After I commented recently on Suz's blog about how grateful I am for my babysitting families, I thought I'd share why . . .
At last, all the pieces have fallen into place. This is my 6th year babysitting for families from my home . . . so, it's about damn time.
|This was me trying to get a photo for our|
ornament project. The 18 month old in the
middle looks like he is fed up with the twins.
Really we were playing peek-a-boo.
Up close twin on the RIGHT-
I double checked that -
is the Bolt hamster one.
I've had my fair share of nut jobs. Remember Narcey? Nightmare. Or the mom whose kid had chronic diarrhea? He was potty trained, but struggled to make it on time. I suggested she get him to a doc. Instead she listened to a podcast and asked me to sprinkle chia seeds on his food. Who could forget the Ungratefuls? 2019 Christmas: they didn't give me so much as a hand written note of thanks. The dopey dad refused to knock on my door, always just letting himself in. Ugh.
We parted ways in the spring, and part of me was worried. I was relieved to be rid of them, but they DID meet some of my criteria, minus the normal factor. Sometimes it's easier to dance with the devil you know. I was scared to take on someone else and get a newfangled nut job.
My criteria: Part time. Teacher hours. Normal parents. A sense of humor (generally I get along with anyone if they have a sense of humor). Laid back types work well with me. The people who are grateful are clearly the best. New families want my references, but I'd also like THEIR'S. "Can you have three people email me to assure me that you're normal?" - too much to ask? Stay tuned for a few examples of how I've learned a bit to gauge whether or not people are normal . . .
At the start of the pandemic, I was hired by a teacher at my kids' high school to watch her twin babies this school year, so that limited who I could take. *Or so I thought. Hello, FB accidental hire*
The other two families who are still on the docket from last year, are literally totally opposite from the Ungratefuls. They paid me for the rest of the semester last year even though we were locked down. The text messages they sent when I said "that's really not necessary" brought me to tears. So kind and gracious.
New this year: the baby twins, one twin continues to remind us of the hamster in Bolt. I knew the twins' mom because she taught Ed AP Caluc, and I thought we'd get along just fine. Understatement. We've totally clicked. She's abundantly grateful that I watch her girls. Even though she's a first time mom, she's very relaxed. One twin is really fussy, but I don't care. I do my best to make her feel well and the mom and I trouble shoot as needed.
So far, new FB family has been a good fit. The parents gave me a Christmas gift even though I'd actually only watched their kids twice before Christmas. The 2 year old cried the first few times he came. The 2nd day was the worst. He was seriously melting down. The mom started to tell him that she'd stay for a little bit. I picked him up and said: NO YOU WON'T. HE'LL BE JUST FINE. (to the 2 yr old) COME ON, I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOME OF THE TOYS IN MY BASEMENT. And that, as they say, is how it's done. I texted her a few minutes later "He's fine!"
* a short trip to the basement was my way of preserving my children's sleep. No one wants a grumpy 2 yr old AND a room full of grumpy teenagers on their hands.
PART OF THE REASON I DECIDED TO TAKE THEM: She's a teacher, she and her husband seemed nice. They only wanted part time. They hit all the marks. Even though it meant I'd need to switch to 5 days a week.
In total: 3 toddlers boys, 3 baby girls . . . the more the merrier. I look forward to the nonstop entertainment they'll supply me as they grow up together. Yes, I'm easily entertained.
|Wait, Ed - I liked eating breakfast|
with you. Come back!
This would clearly save them money, but I pointed out that I don't do drop-in care. I give two weeks of freebie days for sickness or travel, etc. After those are used, you pay regardless of whether or not you use my services. Why would I hold a spot for a kid who comes as needed?
Literally, after I explained my policy (which is pretty common), the dad looked at the mom. "Hey, we should go. Clean up kids. Don't we have dinner in the oven?" I tried not to die laughing, because I was like -
Dude, mutual. Get out. I've had my share of your weird type. Ba-bye.
Steer Clear: When Coach and I went for a walk in the summer, we introduced ourselves to a couple who had just moved in. They had two little kids. I told them: "We have a daughter who babysits. She helps me at my in home daycare, so she has experience."
This perked their ears up. "We have a nanny, but . . . " They'd had her for years, with a break in the middle while the dad was out of work. She was now back with them and bringing her own child. They said they trusted her and she took good care of their kids, BUT they weren't sure she was able to give enough attention to THEIR younger child who was close in age to the babysitter's child.
Me: I don't do full time, sorry.
We walked away, and Coach was like - HEY, THAT SOUNDED PROMISING.
Me: They're not my type. (am I getting wiser with age, or what). Coach, they're considering ditching a woman who they claim to like because she does a great job, who was flexible (or maybe just available) to come back after the dad was employed again. Now they aren't sure their daughter is getting the attention she needs. PLEASE. They need to give it time. In a few months, this will no longer be an issue. Their kid has a built in playmate, same gender even. There is no pleasing these two.
Me: I've sharpened my weirdo-sensing abilities. Remember the first time meeting Narcey? She told me that she figured I was Type A just like her. Huh? I'm NOT Type A. - Turned out neither was she - she was narcocsistic. Red flag.
My babysitting friend, Becky, laughs when I occasionally take out the ancient sandwich bag of chia seeds I keep in the back of a kitchen drawer. I shake it to remember, avoid the weirdness.
Coming Friday: short post. I'm highlighting some of my kids' talents. Wait, it sounds like my kids aren't talented if I'm referring to it as a short post. They are talented, damn it - and it is a short post. Come back. I'm not crazy.