April 7, 2019

solving riddles and good riddance

When Lynn came to pick up her two kids on Mondays and Fridays, Eddie noted that she always acted like she was at a funeral, ‘How did it go?  She would speak in whispered, hushed tones to Jimmy to gage how he survived.

Meanwhile one of my kids would retrieve her overweight (but very sweet 20 month old) from her nap.  Her chubby baby will be 2 in July and still takes a bottle. Not on my watch. Lynn gave me a cup early on and said she was trying to get her off the bottle. Enough said. A few weeks later, I gave Lynn back the bottle. Chubs drank from a cup solely at my house.

Based on tidbits that Jim told me, I have formed a few of my own theories about why they opted out of my babysitting service with only two and a half months of school remaining.
* Jimmy told me that next school year his Mommy is retiring.  If he is right about this, then perhaps she approached her parents suggesting that if they could just finish out the babysitting for the school year, then she would be staying home next year and they would be relieved of duties all together. I imagine this was prefaced with, 'You know how much Jimmy hates going there.'

* Jimmy claims that he might be attending Catholic school for kindergarten in the fall.  They were still deciding. Maybe they decided that if they were going to spring for Catholic school, then they could cut my sitting services out of the equation to be more financially prepared for his tuition in the fall.  Still, this doesn't fall into 'we are having financial issues' - especially since they committed to me for the school year.

Why I do NOT believe that their finances are dire:
  1. They FLEW to Florida for spring break.
  2. Both kids got motorized cars for Christmas.
  3. Both parents work.  He is a lawyer.
  4. The remaining weeks of the school year were not going to make or break this family.  Two days a week of childcare does not equate to much - especially when they get the other 3 days a week for free. Trust me here, my fees are not out of control.
  5. I think it was an easy out - like, ‘Well, if we say we have money trouble, then Ernie can’t say anything.’  vs. If they said ‘Jimmy just isn’t happy here', I could try to fix it.
  6. They have never paid for childcare until now and I suspect that they didn’t like it. Perhaps Lynn struggled to leave her kids with someone who was not family. (I would have struggled with this too, but I would not classify that issue as a financial difficulty. I was the queen of scraping and saving because I stayed home with our gang).
On the plus side:  
  1. One afternoon I sketched these animals
    and then hid the toys that coordinated with
     the drawings and invited Jimmy to search for
     them in the basement. 
    Over and above?  I think!
    I no longer need to jump thru hoops and create scavenger hunts and building challenges for him.  (And feign interest when he wants to chat about little old man topics like traffic patterns in the area and his sister’s upcoming flu shot appointment)
  2. There is not much of the school year left.
  3. They were not part of my original childcare duties - they were added in late August.  It was nice to have the added, unexpected income for the majority of the school year.
  4. Soon the weather will be out-doorsie and I can visit parks more often which will give my remaining preschooler opportunities to play with other kids his age as he is currently trapped in baby-land and missing his buddy Jimmy.
On the bummer side:
  1. front and back, people!
    After Christmas when the triplets quit, I rearranged Harriet and Joey's days so that Joey and Jimmy landed on the same day once a week vs. never. Now Joey is left wondering where his buddy is and he is lonely. Thanks, Lynn!
  2. I tend to be sensitive and while I get lots of positive feedback from the other families, I will always wonder if Lynn left because Jimmy would rather be at his grandparents house and I wasn’t doing enough to engage him.  The way this school year has rolled, my babysitting self confidence is shot.

Trust me, I create a fun atmosphere that is very homelike for these little rascals while their folks are off working.  We do all the fun things I used to do with my gang. I know I am partial, but I do think that these people are lucky to have me, and that their little guys are benefiting from the social interactions with the friends they have at my house.

For Jimmy and Maddy's last day, I bought little sidewalk chalk boxes for them. Jimmy thanked me for being his babysitter, but I thought it was in very poor taste when Lynn did not pass me a hand written thank you note - or mailed one later. I have cared for her kids for most of the school year. Like, CARED for them! You don't write a thank you note for that?

Good riddance.


Kari said...

I give you a lot of credit for watching other peoples kids. I could not do it.
Side note/question- do you not watch kids over the summer? I'm new here, so just catching up. :)

Ernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernie said...

OK - first of all, I just noticed that if I open this post on my phone all the numbered paragraphs turn itty bitty. WTF? So I tried to fix it and then everything turned into subscript or whatever, so I just urge anyone trying to read it and NOT go blind - to open it on something other than a phone. (Or is it just me having this problem on my phone?) I guess it is a good thing that this is not likely going to be my post that goes viral and makes my blog ultra popular. Screwball blog and the tiny typing - so annoying! Sorry!

Most people I know thought I was crazy when I started sitting in my home, but being in charge of babies is my talent. Lucky me. And, NO - I do not babysit in the summer. (first I typed 'do not sit in the summer' and that sounded like I only stand - it is past my bedtime, can you tell?) Only school year. I use my kids as the excuse that I cannot sit, because I have to drive my crew around. Really though, I snag as much time at the local pool as possible. Mini is babysitting for one of my families this summer, because this is the only mom that is not a teacher. I agreed that anytime Mini had a conflict, I would watch the little guy. (She is mostly only sitting 2 days a week for them). Otherwise, love me some summer!

Suzanne said...

I'm sorry you lost a client - that sucks and I would feel the same way, a little hurt and questioning whether I'd done something to cause it (even though I am 100% sure you did nothing wrong!). Such a bummer. :-(

Beth (A Moms Life) said...

I am sure you are a wonderful sitter! And while they most likely don't have financial issues, it was probably just the easiest thing to tell you without having to go into all the real reasons. And the real reasons are probably a combination of all the ones you laid out. I hope you find just the right family to take their spot next year!

Ernie said...

You said it - bummer. And how can I not wonder what the real reason is? I don't buy the financially strapped excuse at all. That was just something that I could clearly not argue about. I babysit for teachers, so it is typically a 9 mo commitment. People are weird. (and they gravitate towards me).

Ernie said...

I could not agree more. I have quite a few openings now (a few families are not returning due to logistics/preschool schedules, etc.) It is nerve racking to search for replacement people, because they want my references but I do not really get to ask them 'hey, are you crazy?' :)