January 10, 2020

back to the grind, who is recharged?

Today (Tuesday) was D-day.  My high school and junior high kids went back to school.  Laddie flew back to New York on Sunday evening.  Ed is still home till Saturday.  And the youngsters I am charged with usually Monday thru Thursday got dropped off today.  I am grateful that this week they are all coming Tuesday thru Thursday. 

On Sunday I interviewed another family to possibly watch their baby starting the end of March.  They only need four days a week, but Friday might be one of them.  Needless to say I am underwhelmed to give up my Fridays off. 

Zoo decorated for Christmas. 
' Cause we went to the zoo!
Another family might be interested in Tu/Thurs for their 3 year old, but I suggested they might want to speak to my friend Becky, who also babysits, as she lives RIGHT across the street from their 6 year old's school and they could possible avoid doing before and after care.  Hate to pass up a job, but sometimes ya just gotta say 'Well, this might make more sense.

Neither of these families follow a teacher schedule, so the hours are longer than I prefer.  Mini would pitch in  during the summer to babysit for them.  There is still space over here in my little in-home daycare since that whack-a-doodle messed me up in September leaving me with an opening for the school year, so it would be nice to fill it.  Curly is already nervous:  'What if they end up being weird or the kids are bad?'  It is the chance I take as I just love living on the edge. 

Reg and Curly feeding the parakeets in the
children's zoo.  Note:  Reg is wearing shorts.
  In late December.  Mini was there too, looking
 puffy still from the wisdom teeth ordeal.  Coach was
 also there, and we were trying to decide
when he last visited the zoo.  Maybe 10 years?!
People are weird, as we all know.  And weird-lings have a way of seeking me out.  As an update on the family that did not so much as give me a card for Christmas . . . I have decided that they just don't have their act together AT ALL.  I kind of assumed that before, but this morning I asked their kid with the lisp who is 5 years old what he did over break.  Nothing.  It was record or near record breaking warm temperatures in late December in Chicago (like close to 60, I think) and he DID NOT leave his house - or at least did not leave his house to do anything memorable.

More zoo Christmas decorations.
Zoo?  No.  Park/play outside/stand on your driveway and breathe fresh air?  No.  Library?  No.  Amazing forest preserve nearby with a great indoor facility?  No.  Three of the four of these activities are free.  I know I sound judgmental, and maybe I am - but for the love of God, do something with your kid.  He did mention that he played video games.  Well, then.

When I read them books today, I asked if he had any of the favorites at his house.  I asked what books he likes to have his folks read to him.  He told me he just watches TV mostly, because he likes it better so they don't read to him.  Sad.  His mother is a teacher.  How do you not read to your 5 year old?  That thumping noise is me climbing down off my soapbox.  Of course I have recently outed myself as not being the best advocate of reading as my younger kids have aged, so who am I to throw stones?

Anyway, here we are back in the swing of things.  A few questions have cropped up in the last few days/hours leading up to D-day, some of the questions are unspoken like:  Why does Lad never have his phone charged, and why if his phone is never charged does he often rip other people's chargers from the very place they prefer to keep their charger and then send them hunting for a charger to charge the phone that they regularly and responsibly charge?

It is these kind of riddles that made for interesting family time over break.  I will introduce you to the last few days of break and the questions that surfaced during those hectic days, because I feel like inquiring minds might puzzle over the same questions - but probably not.  Brace yourself, friends.

By the way, I have some very entertaining stories that happened in August or later and even earlier in the case of Curly's haircut from May, but other time sensitive things keep popping up like ping pong deliveries and what happened over break.  I am excited to share this particular poor (as in poor because it keeps getting booted, not poor because it sucks) story that keeps getting bumped each week as I feel like, 'Well, it is an old story, still hilarious, but it can wait.' 

Did anyone have a rough start back to school or jobs or eating healthy after the holidays?  Do tell.  


Suzanne said...

Ha! Oh my gosh, this kid sounds JUST like my daughter. Seriously, anytime someone would ask her what she did over the break, she would say 'watch TV." Which she DID -- probably more than she should have! But we also made bath bombs and candy and went to the playground and did science experiments and did magic tricks and art projects and went to brunch with her friend and went swimming and read TONS of books. But no - according to her, all of that PALES in comparison to a few episode of Liv and Maddie! I am sure her teachers and the librarian and the checker at the grocery store ALL think I am a terrible parent! :-D

Kari said...

Let's just say that I only schooled one day this week. "Easing into it" isn't even a nice way of saying it.

I have a nosy but meaningful question: how are you finding your families to sit for? The reason I ask is that Annie is looking for a nanny job for summer and thought I could get tips. Email me whenever you get a chance. :)

Kara said...

Came to work after a nice extended break only to find out that the company next door had torn up their parking lot and were restricting traffic on the already narrow street while they fixed it. Now, the owners next door are grade-A jerks even in the best of times. We made them move the work trucks because they were blocking access to our lot and he flipped out. We needed to call the police. It was a lovely day. It was rewarding to see him get cited though for unauthorized traffic restrictions.

Nicole MacPherson said...

People ARE weird, that is a true statement. Although - I have to agree with Suzanne, sometimes kids say things and then after following up with the parents you find out that there is way more to the story! Too funny.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I did consider that, but I have met his parents. Pretty schleppie and it honestly would not surprise me at all if he never went anywhere over break or did anything special, like read or color. The dad is into video games and star wars. Men who can get lost in video games when they have other responsibilities (aka children) are missing a chip as far as I am concerned. I totally get your thought process, but I asked the kid a million questions not just open-ended 'what'd ya do?' Trust me, he did nothin'.

Ernie said...

Kari - easing into it sounds like the kind of plan I could wrap my brain around. I could NEVER home school. Hats off to you!

I will email you some tips on how to find sitting jobs. Referrals are my favorite because I can get an idea of the kind of people I am considering working with.

Ernie said...

Kara - I do not miss the workplace stress that goes hand in hand with working outside of the home. Commuting, working with rude or irritating people, crappy employers - yuck. Parking lot debacles do not sound enjoyable.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I hear you, but every time he shows up I ask him something and the answer always equates to 'I don't get out much.' The forests preserve with a fabulous brand new education kid facility, and the amazing Arboretum with the child park that is well-known and unparalleled in our neck of the woods - when I have taken him there he has told me he had never been there before and his mom confirmed it. Some people are overwhelmed taking their kids places I guess. The mom has the summers off though and it breaks my heart.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I DO hope that the little one had more of a holiday break than just TV. Hopefully, he's glossing over some other parts of his daily life.
My girls loved going to the zoo; actually, they still do. Yours looks lovely all jazzed up for Christmas.
Phone chargers; ughh....we had this issue when the girls lived at home. (so many changes when it's an empty nest!) We got to the point where we marked our own chargers with our names on them and then if you took someone's charger we'd all beat you with a wet noodle.
Just kidding.
Wishing you the best of luck with the new possible sitting situation and that you avoid any REALLY bad weirdos and just get the regular kind of weirdos. :)

Ernie said...

My people tend to be more physical than wet noodle warfare. Like Coach always says whether it is behavior issues or manners or not getting out enough . . . the kids I sit for are getting what they need here, from timeouts to pleases to regular naps to fun outings. I dragged Ed to the zoo on a mild day before he went back to school because I could always use another set of hands on an outing with the tots. He was like 'omg we used to come here like ALL THE TIME!' We did get out quite a bit between children's museums, the pool, the zoo, etc. I was too frugal to get a membership and fail to suck every benefit out of it. The additional sitting job would ve nice, but I am comfy in my current routine so always leary of changing things up.