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 Continue reading “3 kids, 4 nights, 5 days”
With Kids, It’s the Little Things
I was going to name this post “Wears your paddle… Sure does” when I realized that the riddle that those words are attributed to only works in person. Not when read in text. The riddle is as follows:
Two guys are canoeing through a desert. One of them says:
“Where’s your paddle…”
The other responds “Sure does.”
What does it mean?
Except the real riddle says “wears” not “where” apostrophe “s”. Where the spelling is, of course, not obvious to the listener. So.
Good riddle. Bad for online. But plz go tell your friends & family. It’s a show stoppah,for shore. hehe 😉 anyway
The 8 yo I nanny loves riddles. He knows quite a lot of them. In the first week that I was nannying for these kids, I told H the Paddle riddle and he was befuddled. He and his sister (11 yo) both. In fact, they were fuzzed, flustered and heh’d for the entire day. Weekend, even. Since I shared the riddle at the end of a week. So what’d they do? Asked dad of course. Dang.
They came back knowing the riddle. They told me they understood. Oh well, they were bound to figure it out sooner or later. And I’m glad they did. Because now we have a super inside joke about the riddle that only the three of us can understand. And when other friends and family are around, they can’t piece anything together related to any riddle.
I’ll respond to something saying “Sure is!” And they’ll respond to me saying “Sure does!” in reference to the riddle.
As little as it may seem, this brightens my day; every time. Even after the constant fights, the hitting wars, the throwing objects across the room, the blood-curdling screams… it turns out that the little things really do provide that spark of joy that brings a smile and clears the mind; providing a clean slate for a moment.
Moments like these are a reminder of the good things in life. And they provide the hope that teaches us that life goes on, and things get better~
Sure does. <3
“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” Book Review
I was unsure that I would get much out of this book when my librarian first recommended it to me. I asked Continue reading ““How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” Book Review”
Nannying for Divorced Families
Tricky business. Kids are usually with mom. Not always. In my own family’s divorce my siblings live with my dad. Depending on where kids are, the parent they live with is usua Continue reading “Nannying for Divorced Families”
Does Having Kids Scare You? Christmas in July version
All this hot July weather gets me thinking of cold. So let’s talk about snow a minute.
Living in the north east means experiencing some serious winters. The winter tends to come on slowly and sheepishly before she releases her mighty pillage of frosted flakes onto every windshield, sidewalk and Weber grill in sight.
Winter begins with a freak storm in late October or early November and then nothing for a while. Things start to cool down at night in November and slowly get colder in the daytime in December but there isn’t much snow. By Christmas time, residents are usually kinda peeved at the entire season; nobody wants cold weather without snow (or Christmas).
By January it’s bitter cold. It snows lightly. Everyone thinks: although it’s cold, it’s a pretty mild winter!! But they’ve spoken too soon. Yes, every year the same pattern of events unfolds; and by February, the snow-Kracken is released. “Let it Snow” is the theme song of the month of New England February’s when constant storms unravel from above and stack snowy blankets all over the towns of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York at worst. This past winter Boston broke the all-time record for snowfall in the city since 1919. Check out some Boston Storm Sample Coverage here.
So what do people do on wintry days in New England (AKA half the year)? Plan for the warm season of course! That’s right. I personally spent months this past winter studying hard to obtain my Guide’s License to be a registered Sea Kayak instructor. Wind, weather, gear, and safety procedures were among the top things I studied while meditating on the idea of getting paid to paddle along the beautiful coast.
It was mid-April when I realized I wouldn’t be a guide this summer. I couldn’t. I would be… a nanny. Quite a different occupation, really. My goal went from relaxing with a bunch of yupps on the crystal waters, a dab of sunblock on my nose, to cleaning up crumbs and doing my best to ignore armpit-farts all day. If you’d told me that’s what I’d be doing a few years ago, I’d have laughed (classic but valid truth).
Truth is, the idea of having kids scared me ever since I’d conceived it (no pun intended). I used to believe that I would never be a good mother since I had a bad relationship with my mom and didn’t think she did her job well. I believed that there wasn’t another chance for me to become a good mother and that it was pointless to try. If I were to raise a kid, he or she would become a little monster and I would have to live with that fact physically for 18 years and mentally forever. It was more simple to throw out the idea completely.
I used to believe that I didn’t relate well to kids and that I never would. I taught swim lessons for five years and hated it for a long time because I simply did not know how to talk to kids.
And then something stirred inside of me — not a baby, thank God. But a feeling of interruption. A voice telling me that I wasn’t reaching far enough. That I was settling for a false truth; a boundary that was blocking all of my potential. A chance to extend greater than I once thought possible. A barrier forever unbounded, with remarkable, unending faith and promise that anything is possible. This poem describes what I was feeling:
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
attributed – sir francis drake -1577
…Why shoot for the ceiling when you can shoot for the treetops?
……Why shoot for the tree tops when you can shoot for the stars?
………Why shoot for the stars when you can shoot for the moon?
Does having kids scare you? Then let it scare you no longer. Do you come from a troubled background and believe you won’t be a good parent? You will be the best. Do you not know how to relate to kids?
It takes practice. Parenting is an art.
It takes a whole lotta time and a whole lotta heart.
But the miracle revealed at the end of the day
is more than any sea kayak guide can say.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Having kids is scary, but so worth it. I can’t wait to have kids of my own. And I’m extremely thankful that this nannying job came around to prepare me to become a good mom.
Are you/were you scared of having kids? Drop a comment in the section below!
Thanks for stopping by!
children are like dogs. part II
In my last post about how children are like dogs, I described the two kids I nanny for and how they strongly resemble a couple of my favorite neighborhood dogs, Huckleberry and Maybe. Yesterday while I was walking the dogs again, I made another connection between the furry four-legged mammals and us bilateral human beings.
When my younger brother was growing up, he hated to eat tomatoes. In fact, he stayed at the table and wouldn’t leave long past when dinner was over because he refused to eat his tomatoes. Now, these were not MY parenting tactics. Trust me, there’s a lot of things my mom did that I will never do with my kids. And one of them is getting in between my children and their relationship with food. Read more on this in Alyson Schafer’s parenting book Ain’t Misbehavin’ (book review here).
The fact is, kids say they “don’t like” foods all of the time. One of the kids I nanny for finds a new vegetable to say is his least favorite every day. I’m pretty sure we’ve only got a couple vegetables left for him to scold. A good way to look at your kid’s actions (or your dog’s!) are that they are a way of meeting a basic need. H makes up new vegetables that he doesn’t like as a way of creating conversation. He believes his inflexibility will hurt my ability to prepare him foods and meet his mother’s demands of making sure he eats his veggies. Perhaps he believes that not eating veggies will result in more attention from me or mom. Just a theory.
Another example is that my younger brother hates tomatoes. He used to sit at the table while our mother told him over and over that he can’t leave til he eats them. He had mom’s attention. He had our attention too. Everyone at the table was on the eat-your-tomatoes-brigade. He was on center stage and eating up the attention. He learned that not eating tomatoes = getting attention from mom and everyone else. Who cares if it wasn’t positive attention. This kid was seeking attention and he’s got it. Now he’s a theater major. Ha
Now back to Maybe the dog. Maybe refuses to budge. She hates walking. Should I really force her to come on long walks with Huck? Another dog down the street is notorious for short walks. His name is Fred. He’s also known by many to be the mayor of the island. Perhaps Maybe can go to Fred’s house while I walk Huck.
Same thing with kids and eating their vegetables. Moral of the story: we gotta sharpen our listening skills. What are people really communicating when they won’t eat a certain food or won’t come on a walk? Children and dogs alike are stating something important to them. Maybe’s message is more straightforward: I am lazy and do not want to walk. Kids messages have more depth. Usually, it’s not the tomatoes that they don’t like. What do your children crave and why?
Every sin is a false attempt at meeting a basic need. – Neil Anderson
5 reasons for having kids
“I’m never having kids. Yech!!!!”
That used to be me. The kid in the mud, yes, as well as the person saying they don’t want kids. I used to think about kids in disgust and with contempt. The yelling, screaming, messy, accident-prone beings running around the Earth getting into trouble left and right and not knowing which way is up were NOT appealing to me. I imagined myself always being tired, always getting into fights with kids and n Continue reading “5 reasons for having kids”
children are like dogs
After a last-minute text message last night Continue reading “children are like dogs”
One of the most difficult challenges a nanny or child care provider faces on a daily basis are power struggles. Struggles between two kids, each one wanting to run their own activity, struggles between nanny and child, child trying to tell nanny what to do or not cooperating with what nanny is saying, or even struggle between parent and child that is projected onto nanny since he/she is taking on a parental role.
The four best ways to have a great relationship with the kids you nanny or babysit, or your own kids for that matter, are as follows: Continue reading “childcare 101”