July 29, 2018

the big ugly

I think you have enough background on my babysitting frustrations to grasp the magnitude of what happened in October.  I refer to it as 'the big ugly'.

There was that monumental day when Geraldine announced that they no longer wanted Theo to nap at my house.  She didn't like my response.  I think she thought up to that point that she was always going to get me to do what she wanted - above and beyond the call of babysitting.  Like:  pick her up from the airport, or put on a bathing suit and take her kid to a swim lesson while she was on maternity leave (before I had other kids to sit for).  Yeah, that happened.  Annoying!

Herein lied her confusion.  I was not her nanny.  I was sitting for her kids in my house.

In my house, nap time is an important part of the day.  If your kid isn't tired, then he won't fall asleep.  No problem.  Quiet time is a perfectly acceptable substitute for nap time.  Reboot.  Relax.  Enjoy quiet play.  Whatever.

The issue was that Theo really WAS tired.  Dog tired.  He wanted to nap.  He couldn't keep his eyes open.  I sat for Theo and Carter Monday thru Thursday.  When he was with his folks, he didn't nap.  She once told me that they couldn't get him to nap because he didn't want to.  I was flabbergasted.  Who was in charge here?  But that was back in the earlier days, when she WANTED him to nap -but she couldn't make it happen.  Huh?  At my house, I say 'nap time' and the little peeps march upstairs  while I sing a silly little song about sleep.  And they go to bed.  The end.

As we approached the days when Geraldine was leaning towards nap-elimination, Theo would show up at my house on a Monday (after spending 3 no-nap days with his folks) and his eyes would not focus.  He was dazed and confused, but mostly just flipping TIRED!!!!

On the Sunday night (leading up to the Monday morning of drop off) after Geraldine's request, I was awake half the night.  (This was the other big issue I was experiencing in the fall . . . VERY LITTLE SLEEP.  I can't remember how much I explained to all of you, but I was struggling with gluten cropping up in my food and wreaking havoc on my celiac disease.  Foods labeled 'gluten free' aren't always gluten free enough for someone with celiac.  In a word:  nightmare).

Anyway, Joey's mom was on maternity leave.  I looked at regularly to see if anyone needed an interim babysitter in case I could fill Joey's spot temporarily.  In the wee hours of that morning, I did a double take when I stumbled upon a job post that seemed AWFULLY familiar.  I clicked on it and sure enough the attached photo make me gasp.

As seen on CARE.COM. 
Only I could see their family picture
quite clearly despite my bleary-eyed
lack of sleep condition!
It was a picture of Geraldine, Simon, Theo, and Carter.  They were looking to hire a babysitter.  Preferred the sitter watch their boys in her own home.  Four days a week.  Looking for someone to take them on fun outings, etc.

I was shocked.  The first time in over 2 years that things hadn't gone the way Geraldine wanted and she was going to pull her kids from my care?  The school year had just begun - teachers (who I typiaclly sit for) were going to be all squared away with sitters.  I potty trained Theo.  I dealt with her nonsense.  Two years of her telling me how thrilled she was with my care.  Really?

All because she wanted to put her kid to bed super early at night.  Napping made him stay awake past 7.  She told me she typically put him to bed at 7, but if he napped (even abbreviated naps that I woke him up from) he wouldn't go right to sleep.  He was 4 years old at the time.  Why so early?  Well, we know a nightly bath was out of the question.

Coach wakes up crazy early to go to work on Mondays.  He woke up and found me pacing.

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