When Toby was a couple months old, Alex and I asked a sitter to come over so we could take an evening bike ride. But before we left, my heart in my throat, I gave her a laundry list of details about the baby. I was such a nervous new mom! Raquel D’Apice (of The Ugly Volvo fame) writes about this phenomenon in her new book Welcome to the Club, and it made me laugh out loud…
Hello! Thank you so much for watching little [Insert Baby’s Name Here] while we are out eating a hurried-yet-romantic dinner/seeing a movie for the first time in months/attempting to enjoy some higher form of “culture” while checking our phones every fourteen seconds to see if there are any messages from you. [Insert Baby’s Name Here] is almost always happy and relaxed and should give you almost no problems, but just in case we have given you detailed notes to ensure that things go smoothly!
[Insert Baby’s Name Here] usually goes to bed without a problem, as long as her bedtime routine is executed flawlessly and without variation.
6:00-7:34 Dinner. It’s very important to us that she gets a good serving of fruits and vegetables! In the fridge is a container of organic, homemade zucchini quinoa and ricotta fritters. Cut two of them up into small (pea-size or smaller) pieces, mix with brown rice, and allow her to sprinkle it on the floor before giving her Cheerios or a mozzarella stick. If she clamors for a cookie, she is not allowed to have one unless she has eaten one-eight of a fourth of the mozzarella stick. We are super strict about this!
7:34-7:48 Bathtime. Bath toys are in a mesh bag under the sink. She is super great about bathing, but FYI, doesn’t like having water touch her skin, so please be mindful.
7:48-8:00 She will want to sit in the rocking chair while listening to the Eagles (note: NOT “HOTEL CALIFORNIA”). She’ll be most comfortable if you sing along with most of the songs. If you don’t know the lyrics, the three-ring binder with typed-out Eagles lyrics is on the bottom left-hand corner of the bookshelf.
8:00-8:37 Read her The Very Hungry Caterpillar over and over, but skip the pages where the caterpillar is eating things other than fruits and vegetables. (Don’t want to set a bad precedent!)
8:37-8:39 Change her diaper and either brush her teeth or casually forget to do this.
8:40-?? Rock her in the rocking chair with the lights off. If at any point she seems anxious or confused or indifferent please text me so I can incessantly worry about it! Thx!
Were you also a total nutcase when you first left the house without your baby? (Also, check out Raquel’s open letter to the female hat-wearing dog in Go, Dog, Go, which is so, so good.)
(Excerpt from Welcome to the Club, published with permission.)