like 100.) Did I mention we were short-handed today? Yep. We were. Three workers to six infants was a strain, but four for ten wasn't any better!
I started of in bed babies with a little dear we'll call MegJoBethAmy, Little Woman, or LW, maybe two months old--one of the five new Chinese babies who showed up today. Not only were there 10 babies, more than half of them were first-timers! Little Woman peed--I knew she had peed, because her diaper was warm--and then started crying. I went and fetched her diaper bag. One problem: I got Pizza Girl's diaper bag, not LW's. Fortunately they were the same size, so I just put one of PG's diapers on LW. Of course as lots of tots her age do, not only had she peed...And also like lots of tots her age, she absolutely HATED having her pants changed! Which was too bad, because before the morning was over, I had changed her three times. (Probably would have been more, but I wasn't in that room all morning.) That seemed to do her for a while. Kyoko, the Japanese woman who has a "key" to working with the babies, got her settled into a swing, and she went to sleep. Good for you, Little Woman, because across the hall in toddlers, more help was needed.
Ramses and Cleopatra were back again. Ramses you may remember from our last blog, is really too old for the bed baby nursery, even though Cleo would fit right in, so we compromise and put them both in toddlers. Turns out Ramses is really too old for toddlers, too--he just turned three in September. Mama tried to get both of them into the 3-year-old class, but the worker there rightfully insisted that Cleo was too young to be in there, and they would have to go back down the hall. Once again I reassured Mama that they would be all right, that we would keep them together in toddlers. And once again, Cleo threw a fit royal. She sat there and yelled and shook her head and kicked her feet and let us know that our room was NOT where she wanted to be. I know those of you who are mothers are aware of this--there is NO language barrier with toddlers. No is the same in all languages.
Ram tested us today with throwing, but soon caught on that throwing balls was okay, throwing hard toys wasn't. He also showed us his musical ability today with the guitar. He had this really cool, rhythmic song he kept singing, sounded like "Two lil duds" or something else I didn't recognize. I told the ladies in toddlers it was probably some obscene Egyptian rap song, and they cracked up. We needed the humor, since at the time Ramses was the only one who wasn't crying. Another thing he did that got us giggling was when he fell off the riding duck and hit his head on the fence in the room--no harm. I asked him if the duck bucked him off--the Japanese ladies collapsed into a fit of giggles then. I said I hoped Ram wouldn't go home and try to repeat that bit about the duck buck, because our luck, he'd probably not get it out right, and they would think we had been teaching him bad words!
Since Ram was settled and nothing was going to settle Cleo short of a tranquilizer, I went out into the lobby just in time to meet a little Korean girl (we'll call her Vashti) and "Ahnya hash a meeka'd" her mom (yes, I know the spelling is way off). Mom giggled and responded in kind, and Vashti decided that maybe, just maybe, I could take her in to the toddler room. She was crying, but not completely hopelessly like Cleo. She settled down pretty easily and started playing. Of course, all Cleo had to do was look over and see me, and she started her tantrum again. What to do? I didn't need to ponder the dilemma long, because Key showed up at the door--We need Susan. Baby room.
Back to the baby room. Little Woman was crying again. I picked her up--yes, dirty diaper again. Throw a fit, LW, I'm changing your pants anyway--oh, shoot, don't pee on the clean diaper! Changing pants again! By then she was really burned out with me. I remembered there had been a pacifier in her bag (not PG's, hers)--no, not what she wanted. There was also a little formula bottle in there, one of the freebies they give you at the hospital. That should have been a clue that this person wasn't a bottle baby... Right. She didn't want THAT, either. No, thank you, rocking was out of the question. Walking the floor? Well, maybe, for about a minute. She wasn't old enough to be interested in watching the other kids, and I couldn't stay in the toddler room anyway, despite the fact that Vashti was wanting me to come back, because Cleo threw a fit when she saw me come in. And it was hard to navigate in that room, since Al was trying to escape and was pretty much constantly underfoot.
I tried sitting down again with Little Woman and tried the bottle again. Cornie, another worker, said, "Is that her bottle?" I replied, "No, but maybe she'll take it anyway." (It really was her bottle, but she wasn't going to take it, so it didn't matter.) So what do you do when you try the pants, the pacifier, the bottle, the rocker, and floor walking, and nothing works? You go look for the mama, at least with the bed babies, you go look for the mama. I found her without a lot of difficulty, brought her back to the nursery, and found a place where she could feed LW. That took care of LW. Good thing--because now Jackie Chan was pitching a fit. Wooo boy, he out-screamed all the other kiddos! Right when the mamas were coming! And of course, his mama was one of the LAST ones to show up! (That never fails. There's a reason why they aren't in a hurry to come back...)
But show up she did, and all the babies left the church happy. Ram and Cleo's mama was once again very grateful for our kindness to her babies, and like I said, that sort of gratitude makes the floor walking well worth the effort. Little Woman's mama apologized about her daughter's crying. I told her no, I should be the one apologizing, because I had not come after her soon enough. We need to set a protocol for these poor little bitty babies--maybe fifteen minutes, and then we fetch Mama? Usually they just need to nurse a while, and then they're satisfied. Anyway, I do love Friendship, and I do love my babies!
Good night to all, and God bless.