Friday, November 19, 2010

Spoiling It

OK, so I've already approached this subject on Twitter and Facebook. It's been a month or so, and I think it's time to revisit it. And this will give you a chance to chime in if you missed it before.

Most of you know that I started watching my nephew, Patrick, 4 days a week at the beginning of September. It's still going pretty well. We've adjusted our schedule and gotten used to having a baby in the house...mostly. I'm still happy to pass him back to his mommy each evening and on the weekend, but it is fun to spend so much time with him too.

He is 6 months old now and doing so many new things. This brings me to my dilemma. When the baby does something "new", do I tell my sister-in-law about it? Or should I just let her see him do it first?

To be honest he's with us almost more waking hours than he is his parents. And he's bound to do things for the first time at our house. When he rolled over, I think he did it first at our house. I had talked to SIL about how close he was to doing it, because it was the same way at home. I'm not positive whether or not he did it first at our house, but I suspect he did. So I say something like "Oh, so he's rolling over now? It was nice to see that." And she says "That's great!"

I don't think she's disappointed that we see it first (if she is she hides it). And I don't always mean to tell her something she hadn't seen him do yet. Just this week he's been working on his first teeth. It started with him being grumpy two weekends ago. She'd mentioned how grumpy he'd been all weekend when he came on Monday. He was a little out of sorts for me too, and she and I discussed whether he could be teething or not. His check up was the next day and the doctor saw no ear infections or anything, so it was likely teething. I looked and thought I saw teeth starting to get close to popping up. Then Thursday I noticed him really chewing on the edge of his pacifier. I looked in his mouth and saw that his two bottom teeth were just starting to break through the gum. I mentioned it to SIL when she picked him up, and she was excited but she hadn't seen them yet. Oops. I didn't even think about it like that. I thought my telling her was more as an excited aunt. And it ends up, I was the one who saw the teeth first. She missed it.

If I was the working mother, I would feel bad that someone else could see some of those milestones first. But with my child in the care of a family member, it wouldn't bother me so bad. And I also think I'd rather know those things had happened than not know.

But from the "poll" I took before, I got different opinions. There were many people who thought I should just let her see things and think they were for the first time. So, in other words, I should mention those little milestone things and just wait for SIL to tell me about them after she sees them.

And about the same amount of people said if they were the mother, they would just like to know when it first happened even if they weren't there to see it. Plus they believed it softened the blow since a family member is the caregiver.

What do you think? I'm at a loss here. In some ways I think I should keep my mouth shut, but yet shouldn't I just be open about it? I almost just want to ask her, but then I worry she'll think I'm holding back the truth by not telling things. Help!


Scottish Twins said...

I had the same issue just yesterday. I am watching a friend's 4 month old baby two days a week. He rolled over twice for me yesterday and just last week my friend was talking about how he hadn't rolled over yet. I was afraid to bring it up to her in case it was his first time doing it. I assume that if he had rolled over since the last time I saw him she would have told me.

I decided not to tell her. I am hoping it was the right thing to do. I know that when I go to work and leave my kids with the sitter I always feel slightly bummed when they do something for her that I wish I could have been there for.

d e v a n said...

Hmm, not being a wohm it's hard for me to know the right answer. I imagine that if my child care provider had told me my child took their first step I would have sobbed all the way home and quit my job BUT that's why I'm a sahm. lol
My sister's 3 kids have been in day care since they were 6 weeks old and it never bothers her for the dc provider to tell her the "firsts."

Why don't you just ask her, or maybe her husband? Everybody is different so there's no way to really know unless you ask.

Pam said...

Every mum is different but I would be upset if a major milestone happened without me.
My babysitter is just great - she let's me know that things are about to happen (and probably already have happened) - but she never ever takes that milestone away from me. She'll point out new teeth and tell me new words but would never say "he spoke to me first!"

Swistle said...

Oh, this is so tricky! I used to work in daycare and we worried about this a lot. What we did was we sometimes said it and sometimes didn't, but mostly didn't---especially since the end of the workday is a tired, vulnerable time for the mamas and for the babies. But it's different in your case because you ARE the excited auntie, and that's not the same as a $6/hour 20-year-old daycare worker.

MightyMom said...

Talk. To. Her.

it differs for each mom. You don't have to give examples or say you'd seen this or that before her...just ask. "Hey, I was would you like us to handle all the "firsts" of this year? I REALLY don't want to hurt your feelings when he does something new at my house. Would you rather not know till he does it for you?"
see what she says!