June 12, 2020

back to the grind & Tank-speak

It was bound to happen.  *heavy sigh*  I started up babysitting again last Friday (June 5th).  I keep reminding myself that I essentially already had a  break, and while it did not fall in summer months, it was similar to a summer break nonetheless, so getting back into the swing of things shouldn't be so tough.

One family I sit for needs care in the summer a few days a week.  The grandma lives on the neighboring culdesac and she typically watches Billy 3 days and I do two.  That poor woman was strapped with Billy since the pandemic struck.  It came as no great surprise when we were free to move about the cabin . . . world a bit, that she baled and headed to her home in Florida.  Billy's mom asked me if I could start sitting for Billy again, and if I could do 5 days a week for most of June.  I swallowed hard and tried not to sound miserable, when I said, "SURE!"

In the summer my 'two' days with Billy technically become Mini's days.  It started out last summer with her watching Billy at Billy's house, but since the dad works from home and he likes to interfere and say, get the baby out of bed if he hears him whimper three minutes into his nap, Mini almost went bananas so I requested that they just drop Billy here.  

Translation:  I do more than I would do if he weren't here, AND Curly is happy to do loads of his care so Mini has it made in the shade.  What can I say, it's a family thing.

Billy is 18 mos.  His brother, JJ, is 7.  JJ's summer camp is closed so he shows up here most days.  There has never been a more annoying child, not badly behaved mind you.  (Note:  Mini has sat for JJ for a few years for date nights, so her made in the shade status was dropped when JJ entered the picture).  

Curly panicked after the first day with JJ, saying "Was I like this?" and insisting that she might have to call all former sitters and apologize to them.  That's when I assured her, YOU WERE NOT LIKE THIS.  

JJ knows nothing except screen time.  I mean, he has a phone at 7.  Should I stop there?  Also - he owns and is familiar with every video game ever created.  I suppose he is kind of like an only child, although I know many only children who are well adjusted and pleasant and do not feel that they must fill the void that some people might call peace and quiet with a thousand words just to hear themselves ramble.

JJ:  Oh, I almost forgot.

Me:  What?

JJ:  I had a campfire last night.

Me:  Great story tell it again . . . I did not SAY that, I just thought it.  I know I sound horrid but the kid grates.  I promise.   He skinned his knee today and the drama . . . he told me at least 5 times that his mom was going to be SO upset.  I was like, good thing you're tough.  

I almost fell over when the mom arrived and she was SHOCKED to see his knee.  So there was a scab there and it fell off, there were no stitches, no amputations.  I let my passive aggressive parental advice roll off my tongue hoping she might pick up on my subtle hint:  "Ha, boys will be boys."  Of course because nothing gets past me, I was able to put two and two together and I get why JJ is the way he is.  

Hardly worth mentioning these owies, right?  Billy:  in baby swing, and the little girl who Mini sits for (who cries every time Mini goes home and who tells her:  "But you're my sister!") is swinging on the other side of Billy - so high that I cropped her out.  Her brother is sitting on a swing because they walked over to our house to use the swing set. 

JJ does not know how to pump himself on a swing.  He also cannot ride a two wheeler.  Ed keeps wondering, as parents do you not know what you are doing to your kid?  I decided JJ's issue is that he is so used to screen time that when actual events happen when he interacts with people he obsesses and over-focuses on it.  Sad, I guess.  But hello parents, there is info all over FB and the news about the importance of limiting screen time.  At a loss.  
Honestly I think being at my house is good for him.  Reg and Curly had their BFFs over today and they included him in a game of memory.  They did not let him win, and they didn't feign interest in shit they weren't interested in.  Real life, bringing it over here at no extra charge.  New tagline for my babysitting services?

Oh, Mini has another job Mon, Wed, Fri with a neighbor family (see kid in pic above) so on those days while grandma is gathering herself in Florida, I have both boys.  Since I do not rely on summer income, I have offered to pay Reggie and Curly so they can earn some college dough.  In exchange they can do most of the tough stuff like playing, entertaining, dismounting from high chair, wiping hands and face after eating, and for Curly even the occasional dirty diaper, which she did because I was making cookies . . . that might be her last time doing that this summer, or ever.  

Curly got a notebook out per my instructions and started to jot down days she helps me and doesn't ditch me to hang with her friends.  Um, her good friend takes her to her grandma's pool several times a week and I want to cry because a) I am jealous and b) I have to do the heavy lifting in the sitting arena solo.  

Reg, when I told him I would pay him to help out and suggested he do something fun with JJ.  "Ha.  You could not pay me enough.  No thanks."  I still make him do a bit with him, because last time I checked I am the boss. 

So this was NOT even what I was going to write about.  I will have to hold off and share a recent Curly-ism with you next week, and I think I will detail some of the more entertaining life-with-Tank moments (get excited)

. . . for instance, Ed got an accounting internship at a car dealership.  Many moons ago, I used to sit for a family with 8 kids who owns the dealership (and when I say sit, I was at their house daily and wanted to be no where else, these were my people - before my NFL people who I recently saw in Texas).  

Ed came home today (3rd day on the job) and I asked him what family members (ie:  kids I once potty trained) he crossed paths with.  

Tank was confused:  "Wait the Maplelots own an accounting place?"

Ed:  "No, it is part of the dealership.  Think of Dunder and Mifflin and how they have an accounting department."  

Tank nodded.  

**See what Ed did there?  He introduced Tank-speak, aka breaking things down and relating it to the show The Office.  Sometimes it is the only way.  Now if they had Office references on the upcoming ACT, Tank would ace it.**

Anyone back to the swing of things, like working?  Or does anyone have a kid who must be spoken to in show references only?  Or do you also know a poster child for over-abundance of screen time?  Do tell.  


Busy Bee Suz said...

JJ's parents are not doing him any favors; it's really sad if you think about it. He hasn't a childhood and he will be the most annoying one; starved for friendship.
"Real life, bringing it over here at no extra charge." Absolutely your new tagline!
I love that your kids get involved with the sitting with you though; birth control at an early age.

I kind of understand the Office speak myself. LOL!!
My girls and I quote Friends, The Office, and Seinfeld.

Ernie said...

Suz - OMG - how am I just getting back here on Sunday? Well, I know how - busy weekend. More on that later. Apparently everyone else had a busy weekend too. :)

JJ's dad said when he dropped off Friday (after I wrote this post) . . . "Hey JJ, take care of your legs today." He was not messing with him, just in all seriousness wanted him to be careful. You could have blown me over with a bottle of bubbles. What 7 yr old boy does not have scratches and scabbed up knees? Yikes.

How would we be able to communicate with one another if we couldn't refer to people as 'close talkers' or ask people if they ever went commando or if such and such happened when they were "on a break"? I think Tank secretly believes he is Dwight. God help us.