The Baby Whisperer

Me finishing the 2010 National Marathon. © Brightroom Photography
Me finishing the 2010 National Marathon. © Brightroom Photography

As a runner it took many races and many training miles until I learned the subtleties of running a marathon.  I’ve run 12 and I’m still learning.  Patience, experience and good coaching are useful—a little luck doesn’t hurt either.

Shortly after Cristian was born I learned parenting coaches exist—Baby Whisperers.  I’ve mentioned them several times since I first wrote about them in March.  Like Coach Maria, my running coach, they offer wisdom and guidance to inexperienced parents.

Not sure if you know one—sure you do—they’ve been helping new parents since the dawn of time.  She’s the aunt or friend sitting on the couch at a family gathering with a baby in her lap.  Multitasking, a Zen-like calm, and an encyclopedic knowledge of all things baby are just a few traits they possess.  Hungry babies, cranky babies and blowouts are dispatched as easily as breathing.

Titi Luisa, the Gold Standard for Baby Whisperers brushing Cristian's hair.
Titi Luisa, the Gold Standard for Baby Whisperers brushing Cristian’s hair.

Esther’s aunt, Titi Luisa is the Baby Whisperer prototype.  Meeting us at the hospital when Cristian was born she instantly put a pair of anxious new parents at ease, dispensing wisdom as she cradled my son, she even brushed his hair into a Baby Mohawk.  (See my last post regarding Cristian’s hair).

She’s babysat for us—instinctually offering a breather when needed.  A crawling toddler getting into everything doesn’t faze her at all.  She’s mastered the ability to cook dinner as Cristian crawls around the kitchen.     Titi Luisa remains the gold standard but since writing my original post I found Baby Whisperers in unexpected places.

Throughout my life, I’ve been a few steps behind the pack—running my first marathon at 44, getting married at 46, and becoming a father at 50.  A lot of my friends were married and had kids in their 20s and 30s.

A few months back my boss called me into work for last-minute training, leaving me scrambling for a babysitter.  My friend Michele stepped up offering to watch baby for the day.  With one son in college, a second planning his freshman year, and a husband whose inner child runs the ranch, she was a perfect choice.

After dropping off Cristian and his supplies, usually resembling a military drop, she assembled his playpen, when I couldn’t before sending me off to work.  She quickly figured out his quirks and habits, texting pictures throughout the day.

Michele and Cristian spending the day together.
Michele and Cristian spending the day together.

Moving back home was an eye-opener.  We moved in so we could help Mom, but she’s helped me with the baby.  Feeding him breakfast and lunch she’s taught me subtleties, like sniffing out a diaper change—literally.  Laughing as he knocks over her walker to play with the wheels, she’s taught me—enjoy this time with him because it passes quickly.  I guess that makes Mom Baby Whisperer Emeritus.

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