This past week I had the privelege of doing a full week of nannying with 3 kids that live down the road while their parents were travelling (in Iceland!). I was a little skeptical as to how the week was going to go since I’d only babysat for two of their kids, separately, during play dates. I had no idea how the kids interacted with eachother and what challenges I might face.
The only time I had a chance to see their interactions in person was two days before their parents left on their trip. So it was one of those times where I said, “whelp, here goes!” and bit the bullet.
Keep in mind, the small community in the place where I live is very open-minded, honest and trusting. (Though it definitely helps to have a good reputation and good references!!) When a scenario like this comes about, a community member might describe it as being “so island”. “Pass off my 3 kids, dog, house and car to someone we don’t know well? It’ll be greeeeeeeat!” I love the optimism. <3
Much to my relief, the week went by beautifully. The kids were darling and got along with each other extremely well. The oldest girl, 10 yo, was a helpful, motherly figure to her two younger siblings. She looked after her brother, 7, and helped out with her sister, 2, whenever the time presented itself.
These kids could play together in the yard, aLONE for a half hour. When it was time to get ready for school or to go to the park, they got ready in a snap and didn’t need pushing. They were open-minded, theatrical, easy-going and excited to try new things.
Throughout the course of the week we worked together and planned a whole Welcome-Back party complete with home-made decorations, baked heart-shaped cookies with the words “Welcome Back” engraved on one, a staged performance of “Rolling Home” played on the ukelele, flute and guitar, and even some Icelandic phrases to test mom&dad’s abilities including “við elskum þig” which means “We love you!”.
The kids were extremely excited about doing these projects and staying productive. They couldn’t wait to tell their parents that they got up early every day to have-tea-and-crumpets-while-talking-in-British-accents-accompanied-by-candle-light-and-Johannes-Sebastian-Bach. Or that they were complimented by multiple people at the community sing-a-long for joining in with the performers and singing loudly and proudly… but also keeping quiet and still throughout the entire show (impressive for the 2 yo! Especially since another 2 yo across the room was whining and wriggling obnoxiously!)
If given the opportunity, I would definitely do this again. Don’t get me wrong, different families propose different degrees of challenge. Luckily, I meshed with these kids in particular beautifully. A true blessing~ 🙂 <3
3 wonderful kids, 4 enjoyable nights, 5 short days. Definitely an experience I would do again!
two year olds holding hands on the way home from a play-date 🙂