Saturday, June 2, 2012

Adventures in Babysitting

Our nanny, Gloria, the woman that has helped keep me sane for the past three years, has been on maternity leave since mid-May.  She has cooked, cleaned, and washed clothes, all the while making sure my kids don't run out in the street.  I really cringed at the thought of letting her take some time off, but how do you tell a woman that just gave birth to a TEN POUND SIX OUNCE baby boy no?  Yep, you read that right.  "Little" baby Joel was huge!
That hair has to weigh about 2 pounds!

Anyway, I've had to piece together alternate care for about two weeks now, and it has been an adventure.  I stumbled upon Kiddin' Around (Replacement Sitter #1), a pay-by-the-hour daycare, and had my kids convinced it was the best thing since Barbie.  It worked the first time I dropped them off for about 4 hours.  I thought everything was awesome until I went to drop them off the next time.  Both girls clung to me like I was being hauled off to prison, screaming and crying.

Replacement Sitter #2 (RS2) was going to be perfect.  I just knew one of the assistants from Shelby's pre-school would be the answer to our needs.  She wanted something part-time, was great at keeping kids in line, and lived close to us.  Keeping my story short, I'll just say after the first day I came home to Bryon saying, "No more RS2!" and my kids saying, "RS2 made us use an infant spoon to eat our hotdogs!"

On to replacement sitter #3 (RS3).  We met her at the park one day, and she seemed to be normal enough.  She keeps kids in her house, which is 4 doors down from one of my good friends.  Yippee!  I could have my friend spy and fill me in later.  When I dropped the kids off, everything seemed okay.  The girls were excited RS3 had a cat and was going to take them swimming.

I should have known it was too good to be true.  After work, I went to pick the girls up.  RS3 had a whole lesson plan for the day, based on rainbows.  She had a long list of projects for them to do.  Shelby wasn't through with the "rainbow bottle" they were working on, so I sat on the couch and watched them play.  It made me very sad.  I wanted to be the one doing projects all day based on a theme.  I wanted to be the one handing out tickets for good behavior that could be used to "purchase" a prize at the end of the day.  I wanted to be the one with more energy and patience than my girls.

Roy G. Biv, or "The King of Numbers", according to my child that watches too much Umi Zoomi

RS3's days seem to be numbered now.  All she did was quadruple my mommy guilt. I went home feeling completely inadequate.  I'm much better at pinning projects than actually doing them with my kids.  But, then, I realized I don't like glitter all over the floor.  I don't like finding spots to display the projects then have to secretly throw them away.  I don't like getting mad at Haley for not following directions and then getting paint all over the walls/floors/dogs/herself.
Seriously?  RS3 got Haley to do 7 hand prints?  

Luckily, our dear teenaged babysitter is now done with school and will start next week.  She can do all the projects she wants, as long as it doesn't involve glitter or paint.  She understands that pre-schoolers can use normal forks and spoons.  She can follow simple instructions such as  "pull clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer." (apparently a hard concept for RS2 to follow)

And, in four short weeks, Ms. Gloria will be back, keeping me sane and somewhat guilt-free!

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