Lean BackPosted: September 23, 2013
I spend most of most days on my feet. Whether I’m chasing kiddos around, fixing them meals, tidying up after them, taking them from one activity to the next, nannying is a highly physical job. One of the many ways it is beneficial to me is that it prevents anything resembling a sedentary work routine. Some studies have hypothesized negative health effects resulting from sitting at a desk all day. No risk of that here! In fact, one of the most rigorous workouts I experience in a day isn’t during my post-nannying runs, but during childcare.
My newest charge is Boss Lady’s brand new baby brother, Mr. Nice Guy. Mr. Nice Guy is a joy! He has the longest eyelashes, seemingly (and universally) designated only to male youngsters while we women slather on the mascara, hoping to mimic with makeup what is so naturally bestowed up them. He is an adorably kissable baby, and he and Boss Lady love each other very much—no sibling rivalry here…yet! In short, he’s a darling boy with the sweetest smile, but like most infants, a penchant for not wanting anyone but his mama 90% of the time. When I’m there to uphold his morning routine it is up to me to make sure that he eats and sleeps properly in the short absence of his mama, who uses the time to be with Boss Lady and get necessary errands run.
Methods for getting Mr. Nice Guy to sleep include, laying him in crib and rubbing his back, holding him while bouncing, squat-style at the edge of the bed, but what seems to work most often for him, is a tried and true technique that has come to my rest-inducing rescue many times in the past, and a remedy for many kiddo conundrums. I call it the Lean Back. Applied to Mr. Nice Guy, I hold him, cradling him on my shoulder, and walk him in slow circles around the room, all the while with my torso at a backward angle. I think this works with babies because they get used to the gravity pulling them close to me, and then it’s not such a shock to the system to be placed in a crib/bed with a similar slope. After laps and laps around the room, hearing that his breathing has grown deep, and noting that his eyes have been tightly closed for last ten go-arounds, I attempt the shift from my shoulder to his crib, sometimes successful, sometimes not, as he may wake up and need tons more turns around the room before he’ll sleep. But when it does work, I attribute it to the Lean Back.
I love reading to Sassafras, and revel in being her chosen recliner. She picks out books, then I tap my lap, Lean Back, and she settles in comfortably for some good reads. If we’re reading close to nap or bedtime, rest assured that added Lean Back angle on my part only helps those sassy blue eyes blink slowly before closing completely. The Lean Back also comes in handy during waking hours. We listen to music and play with blocks a lot, and at times after playing together, Sassy prefers to sit in my lap while she individually plays, including me by looking back expectantly for praise or observation on what she’s doing. She maintains her independence, but never wants me to feel out of the loop. Such a thoughtful gal!
I can’t count the number of times, a sleepy drifter has come out of their room, where they are supposed to be sound asleep to join me on the couch while I read or watch tv, just wanting the comfort of someone. I’m happy to Lean Back and let them calmly sit with me, they almost always fall asleep within minutes and I’ve carried kiddos from toddler to school age back to their beds, Leaning Back the whole way.
I love that I have a job that keeps me on my feet, and though there are rarely times when I can sit back and relax, I love to Lean Back!