Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Two Days

I watched K yesterday afternoon while Mommy K took C out and about. This morning I returned to watch C&K for the interval of time between Mommy K leaving for work and Daddy M returning from work. The kids were a joy as always.

Yesterday K was pretty tired so we played for 30 minutes, I put her down for her nap with minimal fight, two hours later she woke up, and 15 minutes later Mommy K and C returned home. When C got back, he wanted me to stay and play which I thought was very good for Mommy K to see since usually he puts up a fight when I come to sit and she is leaving. I imagine it is very hard as a parent to leave your child with anyone, let alone a child who is putting up a fight. So, I hope that seeing us together for a few minutes yesterday was reassuring to Mommy K that things do settle down and go well while she is gone.

This morning both kids were up when I arrived at seven and neither of them was upset when Mommy K left. We had breakfast, I got them dressed, we played in the sunshine, and Daddy M came home. A very mellow couple of hours.

As far as new things, C is done with pre-school for the year and K is basically walking on her own and only holding hands when she chooses to. K is strong enough in her walking and balance to stand, squat, and stand up from a squatting position which comes in handy when she wants to pick things up off the ground. K has also started attempting to say my name which is difficult because it has an 'x' at the end. They are all going on a family vacation next week and the following week I will be there on Wednesday for a full day.

When nannying, I not only consider the children, but the parents as well. Parenting is more and more difficult these days. Parents work opposite shifts to be with the children, but pass each other like ships in the night. In the case of Mommy K and Daddy M, I really admire the balance they seem to maintain. Yes, they do not see each other as often as they like because Daddy M works 24 hour shifts 3 days a week at the fire department and Mommy K works 3 days a week as a nurse, but they try to have one week day and one weekend day where they are all together as a family. Additionally, some nights when Daddy M is working a 24 hour shift, Mommy K brings the children to the fire station so they can be together as a family and some days when Mommy K is working Daddy M brings the kids to see her at lunch time. Not ideal, but they do everything they can to make it work and to do what is best for their family and their relationship. It is remarkable.

I also often wonder how they feel I am doing with the children. I know that the children are happy and safe and always engaged when I am there which causes me to feel that I am doing a good job. I also see that they are growing and learning as they should be which I like to think I have a small part in. Mommy K and Daddy M continue to employ me, but I never really get any feedback from them as to how they feel about my " job performance." I have been caring for the kids for nearly a year and when their parents return I always give a report on what the children ate, what K's diapers had in them, and all activities we were involved in during the day, but there is never really any feedback from the parents. I suppose I should continue to assume I am doing well and they are happy with my performance because I am quite sure I would hear about it if they were not. Nannying is different from other jobs.

Well, that is all I have for now...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It has been a tumultuous winter, but the summer has arrived and I am back to blogging.

I am not only a nanny, but a student, a wife, a crafter, a writer, an editor, etc. So, I have cut down on my nannying schedule in order to be able to better balance my life. I have gone from nannying for three families to exclusively nannying for the family I have been with longest. Mom K, Dad M, and kids C and K. This is a much better arrangement for me and the family enjoys being able to call me on a whim and know I am most likely available at a moments notice.

After spending much of the winter inside due to snow or rain, the children are thrilled to be able to spend time visiting parks, zoos, farms, playgrounds or just walking around the neighborhood watching seasons change and visiting with neighbors. As K has passed the year old mark (April 8th), I notice we need less and less gear. A couple of sippy cups, a snack, a couple of diapers, baby wipes, a blanket, and sunscreen do the trick these days, much to my delight.

C is getting more and more independent. Frequently he asks me to let him "read" a book alone or go to the playroom by himself. Their house is a fairly open layout so I can see and hear him pretty much anywhere and feel free to let him be. He is also more and more enamored with his sister K as she is more interactive (more on this later). He talks to her, helps her get her coat on, tells her about the animals at the farm and the zoo. Quite endearing. This year he has been going to pre-school once a week. In the fall it will increase to twice and week and I will be picking him up and dropping him off one day a week. He talks about school some, mostly about his friends there, and rushes to show me the projects he has done every time I arrive at their house to nanny. I love being a part of his growth and a witness to his inquisitiveness.

K is amazing! She is not walking on her own yet, but she moves around the room holding on to furniture and sometimes resorting to crawling from place to place. She no longer needs to hold on to two hands, one is enough. She is talking more and more. Some of her favorite words are: yes, eyes, duck, cow, quack, meow, dog, cat, this, that, mmmmmm (when something tastes delicious which is almost always), dada, mama. She repeats sounds and sometimes tries to repeat words I say. She loves to play with C's plastic animals and moves the horses around on the floor saying "clop, clop" because I told her that is the noise their hooves make. SO SMART! Her stuffed Dora doll is one of her favorite things because it is about the same size as her. She drags Dora around the house with her, a constant playmate. K also loves shoes, any shoes. She takes her shoes and socks on and off and tries on shoes that other members of her family have left around the house. She also likes sitting in front of the mirror in the bathroom brushing her hair and her teeth. When I started nannying, K, now 13 months old, was three months old and watching her turn into her own person is such a privilege.