If you want to be fluent in a new language, immersion is the most effective means. You literally plop yourself into a new country and just start communicating as the residents do. At our house, we don’t exactly speak a new language, but we adopted an entirely new way of life since the quads debuted. Of course there is lots of baby terminology tossed around at our house. We say things like Boppy, Wubbanub, Mama Roo, and feed regularly. To the average visitor, we may as well be speaking Greek. That is, until they participate in our immersion program.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had the privilege of immersing some of our youngest cousins into our new lifestyle. Between George and I, we have three tweenage cousins who have been absolutely dying to finally meet the babies. My cousins, Seth and Ryan, were at the hospital the day the babies arrived. They were crushed when we learned that all NICU visitors had to be at least 18 years old. When they all went back to school, we had to wait for everyone to be free of any type of cold or sniffle for at least a week. This took several months! When their time arrived, they all hit the ground running. As soon as they entered the door, each of them slathered with hand sanitizer, kicked off their shoes, and washed their hands thoroughly. Then, we pretty much handed them a baby. It was precious seeing these tweenagers taking to baby care so quickly. Within an afternoon, they were all well versed at bottle feeding, soothing, and entertaining babies. Brandi was often seen bouncing a fussy Sydney or Harper on her hip. She even tackled feeding two qualdings simultaneously. Seth and Ryan fed babies as if it were old hat and had Mason and Rylin grinning from ear to ear. They all drew the line at diapers, however! Brandi wouldn’t even touch a wet one. I’m relatively certain our cousins have some new favorite cousins because George and I aren’t half as cute as the babies. I’m hoping that we’ve molded some future babysitters at the same time.
We didn’t stop our immersion program with our younger cousins. This past weekend, George’s cousin, Randall and his wife, DeAnna came for a visit from Missouri. Since these two are still newlyweds, we figured we’d give them our Parenting 101 class. During the course of their stay, each of their mothers sent a text indicating they hoped the pair would catch baby fever. I’m not sure if taking care of quadruplets for a weekend cures or exacerbates a case of baby fever. On one hand, if George and I can take care of four, Randall and DeAnna could certainly handle one, or even two. On the other hand, taking care of babies is just a ton of work! As with the younger cousins, these two were well versed in all things baby and they DID change many a diaper. They even pushed our twin strollers to the neighborhood grocery store. I’m sure two couples with two twin strollers was quite a sight! I’m relatively certain we kept everyone guessing with that. It was wonderful having four adults to help take care of four babies all weekend. For once each baby was fed individually every feed. They’ve been gone for all of a day and we already miss them. We’re currently trying to convince them to come back in July just in time for our first birthday bash.
Here’s to learning immersion style!