Thursday, September 30, 2010

Timothy & Tessa

I've had two days now with my new afterschool kids, so it's time to introduce them properly. Timothy is in third grade and Tessa is in second, and I love them both. They're sweet, friendly, polite, funny, and they seem to like me from the start. There are only two things that I'm not a huge fan of: they have two very wild and hyper puppies, and the kids live on junk food. Those aside (the dogs stay outside and I'm working on reforming snack time), the past two days have been phenomenal.

Although I now have to commute half an hour instead of walking around the corner, the drive isn't terrible (tree-lined curvy roads! or the interstate). Their house is huge, more on the scale of gigantic. I use their third car to shuttle the kids around; I've learned very fast that I like driving a Subaru Forrester. Homework was a breeze, they listen well, and they make me laugh.

I'm sure we'll run into plenty of issues, but for now, I'm excited to be with them. Just need to work on the fruits-and-veggies issue.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Literary Toddlers

Throughout my past few months with the twins, Lilly has gone through multiple book obsessions. Both she and her brother love books, though he's more inclined to "read" on his own, and she always brings them to me (though she puts in the animal sound effects herself, where applicable). First, she introduced me to Is Your Mama a Llama, which is one of my favorite board books now. Then Goodnight Gorilla, then Tails, then an Usborne Zoo book, and, most recently, Goodnight Moon. And when I say obsession, I mean we read it start to finish two or three times, and in another twenty minutes she brings it back for more.

So please, whatever you do, please don't discuss llamas, gorillas, or great green rooms. And now if you'll excuse me, the adorable redhead would like to hear about the telephone and red balloon for the third time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heart-melt

When I left Jacob and Caroline's house today, I was talking to their mother just before walking out the door, and they were in the other room. Usually I say goodbye to them, but it completely slipped my mind. Just as I made it to my front door, my phone rang - a call from their mother's cell phone.

"Hello?"
[childish voice] Hello!"
"Hi there."
"Goodbye!"
"Are you being silly?"
"No, I wanted to say goodbye to you! Goodbye."
"Aw, okay. I'll see you tomorrow."

Caroline has a sentimental side. And yes, three posts in one day is absurd, but rest assured it most likely will not happen again. I just wanted to post that before it got lost in the flurry that will be tomorrow.

Anticipation

Good thing I like kids (no duh). My life is full of them. This afternoon I had Jacob and Caroline as usual (only two more days!), and then watched Seth and Isabella. I've watched them once before - the last time I posted about running from family to family - and they're great kids. Their mom was a coworker of Jacob and Caroline's mom, which is how I came into the picture. Apparently their mom gives rave reviews, and Seth and Isabella's told me tonight that she loves having me come watch her kids and she's so glad she met me. I can't believe all these families who want me and like me. And their kids are always so great.

Tomorrow, though, is going to be crazy, especially coming off today. Patrick and Lilly in the morning, per usual, and then straight out of town half an hour for my first day with my new afterschool kids (with their mom there), then straight to Jacob and Caroline's since every Wednesday evening I watch them while their parents are at church choir practice. So, from 4pm today to 9pm tomorrow, I'll have five sets of kids with only one repeat. And thanks to allergies, I've been exhausted. Hopefully I can actually sleep tonight and so I'll be ready to attack tomorrow. If not, oh well!

Part-time teacher

Off and on throughout life, I've considered being a teacher. For awhile I wanted to teach kindergarten, and then that underwent a radical shift and I would only consider teaching college or maybe private high school. I don't think I'm cut out for the teaching profession, but, in part thanks to being homeschooled, I love working with people and helping them learn. I've been an algebra tutor, a paper editor, a class schedule planner, and, most recently, a multiplication teacher.

Jacob and Caroline are in third and first grades, respectively, and Caroline adores math. While I have to urge Jacob to complete his math homework (well, any homework), she does hers as soon as she gets it and begs for more. He is learning multiplication; she is learning subtraction. And, because she wants to, multiplication.

When I write math sheets for Caroline, she always wants a bonus or extra, harder, problems. Yesterday I wrote "3x1" as her bonus, and she stared at me. I explained to her that it was the number 3, one time. I wrote a 3, and she grasped quickly that the answer was three. We moved on to 3x2, and I explained that the answer was 3, two times, so I wrote two threes and told her the answer was adding them up. We've worked off and on yesterday and today. The last problem I gave her today was 2x0 (we haven't talked about zero yet); she looked up at me and said, "Two zero times? That's zero!"

I was so proud. I love the sense of accomplishment, and she wants to learn. Her class worksheets may be working on "take away two," but at home we're doing "times two" along with it. I really am so, so proud!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obligation

Okay, so if I don't post tonight (or technically in the next forty minutes), it will be three days between gaps, and that's unheard of in the short life of Finding Snooze. So here I am, sleepy, congested, and with a purring kitty on my lap.

I splurged at our awesome thrift store today and bought a changing table (sorry V, though you will have seen it at home by the time you read this). It is a changing table no longer, however: behold (in your mind's eye), the greatest and fullest puzzle and game shelf this apartment has ever seen. It really does look pretty awesome. And it's white, a bit chipped, and on the light blue walls it pops nicely. (Of course, it does make me picture the room as a nursery even more. Even though I think changing tables are unnecessary.)

And now, I really have to sleep away this sinus/allergy/cold/ickiness. Though with a cat on my lap, I'm not entirely sure how to best go about that.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why we need kids

Earlier today, V and I wandered through a Halloween store, the kind that pop up about this time to furnish people with appropriate masks, dismembered limbs, and chalky face paint. We were browsing the kids' section (of course), and I saw a costume for "Rainbow Fairy" in bright colors.

Lina: That's what we should get our daughter to be one year!
V: Yes! 'What are you for Halloween?' 'I'm the gay agenda!'

I doubled over laughing. Yes, we want a daughter to be the gay agenda for Halloween. (Ironically, I mentioned the phrase "gay agenda" to a friend with no religious (or at least evangelical) background, and he had absolutely no clue what I was talking about.)

Oh, and I bought something at Babies'R'Us. I bought a hula hoop for V.

Less bitter

After doing some more research, I've learned that the place V works provides benefits for full-time employees that include domestic partner coverage. There's hope, at least. But, since it's Saturday, I'm refusing to think about it.

I'm watching the twins currently, or rather, I watched them go down for naps and now I'm just sitting in the kitchen. Originally I was out of here in ten minutes, but their mom texted me (as I was typing that) and said it'll be closer to 4. Which doesn't bother me, though this is a little bit of a me-being-pampered weekend. Which means...

We're going to Babies'R'Us!!!

Yep, I get that excited about it. It's one of my de-stress places, and I can just walk around and look at pretty mobiles and new bottle designs. I'm very good about not buying anything (though occasionally V has to intervene).

Our second bedroom would be a perfect nursery. I keep trying to not think that. I fail.

Friday, September 24, 2010

So much for my eventual family

This is going to be a little bitter. Consider yourself warned.

For the past few days, I've been looking into health insurance for V and me. It's a complicated enough task (and I thought car insurance was bad!), but it's only made worse by the fact that we aren't legally anything. Buying two individual plans is expensive, and I'm bitter about the line that I keep seeing for family plans:

"Spouse gender must be different from primary applicant gender."

I have a couple things to say to that, but I haven't let them escape my head yet. It's just infuriating. We've been together a year and a half. We live at the same residence and share expenses. But no, not even if we drove to Iowa and picked up some rings on the way home. That marriage wouldn't be recognized here, and no insurance company would care. Some cover through employers: in my brief stint at a daycare, I would have eventually been able to have both of us covered. (It would have killed my soul, but that's a different story.) But for two girls just trying to live, there's nothing.

If you happen to be against gay marriage, stop for a moment and think of all the little details you're denying couples just like you and your friends. It's not just that your child might see two men holding hands (which, if you disagree with it, provides a great opening to talk to your child about what you do believe). It's that when you pay your health insurance and do your taxes, you're experiencing a simplicity that probably doesn't even cross your mind. Yes, I just said your taxes were simple, or at least simpler.

And when we have a baby? I don't even want to think about it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Countdown

I only have six more days with Jacob and Caroline. Today, tomorrow, and next week minus Wednesday (or maybe just later on Wednesday). At the moment, I'm okay with this, because this week they've been driving me crazy, and I've been exhausted. I'd really, really like for the bus to not arrive in ten minutes. Or, if it's intent on arriving, for someone else to handle the two who will come off of it.

But still. I know them; I know their routines, and how to make Jacob work on his journal, and how to convince Caroline to dress for soccer (okay, that one might be a stretch). And now I'm going to have to learn two new kids, similar in so many ways (ages, sports, pets), but whose school habits and listening skills I'm oblivious to. What if I don't like them? What if they don't like me? Questions that went through my mind at the start of this job, too, but have long since faded. Come Wednesday, I'll be a bundle of nerves. I really, really hate feeling nervous, just about as much as I currently don't want the bus to come.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oh right. A blog.

This has not been my day, and, naturally, it's therefore not my day for writing either. The twins were alright this morning - had to give Patrick a nebulizer treatment, which he's great about but it still weird. I also happened upon their baby books in their dresser, which I flipped through. They were two copies of "My (Preemie) Baby Book" or something like that, and had pages for radiation bed pictures and surgeries, etc. Honestly, it was fascinating to look through, in a slightly scary way. I just want everything to be simple when it's my turn.

Then Caroline drove me up a wall, and I did not want to stay with them till 9. I griped to V via text, which made me feel better, and now all I want is a bubble bath and my puzzle. I like the time of day when all I have to figure out is which one should come first. No more of this where's-the-pacifier, what-to-do-for-dinner, who-pushed-whom business. Bubbles and puzzle pieces. And tea.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grr

Okay, so now that I've proclaimed how great it is to leave the kids behind, I went and had a day that reminded me of the frustrations that come with not being the parent. I don't get to make the decisions, and on a day like today, when Patrick and I both were feeling the allergy crush, it sucked.

I woke up feeling like dirty diaper material, and apparently he did too. We spent time snuggling in the rocker; I made the executive decision that he could have his pacifier even though it wasn't naptime yet. But my head still wasn't thrilled. If they were my kids, they would have gotten a bit extra TV time, or I would've seen if V was around, or I would've let them do their own thing a bit more. But since I'm getting paid to watch them, I felt like I couldn't just check out. And my brain had never checked in.

Lunch was a nightmare. He didn't want to eat; on one hand, I couldn't blame him, since I hadn't felt like it all day either, though the caretaker part of me kept trying to force food into him. He ate a tiny bit of fruits and veggies before ending up in hysterics even when I offered him chicken nuggets, his favorite. Down for nap it was. And I went home and did the same.

If only they were mine. In a few ways, the stress would have been easier. I know, everyone is thinking that the other stresses far outweigh. But my head hurts; let me whine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On call

One of those great things about my job is that I get to leave the kid(s) behind, like I'm a grandparent or aunt or something. For the twins, when they go down for their nap, I go out the door. After school, when dad gets home, I leave. Days always end.

Which makes it ironic that earlier, on Sunday, my only child-free day, I ended up texting the moms of both my families. Caroline and Jacob's mom let me know that only Caroline would be on the bus tomorrow, as she was taking Jacob to the doctor. While I was replying to that text, the twins' mom asked me if Patrick had a dirty diaper last night. I had to laugh. I love how personal my job is, and every now and then that gets proven to me while I'm cleaning the kitchen and my phone keeps going off.

But I'm a weird little part of the family. I pride myself on being flexible and available. And texting really is a great invention; I probably would not be quite as pleased if my phone kept ringing. Send me all the message you want; they're (sort of in a weird not quite totally true way) my kids too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There's hope, and I need a kid

I went to the thrift store I'm obsessed with today, and they had an entire new row of board books. Fifty cents each. Twenty-five percent off the total purchase. Needless to say, I bought 12. After putting 6 back.

Why? Because one day there will be a baby in the house, and I believe in libraries, and where else am I going to find Goodnight Moon for fifty cents? (And Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Brown Bear Brown Bear, and Is Your Mama a Llama, and The View From Saturday, and...)

I texted my mom, "I'm investing in my child's future. At the thrift store buying the view from saturday, very hungry caterpillar, goodnight moon, etc." Her response made my day, because, as I've mentioned before, I have no idea what will happen when V and I have children. "Buy Pat the Bunny new. Or let "Granny" do that when the child is born ;)"

She and I have never explicitly talked about me having kids with V, but she's always known I want them, and I've dropped a few casual references to a few years down the road when we want to start trying. And I think she'll be there for it - she's been there so far, even if somewhat reluctantly, and I think our baby (or babies) will have at least one grandmother. Though I may quibble with her over her being called Granny...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Too many kids

Yesterday was crazier than usual. I was with the twins from 10-2, and thankfully they had another wonderful day. This time, Patrick slept in till almost 11, and Lilly and I had breakfast together. I realized that I'm used to holding toddlers during everything, but I can't because there are two of them; when it was just Lilly and I, I carried her all around the kitchen with me preparing breakfast. I've missed that closeness!

From there, it was on to Jacob and Caroline, who had a fairly decent day. Jacob went on a misogynist streak, oddly, and tried to tell me that Barak Obama (who he admires) made a law saying women could never be president. That led to a conversation about the constitution. Which led to quickly dropping him off at soccer.

Their mom had connected me with a work partner of hers who wanted to go to a meeting last night but whose husband was working late. So, off I went to watch a 3 year old and a 1 year old. The kids were great and I enjoyed meeting the mom, but I was ready to be done with children after that! When Jacob and Caroline's mom gave me the lady's number, she made a joke about how I was turning into "the nanny of the neighborhood" since both of them as well as my twins all live within ten minutes. I am very okay with this!

To top off my day, I went home, relaxed, and V made me a drink. Of course that led to staying up too late and having a sleepy Friday, but since Jacob, Caroline, and I have Friday Fun every week, all I had to do (after the twins) was drive to ice cream!

Proud Mommy Moment

This morning at breakfast, Lilly looked up at me and said, "Work. Mommy." As I was about to say, "Yes, that's where Mommy is," she interrupted me to say, "Mommy at work!"

My little girl is starting to string words and make sentences!!! I love the age when they develop real language capabilities. It happens so fast, and it's so adorable.

That's all. Just had to brag.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Exercise and eating

This is not a health blog. This will never be a health blog. But, in words I never thought I'd say, give me a little room to talk about exercise and eating. I hate exercise. Always have - until last week, when I had a CD on for the twins, and we were all bouncing around, and I realized my heart rate was up. Cardio at last! Carrying both toddlers around keeps me in plenty of shape (though I need to walk more), but my heart always got the short end of the stick. Short end of the vein? Anyway.

It's a routine now; literally one, after this morning. I did kicks, and bounced from foot to foot, and waved my arms, all set to the song. Lilly copied me for a bit, which was adorable. I got her to stand on one foot (for about half a second). I got winded fairly quickly, so I guess I need to keep up the toddler dance party. I'm okay if that's how I get my exercise!

And eating, that pesky thing that I keep forgetting to do. There's always something else: unpacking the house, laundry, entertaining the twins, writing math worksheets for Jacob, walking the dog. But when I do eat (and it's me, so of course I do), I eat oddly healthy things. I've always liked my fruits and veggies, but I've never been a health nut. Let me just announce: I voluntarily bought and tried brussel sprouts the other night. (Verdict? Not my favorite, but not the horror of childhood.) I snack on celery and craisins and unsweetened applesauce, or frozen corn and baby spinach. This is so bizarre - and I love it. I feel so healthy! Go me!

Ahem. It's interesting to see the direction my life is taking, rather without my foreknowledge. Part of it comes from looking to the future, having my own kids; I want them to be used to eating healthy, organic, local. V and I ended up thinking the same things at the same time, so our kitchen has transformed itself. And, biggest surprise of all, I don't do fast food (beside Chick-Fil-A of course).

I'm not trying to promote myself, here. I'm just as stunned as you all. But, somehow this too has to do with kids, both the ones I watch and the ones I'll have. Darn things are determined to change my whole life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm not bored

I promise I'm not having blog boredom or getting tired of it yet. The new apartment doesn't have internet, though, and so it's been hard to come by. In the meantime, I've been far from bored in general life, thanks to a harsh allergy season. When I can actually think clearly through the fog in my head, I've been busy unpacking and trying to teach probability to a six year old. I never learn, do I? Caroline didn't quite get it yet.

Caroline and Jacob are moving in just over three weeks, so starting today, their mom will be home trying to get the house ready to sell. I love her, so it's not awkward having her around, and both the parents are great at backing me up when I'm trying to make the kids listen. I just keep wanting to forget that they're actually leaving. Jacob hates writing his weekly journal and always puts it off, but this week I made him do a little each day; when I told his dad this, his response was, "I hate that just when we find someone great with our kids, we're leaving."

I didn't know this blog would start out being so sad. It was supposed to be a comedy, since the initial idea came from Jacob asking me (rather randomly) whether girl dogs had vaginas too. But instead it seems to have a theme of loss. (Yes, I was an English major, I'm allowed to create themes.) Hopefully when I start working with my new family, they'll be great in their own way - I know they will - but it doesn't change the losing.

In other news, I've had two days off from the twins, so tomorrow starts a three day stretch of me on allergies vs toddler twins. I'll try to keep you posted.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twins aren't terrible?

I had the best morning with the twins that I've ever had. Lilly slept in, so I brought Patrick downstairs for breakfast. He was almost done before she woke up, but as usual, Barney kept them both entertained for the duration of the meal. Upstairs in the nursery afterward, I put on a CD (I love Sandra Boynton now) and we had a dance party. Nannying is going to be good cardio for me if this keeps up! Plus, there's no better way to get a heart rate up than to wiggle around along with a grinning two-year-old. I read them books (Tails is their new favorite, though anything with animals is in high demand), and then tickled them. Their squeals might be one of my favorite noises. I think I needed a reminder of how much I do love them, since they've been stressing me out lately. They ate lunch well, went down for a nap well, and I kinda miss them.

In other news, V came with me to take Caroline to soccer today, since Jacob had asked if we could stay there a little while. As Caroline ran off with her ball and water bottle, I looked at V and said, "That could be us someday." I'm not sports-minded at all, so it'll be interesting to see what our kid (or plural) is interested in. Perhaps we'll end up being the soccer moms. (She said she just wasn't looking forward to introducing ourselves to parents; I told her that by the time our kid is soccer age, we'll have it down. But really I was trying not to think about that part.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Role models

Despite the post time, I actually wrote this last night. But, the new place doesn’t have any internet access, so just pretend it’s around eleven o’clock at night.

I babysat Jacob and Caroline tonight so their parents could go out for a belated anniversary dinner. For most of the night, Jacob was at a party hosted by one of his friends, celebrating the end of Ramadan. One of the things I love about my kids’ parents is how open they are and how much they want their children to learn. The family is Episcopalian. Yet, they still encourage knowledge in any form. Their mom has told me how they’ve already had conversations about drugs, euthanasia, and Iraq. In many ways, they are the parents I want V and me to be.

Since Jacob was at the party, Caroline and I came back to my apartment when her parents left. I’d been promising her she could come meet my kitties. We stayed here for two hours, her playing with the cats and finding an old tiara of mine to wear. She loaded the cat toys into one of my old purses, and, with her tiara and bag, wondered aloud if she could pass for a middle-schooler. I fed her Spaghettios, first putting an old t-shirt over her white dress. She reminded me just how much I want a daughter (as if I’d forgotten).

At one point, after she’d been over for an hour or so, I told her that something was in “V’s and my room,” and she walked in and stared at the bed as if seeing it for the first time. “Do you sleep together?” she asked, and when I answered affirmatively, she clarified, “Like, in the same bed?” I told her that V was my roommate, my best friend, and my girlfriend, and she went, “Ooh. It’s weird that you can have a girlfriend when you’re a girl.” --Only I don’t think “weird” was the word she used, and I really wish I could remember it. I explained that it depends on whom you fall in love with, and she asked if I’d fallen in love with V. Telling her “yes” got another “Ooh.”

I should mention that I’d rather unexpectedly talked to her parents the other night about what they could and couldn’t know. Turns out, one of Jacob’s first best friends was the son of a biracial blended lesbian family. If that isn’t introducing your kids to everything in one go!

But that’s what’s so wonderful about them. New ideas aren’t threatening. When I took the kids back home, we all somehow were talking about weddings, and Caroline looked up at me and said, “You should go to a country where girls can marry girls.” Her mom explained that it was state-by-state, and the conversation took a natural shift toward wedding attire (prompted by the tiara, which she was still wearing).

Reasons to love my job #571: I learn what kind of parent I want to be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Here I have cable

Seeing Caroline sometimes reminds me so much of myself. She was cleaning her room earlier (sort of), and making up a song about how she was a maid doing it for "Miss Elena" (no clue where that came from). The song went on for probably half an hour. She'd already done most of the cleaning, so she grabbed a washcloth and wiped down absolutely everything in her room. At least it kept her busy! I was helping her mom straighten the house for the listing agent, who was coming at 6.

As it so happens, I'm still here, keeping the kids quiet while the people in charge talk to the listing agent (who just so happens to be a realtor V and I met at an open house we went to a few weeks ago for fun). But really I think I'm just vegging out in front of the TV with them instead of being home unpacking.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oops?

I was on the phone to V earlier, and she ended it with, "I love you. You don't have to say that back if-" but I'd already interrupted her (or really, not heard her) and told her "Love you."

Caroline was sitting at the table in the kitchen, where I was, and she perked up and asked, "Who were you talking to?" I told her V, whom she and Jacob have met and whom they know as my roommate, although their parents know the true story. I never addressed the issue of how they feel about their children knowing, and thought it was just easier to bypass at this point.

So, when I told Caroline who was on the phone, she gave me a quizzical glance and said "You love her?!" I was about to launch into something about how we're best friends, when she got distracted by her deck of cards and the moment passed.

It reminds me of how, when V and I first met Eve and her kids, Shelley, who's 4, always asked me where my sister was, or when my sister was coming over. When we were all in the car one day, Eve finally said, "Shelley, that's not her sister. That's her girlfriend." Eve's husband started to say something about how that would be too complicated, but Shelley just went "Oh, okay," and went back to her Magna Doodle.

V, I love you. I hope there are no children reading...

Babies and stuff

Now that moving is over, hopefully my life can get back to normal a bit. I still feel exhausted, but I think that’s just going to be a perpetual thing for awhile. The new place is wonderful, though--and right around the corner from my after school kids, which is where I am now.

I love being in control of my own blog, because, on days like today when the twins drove me up a wall and I’m not looking forward to Jacob and Caroline getting home from school, I can just talk about something else. There are at least two posts coming soon, one about diapers and one about Sittercity, the website where I met my families; at the moment, though, I don’t feel like being actually responsible, so I won’t write those.

An email from a friend the other day ended, “Glad things are going well for you. How’s V’s job? How far in the future are baby plans? Are you going to use a sperm donor or what?” I had to laugh; among my friends, my baby fixation is so well known that it’s not odd to end an email with a question like that. To answer the question, though, is a different matter. I love the idea of known, as long as the legal bases are covered. I want someone or someones to play the uncle role, just as I want many aunts (even if that’s not the actual term used). They say it takes a village to raise a baby, and I’m in the business of village creating at the moment. Neither V nor I can count on our families, necessarily, so I want our baby/babies to have as huge a family as possible.

I try not to fixate on the part of me that feels cruelly treated. I work for two wonderful families, happy marriages (by all appearances), healthy, cared for kids. One family knows about V and I, and has no issue. The other one doesn’t officially, but might as well. But I spend my days with kids who just...happened. No tracking ovulation, no searching through sperm banks, no lawyers. Well, that isn’t true: the twins were actually conceived in vitro, so they didn’t exactly just happen. But you get the point.

For awhile, my brain translated the fact that it wasn’t perfectly “natural” into meaning this relationship was never supposed to have kids. But I can’t buy it. I just can’t. I tried, but there are too many factors negating that argument. And when it comes down to it, I can’t accept that a child raised by a female and a male is going to be “better” automatically than one raised by one female, one male, two females, three males, or whatever combination is going to love and teach that child.

Which is exactly what we’re going to do, someday.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tired toes and toddler twins

And there's your daily dose of alliteration. Which, at the moment, is about all my brain can conjure up. At 9am yesterday, V and I signed a lease, and at 2:30am this morning, we called it quits on the moving. Most of our stuff is out of the old place, and we're both so happy with the new, but right now...I've been with the twins since 9:30, and I don't think I can play with them. Even if I had the mental energy, I don't think my body would let me sit on the floor. My wrists aren't overly happy with typing.

Being a nanny somehow carries more responsibility with me than a "regular" job. I've always been bad about calling in, taking the day off, being late - but not anymore. It's too personal. There's an effect on more than just me, because I end up delaying the parents, and if I call out, I leave them hanging. Unfortunately, it also puts me in one like I am now: sitting in a rocking chair, laptop on my lap, trying to entertain Patrick and Lilly without having to move or do too much thinking.

Happy Labor Day, everyone. Here's to laboring, and feeling it the next day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Life is crazy

This is a break from regularly scheduled child-related programming to announce my impending death. If that doesn't happen, I will be successfully moved in to a new apartment...tomorrow. My life happens quickly, when it happens.

And, the twins' dad emailed me to ask if I could come at 8 instead of 10 on Monday. Shoot me now?

BUT, my meeting with the new afterschool family went really well today, and, though they are far out in the middle of nowhere, I'm pretty sure the job is mine and I'm taking it. It's a huge house, the "full beds for the kids plus their own bathrooms" type. Plus two puppies. It'll keep my hands full, and the kids seem a little more spoiled than Jacob and Caroline - harder for me to work with, since that drives me crazy. But all in all it seems like a good spot, and I'm grateful to have a new position.

Especially with moving into a new place and all. Making rent = good.

And I'm off!

Yesterday I chatted with a mom about half an hour away, whose Sittercity ad I'd responded to. She also needs after school care, and the position sounds very similar to the one I'm in with Jacob and Caroline (complete with a dog and soccer practices). My drive would double, but I think it might be worth it, and I would only be taking a teeny pay cut.

All that said...I'm off to go meet the family!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thoughts from a sleepyhead

Well, today didn't go as planned. And, surprisingly, it had nothing to do with the kids. I woke up not feeling well, and after a rough morning, headed to see Jacob and Caroline. V and I are looking at an apartment right around the corner from them, which makes it even sadder that they're moving. (Though we went to dinner at a restaurant in that area, and it was great!) I left their house late, so I called the lady I was supposed to meet about after school care to let her know I was a little behind. Turns out, her day had been rough too, so we've rescheduled for sometime in the future. Since I now had the evening free, I went to Kroger and bought celery and Craisins for ants on a log (thank you Caroline for having that as snack this afternoon and introducing a craving).

Tomorrow and Monday I just have the twins. Life is going to seem easy!

And now, for a moment of comedy:

Me: Caroline, leave that alone, it's hot.
Caroline: (pouts) Well YOU'RE hot!
Me: Thank you.

Jacob: Do you have any kids?
Me: Of my own? Nope.
Jacob: Do you have a husband?
Me: Nope.
Jacob: Well, that makes sense. You did just graduate college.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adopted families

Five minutes before the dad of Jacob and Caroline, my after school kids, was going to arrive home, he texted me to ask if I could possibly drive him and the kids to the airport to pick up his wife's car. As I didn't have any definite plans for the evening, I told him I would. I love him and his wife, as well as the kids; that's part of why it's so hard for me to accept that they're moving. We spent the twenty minute ride to the airport talking about religion and family, and the kids had their faces turned in to the wind (a small compensation for not having any air conditioning in my car, I suppose).

Times like that, when I'm technically an employer doing a boss a favor, make me feel instead like I'm part of the family. It's one of the huge perks of individualized childcare, rather than an institution. I get to be involved in teaching early multiplication, taking the first steps toward potty training, and all the highlights of childhood. I am, in a way, a family member, albeit a paid one.

This morning, I woke up to an email from the twins' mom, which she had also sent to various family members. A month from today is their second birthday, and she was trying to find a date for the party. I loved the fact that I was included on that email; while a nanny is intricately involved in her kids' lives, she is also easy to overlook when it comes to celebrations. It's a weird middle place, involved with the family but still technically an employee. But my families are amazing, and they seem to love me as much as I love them. Or at least close.

And now I get to go to two birthdays at once!