When I found out I was pregnant, my initial feeling was something along the lines of shock, denial, and ‘holy crap what’. I’m not grown-up enough to be responsible for another human! I once wore underwear inside out when I ran out of clean undies because I didn’t do laundry in time! And now you expect me to be responsible for another person basically forever?! Gosh.
The next reaction was, ‘It’s okay. You own every book in the Baby-Sitters Club series. You’ve got this. If 13-year-olds can do it, surely you can too?’ And so I dug out my BSC books, and read through them to see exactly what it was I learnt about babies from Kristy and co.
From Kristy and the Baby Parade (regular series #45), I learnt that there are actual classes you can take when you are going to be looking after a baby and have no idea what you’re doing. The entire club takes classes at the community centre so they can become better baby-sitters. They learn how to put a nappy (diaper) on a baby, that a baby that’s a few months old is too young to get attached to any particular toy, that colic is when babies have digestion issues and cry a lot, that you can’t leave a six-month old alone on a changing table, and that talcum powder isn’t good for babies.
Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies (regular series #52) is where the eighth grade members of the BSC take a class where they have to ‘marry’ a classmate and look after an egg (their ‘baby’) for a month. This book taught me that babies need to see a doctor for checkups, you can’t leave a baby unattended, they can’t sit up or eat on their own, and all it takes is the blink of an eye to lose a child. And that babies are really hard work and stressful and can put a strain on (pretend) marriages.
From Claudia and Crazy Peaches (regular series #78), I learnt that babies can hear in the womb, so you can play classical music and speak French to them and they will be born with a sense of rhythm and the ability to be bilingual with little effort. Oh, and that they need a lot of stuff: cot (crib), changing table, rocker, night-light, nappies (diapers), clothes, towels, washcloths, blankets, stroller, playpen…
As it turns out, maybe I didn’t learn that much about babies from the BSC after all. Well, perhaps about the general idea of babies but not so much about what to do immediately after I’ll handed be one and told, ‘Yours now!’ Maybe it’s time to pick up some books that are actually about pregnancy and parenting…
I wonder if there’s a club of well-trained, experienced, enterprising young baby-sitters in my neighbourhood?