Babysitting a baby baboon

Violet sleeping

Violet sleeping

They may be cute, they may make you go awwww, but they may also make you cry in pain and frustration…. all in the course of 12 hours of babysitting a little baboon.

Violet is a one year old orphan baboon. Each night during the week a different person offers to take her for the evening. I’d been waiting for my sick roommate to get better before I took my turn, but tonight was the night!

After a quick dinner you prepare a bottle of milk formula and at 6:30pm Violet is crawling at the enclosure door to have her bottle and cuddle. Moving quickly to my room that was baby baboonified (nothing out besides bedding out) I fed Violet her bottle and then she decided it was play time, jumping around the room pulling towels and blankets down wherever possible. I managed to get her in the shower for a quick clean (while holding her) and then back to the room where my roommates decided to disappear for the evening. After getting the nappy on Violet had decided it was still playtime. I had other plans. I turned off the light and held her empty bottle and she soon learnt it was her bedtime. She crawled up on me and went to sleep.

Violet Asleep

Violet Asleep

I waited for what felt like hours to be certain she was asleep before I ventured to get my kindle and camera. Then I needed to use the toilet. This was going to be interesting. You can’t leave the baby baboon alone, so under my top she went (to block out light and people) and I trotted off to the bathroom with a tail hanging down from my top. Thankfully she stayed asleep. She was incredibly cute while sleeping, but when it came time for me to sleep she decided to test of a variety of positions. From curled up in my arms, to sitting up straight (sleeping), to sprawled out across the bed, to falling off the bed and sitting for a bit before climbing back up. Bottle would go in my face as she sucked away (comfort thing) or I’d get the odd foot in my face. Less be said, I did not sleep.

Me with Violet

Me with Violet

Violet in her sleeping sitting up position

Violet in her sleeping sitting up position

6am the fun started. smelly nappy and bouncing Violet meant I struggled to change the nappy. I went and got the morning bottle sorted while she terrorised my roommates into waking up. With bottle in hand and Violet around my waist I was able to change her dirty nappy and clean her bum as my roommate held her nose and passed the wet wipes.

Violet soon decided she wasn’t interested in drinking the bottle, so every time I raised it, she lowered it. 45 minutes later the bottle was finally finished, I was covered in poo, yet I wasn’t the stinky one. She needed her nappy changed again. This time I didn’t have any milk to blackmail her with. Jumping around the room, she wasn’t having any of it. You’re meant to grab her under the armpit to hold her in place, yet whenever I tried this she had a go at biting me. Successfully doing so a couple of times. Eventually we go the nappy off and I got covered in more poo, but Violet decided she still wanted to jump around the room, with a dirty bum.

At my wits end, the morning organiser came to collect her and Violet jumped straight into her arms. I was able to clean her arse and then it was done. Shower time for me, cleaning clothes and sheets.

While cute, babysitting a baboon is not all its cracked up to be.

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