“Trading Babies”

playpen

When my daughter was three months old, I had a chance to take a course towards my master’s degree. My husband was in school himself, so he wasn’t available to watch her. Fortunately, from my work in Head Start, I had made friends with a county worker, Donna, whose little baby was almost exactly the same age. So we made a trade to swap mornings watching each other’s babies.

I had the easier time of it, since I could drive up to Donna’s house with all the paraphernalia that infants require. She had to haul the play pen, bottles, diapers, toys and baby down the walkway to our houseboat. Amusingly, after the four hours that each of us was away, we were bursting with the milk that our hungry babies had been denied for that time. When I got back to her house. I would just plop down with my baby and a cup of coffee and catch up with Donna. When she returned to my house, she did the same.

One of the things that writing this series of posts about “cookie people” has done for me has been to remember the kind and helpful neighbors and friends that were in my life, often for just a short time. Each of them made a significant difference for me. Donna allowed me to take a class knowing my daughter was being well cared for. Watching her son allowed her to work very part-time as a social worker. I lost touch with her after I moved into the city. She was very important for a very specific time in my life, as are many of the people who help us carry on. I wonder if I have ever been a “cookie person” for someone. Have you?

8 thoughts on ““Trading Babies”

  1. Well, I’ve missed some of your posts and I don’t know what a “cookie” person is, but this post definitely brought back memories. Like you, I’ve lost touch with many of the people with whom I shared significant time while our children were little. Sometimes I realize I haven’t thought of one or another for years, then all of a sudden, I’m catching glimpses of them–on the bus, walking down the street–enough that I stop and stare, but of course, it’s always a look-a-like stranger. Thanks for this.

  2. I once read “cookie people” described as those who had a positive effect on children. While not eliminating abuse or neglect, they mitigated the long range damage by their care. Now I am also including people who helped me as an adult. Great to hear from you. Have been teaching my granddaughter to bake “from scratch.” Only way I know how anyway!

  3. Thank you for explaining cookie people to me. I love that! And that you’re teaching your granddaughter to bake from scratch. What memories she will have.

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