Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesdays with C&K

C&K are the two children I nanny for two Wednesdays a month. C is a 4 year old boy. K is a 10 month old girl. I met their parents through and began babysitting for them in August 2007. Their parents coach the local high school volleyball team (though this year was their last) and needed a nanny full-days Monday through Friday for two weeks during volleyball camp and several afternoons a week thereafter for volleyball practice and games. They are a delightful family and the children are a joy, so I was sad when volleyball season ended in November and we left it that they would call me on an as-needed basis. As it turns out, their regular Wednesday morning nanny suddenly became unavailable on Wednesdays and I was more then willing to jump in. One Wednesday a month I am with the children from 6:45 a.m when K-Mommy leaves for work (she is a pediatric nurse) until sometime between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m when M-Daddy (he is a fireman) gets home. The other Wednesday is a "full-day" when I am with the children from 6:45 a.m when K-Mommy leaves for work until 3:30 p.m.when K-Mommy returns home. I am so glad that I have been afforded the opportunity to stay on with this family and watch the children grow.

It is remarkable how time passes and one can miss so many kid milestones without noticing. A week ago I was playing with C in the playroom and he brought out his plastic zoo animals. When I first began babysitting C and I used to talk about the name of the animal, what sound it made, what color it was and now, only six months later, we are talking about what letter the animal's name begins with and practicing our letter sounds and grouping all the animals that start with s together, etc. It is mind-boggling how quickly the minds of children expand and their capacity to learn if we are willing to spend the time teaching. It is also amazing how fun that teaching and learning can be when it is integrated into play.

K is a little firecracker. A very easy baby who loves to laugh, crawl backwards, make music by banging objects together to see what happens/what sound they make. She is also extremely inquisitive, especially about her brother C's toys so I am constantly trying to set boundaries, but also use this as a tool to teach C about sharing and how he can teach K what different toys are and what they do. They play together quite well most of the time and C is really getting to like K and interact with her more now that she is more interactive. K laughs and claps her hands at the mere sight of C coming at her and watches intently when C does anything active such as gymnastics, anything with a ball, and/or hockey. She is working on the crawling, but really prefers to be on two feet and frustrates easily if left on her belly too long or unable to reach an object that she desires. I try to be encouraging and understand that a bit of frustration is good, but I only let it go so far. She is after all only 10 months old.

So, that is C&K for the time being. I'll write about another family next time. For now, Nanny is off to night night.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Notable Nanny

I have always loved children for as long as I can remember.

When I was three years old my parents bought me a sturdy plastic kid-sized shopping cart that I insisted on bringing to the grocery store and pushing my baby doll in.

When I was eleven years old, my mother had to go back to work and I began caring for my four year old brother when I got home from school in the afternoons. My grandmother was just a stairwell away, but I was the one playing with him, reading to him, making him a snack. When he started school I would meet his bus at the bus stop and help with homework.

When I was 13, our neighbors had a baby and I sat for them many a Saturday night until they moved away when he was 7. We still keep in touch and they came to my wedding.

When I began high school, I started teaching CCD to second, third, and fourth graders. I also worked at the public library where I frequently helped out in the Children's Room.

When I went to college the first time, right out of high school, in 1999, I studied to be an elementary school teacher. I interned for a semester in a first grade classroom as well as babysitting for a 14 month old once or twice a week.

After two years of school I realized that I wasn't sure what I wanted to be, but I did not want to be a teacher. I took time off and worked as a legal secretary for five years.

In Fall 2006, still working full-time as a legal secretary, I went back to school and began designing my own major in Publishing. Ultimately, I would like to get my master's degree in Library Science with a concentration in School Librarianship, combining my two loves BOOKS and CHILDREN.

In Fall 2007, I decided to focus full-time on my studies. In order to supplement my husband's income, I have gone back to babysitting/nannying. I work for two families and may be taking on a third in the near future.

These are my Notes on Nannying.