After CL pulled her kid, she never called Mini or Curly to babysit again. Ever. I assume she was worried that Mini or Curly would give Wil covid since the twins were going to Goddard. Mini had been babysitting for them on the weekends VERY regularly. If not every weekend, then every other. I didn't buy the 'my work schedule changed' and this makes it more clear that this wasn't the case. If her work schedule changed, why is she unable to ask the girls to babysit? Poor Mini lost her main babysitting gig during the school year AND the 3x a week in the summer.
Caring for the kids is a family affair.
13 second video of Coach playing with Will.
Listen to that giggle. At his house,
Another mom I sit for knew someone looking for childcare. I told her to feel free to share my contact info. It was early September and I wanted to fill my opening.
The inquiring mom, Nelly (as in nervous-Nelly), came to meet me with her husband and two kids. She didn't need care till January because she was on maternity leave after having a baby girl, Lila. Johnny had turned 2 in August. She only needed care 3 days a week. Perfect. Or was it?
While I chatted with the parents, Johnny ran around the room on his tip toes. He was stimming with his hands raised in the air - like looked like he was convulsing, climbing on the couch and attempting to climb up the back of the couch. He didn't use words. He was like a moose with a motor. Before they left, I asked the mom if she might want to drop Johnny off once a week right away so he could get acclimated before January.
Nelly: YEAH, THAT SOUNDS GREAT. HE JUST NEEDS SOCIALIZATION.
*In my mind I was thinking, we gotta get this kid with the program. Lawdy, he seemed like a lot. When Tank called I told him the story. He was like WELL, I GIVE YOU A FEW WEEKS, YOU'LL HAVE HIM FIGURED OUT.
Not gonna lie, I love that my kids have confidence in my super powers.
Another family with 1 newborn that I met on FB did a phone interview with me around the same time. They seemed very nice and very interested. They also didn't need care till January. They were interviewing other candidates.
Nelly texted that night shortly after we met. "We really want the kids with you. I think you'll be perfect. Please, please will you take us?" She explained that her kid had never been with a sitter except for grandparents, so she decided to take me up on the one day a week offer to ease him into the 3 days a week.
I let the other family know that I'd filled the spot. I'd been on the fence, but the fact that they knew one of my current moms mattered. In hindsight, I may have weighted that too heavily. It was hard to tell them no before I'd met with them in person, but timing is everything and I took the family that asked me first. As if we were going to dance.
IF THIS WAS A DANCE, IT WAS THE KIND THAT MAKES ME DIZZY.
The first day Johnny was dropped off happened to be a day Mini took a mental health day from school. By the time she was awake, I was about to lose my ever lasting mind. This kid. The stimming was intense. It was like an electric current was going through his body. He screamed nonstop and he was enormous, so not easy to hold. The other kids were afraid of him. He was lunging at them and I wasn't sure if he wanted to hug them or what. I tried to hug him in case he was looking for some comfort, but that didn't seem to help.
Mini: IT'S JUST HIS FIRST DAY, HE'LL BE FINE. *a few hours later, she'd changed her tune: YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS KID. HE IS A NIGHTMARE.TELL THEM NO.
At pickup time the mom, Annie, who referred Nelly to me, said: I'M SO SORRY. I DIDN'T KNOW. (huh?) NELLY ASKED ME TO GET TOGETHER YESTERDAY SO JOHNNY WOULD KNOW MY KIDS A LITTLE IN ADVANCE OF COMING HERE. HER HUSBAND AND MY BROTHER ARE BEST BUDS, BUT I DIDN'T KNOW HER THAT WELL. JOHNNY SEEMS TO HAVE SOME ISSUES AND HE'S NEVER NAPPED ANYWHERE BUT HOME. IF YOU WANT TO TELL THEM THAT YOU CAN'T WATCH THEIR KIDS, YOU WON'T HURT MY FEELINGS. DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO.
Oh, brother. I was worried that Johnny wasn't gonna settle in. So . . . I reached out to another teacher in my town who posted her need of an in-home daycare on FB. She was looking for 2 -3 days a week. She lives so close, has one 2.5 year old, Ricky. We met. She hired me.
In my mind, Ricky was my backup kid. If Johnny didn't settle in over the next few weeks, I'd let his mom know that it wasn't gonna work. Then I'd still have Ricky 2 days a week. I was STILL trying to recapture the lost income from not having Wil on my schedule 3 days a week for four months leading up to January when Johnny and Lila would start.
I was surprised when Ricky showed up for his first day. Um, Ricky is a very large 'little' guy. When he walked in my house on his first day, his mom was like YEAH, HE'S 50 POUNDS. WE JUST STARTED HIM ON A DIET. He's 2.5 years old. He was still in diapers. That was unpleasant. After a week, I told the mom he needed to be potty trained. No beating around the bush here. There was no way I was gonna continue to change him, he was bigger than most 8 year olds. I had to help him up and down off of the floor to change him. They don't make diapers in his size, so the weak diapers weren't great. They leaked. Fortunately he was easy going and got along well with the other 2 year old boys. He was excited to have buddies at my house and he wanted to go on the potty like his pals. The mom and I teamed up and by Christmas he was trained.
I believe in 'the little things' but trust me, getting him in underwear was more of a big thing.
Meanwhile, I felt like Johnny was adjusting a bit, but he was also only here once a week. The mom texted me A LOT.
I decided that I'd waited too long to let Wil's folks know he needed to be assessed. Their refusal to admit that he had issues made caring for him very challenging. Nelly seemed unaware. What she considered a lack of socialization the rest of the world calls on-the-spectrum. I'm not opposed to caring for kids with issues, but I'm NOT specialized. I have no training to work with autistic children and if the parents aren't able to give me suggestions, because they don't recognize what's going on, then where does that leave us?
I suggested to Nelly, after Johnny's 2nd or 3rd time at my house, that he might benefit from an assessment. His lack of speech, his flapping arms, his toe walking, his difficulty transitioning were possibly clues of a bigger issue. I again referenced the story of the boy in Becky's care who got therapy for a processing disorder and made enormous strides. I also pointed out that appointments might be easier to handle while on maternity leave.
She met with her pediatrician who said she saw no reason for an eval. Huh? This after 3 minutes with him?
*I later learned that Nelly liked this doc because she was 'old school'. Um, an out of date pediatrician isn't old school, she's just uninformed. Nelly told me that she had appointments set up. I later learned that she didn't have him assessed.
Do you think Johnny is still in my care? Do you think Coach was so good at family room soccer entertainment, he quit his physical therapy gig and took over for me? Or what do you think will happen next as the world turns at Ernie's daycare?