The Sambal Lady had her annual food and beer event in her backyard this evening in Flatbush, and so Chris insisted that we not miss out on it. Kaia is almost 10 months old now, meaning she’s in prime “stranger danger” mood, and having a random babysitter look after her didn’t really sit well with me. Our nanny was out of town in Florida, so we couldn’t ask her to look after her, either. So we ended up just bringing her to Laksapalooza. To make matters worse, it was raining, so they had to do an outdoor tent setup outside and seat us in two groups of 20 indoors, rotating in Auria’s basement. It actually worked out really well; it was super organized and everyone was in a good mood from the delicious food and wide variety of beers and ciders.
Kaia isn’t used to being around big crowds, so I think she got a little fussy because of that. We didn’t have a good place to put her when we were outside, so we left her in her car seat on a table away from the loud music and chatter and periodically went to check on her after she had fallen asleep. While socializing, I thought I heard some high pitched crying, so I went to check on her and found her screaming and crying, upset at being left alone in a foreign place. Auria was super accommodating and hospitable to us: she let us store breast milk in her fridge, heat up milk in her kitchen, and change Kaia’s diapers in her living room. Kaia was not a fan, though. She kept looking around as though in wide-eyed terror, wondering where the hell we took her. It took forever to calm her down and she was still crying when we got an Uber to take us home. I felt a little guilty, but we didn’t really have great alternatives given the situation.
The moral of the story is: babysitters, especially ones you and the baby don’t know, don’t always solve problems, especially when your baby is in “stranger danger” age range. And when you don’t have close family nearby, you don’t have many options for childcare that don’t feel like you are burdening other people. Because even when close friends say they are happy to babysit…. they are really just saying that because it sounds good, not because they really do want to go out of their way to help you unless it’s literally life or death. And sometimes, you just have to suck it up and bring your baby. It gives them more exposure, and frankly in life, you can’t always be comfortable and have every single tiny need met, as a baby or an adult