April 20, 2022

enter moose with a motor

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, 

his folks just plug him in to a screen. Think of what they gave up. 

CL lives around the corner. We will eventually cross paths. While it was nice that she paid me two weeks, she messed up my entire school year. 


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. 


*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. 



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. 


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? 


Jenny in WV said...

Potty Training Expertise! Just another reason why your daycare is awesome!

What happens next? You find the perfect family that needs care for 3 days a week for three years and is willing to pay a premium to have their children in your excellent care. Probably not, but I try to be an optimist. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are so full of hustle. I hope everything worked out with your clients.

I am so invested in finding out what happened with Johnny! I hope he is okay. I empathize with his mom. We had some teachers recommend we get our kid evaluated while at the same time we had the exact opposite feedback from doctors and trusted family. I really hope Johnny and his parents get the help they need. I commend you for not beating around the bush and just telling your clients what they need to do.

mbmom11 said...

Wow - I wish I had you as a babysitter - my kids were so slow to potty train. Our babysitter would rather change a diaper than have a little one have accidents. (She was amazing in many ways, and she took great care of my kids. My kids were just lazy.)
It's so hard for a parent to admit that their might be a issue which needs assessment. At home, things can be easier and routine, so some behaviors are minimized there. (I speak from experience!) However, given your expertise with kids, you'd think the parents would listen.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your Coach is obviously great with kids, hell, your whole family is great with kids.

I was reading the other day and I think the article said One in 54 children are on the spectrum; it's so very common now. Why would they put their heads in the sand and NOT look into it sooner than later? I'm sure that is frustrating as heck.

YOU ARE THE POTTY TRAINING QUEEN. *looks around for a crown to send you*

Me wondering if the 50lb toddler needs to have the car keys taken away as he's obviously hitting the drive-thru.

I think Johnny is NOT in your care and I could never guess what's gonna happen next. Never.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I love your optimism. My potty training skills go way back. I started potty training while in college, I mean while I was babysitting - not while I was in the dorm or anything. I have it down to an actual science. This school year has been one for the record books. That's for sure.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thanks. I just think it made sense to get things checked out. What was it going to hurt. They might say - hey all is good, turns out he was just used to being at home. I doubt that would've been the result. I think teachers tend to see things before a doctor simply because they spend more time with the child.

Oh my goodness, I spent years beating around the bush. It just leads to frustration. What works at home doesn't necessarily work in my home with a group of kids, even in a small group. If parents can't get things checked out and then demand I do things to their liking, well - that's just not gonna end well.

Johnny's mom wanted him to wake up from his nap at a certain time. I did that once. He screamed the entire hour plus after his nap until she arrived. I told her that wasn't gonna work for me, not worth it. If he was happier in his bed, then he could sleep until she came to get him. Or play quietly.

Ernie said...

mbmom - I would MUCH rather have a kid figure out the potty early on. I feel like they get more accustomed and comfortable with diapers the longer they are left alone. To each his own though. It has been hard to potty train when the parents were not ready to do any of the work on their end. That makes me scratch my head, because HELLO, THIS IS A GIFT - I AM DOING A LOT OF THE WORK HERE. I laughed at your kids being lazy.

Johnny didn't do well with meals at my house either. Nelly said he just grazed all day. The whole thing was a shock to his system. He knew no other kids. Knew no other homes. Only knew his grandparents and his parents. I do think that if someone has your child in her care and is suggesting something needs to be checked out, then you probably should get it checked out. Not my first rodeo.

Ernie said...

Suz - You got that right. Coach is good with them, and really all of my fam are super good with them. Goodness when school was on zoom, this place was up for grabs. My kids loved running to the family room between classes and getting little people all riled up, then dashing back for the next class. Tank started his RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU'RE AN ARMADILLO and they followed him around like the pied piper.

The cars and the drive thru bit, so funny. He's moved on to salads and lots of fruit, so at least they have an agenda. And he rolls with it.

I would wear that crown, with pride.

You are right. Johnny is not in my care. I'm so very grateful this school year is almost done. Full steam ahead to next year. And thankful for my current people who are all awesome. Not making as much, but my sanity is less questionable.

Beth Cotell said...

I hope he was able to get a proper assessment! It always makes me sad to hear about kids who need help and have parents that don't recognize there's a problem.

Ernie said...

Beth - I agree. When someone with no agenda and lots of experience with little people points out a concern, what do you have to lost to NOT listen? Sigh.

Nicole said...

I hope that little guy ends up getting the assessment and assistance he needs. Poor guy!

Ernie said...

Nicole - I do too. When we found out Lad had ADD, Coach refused to medicate him. Eventually I told Coach that Lad deserved to feel successful at school, instead of working really hard and focusing on doing well on something and the kind of taking a break. School doesn't work that way. Coach agreed, and Lad did better in school. It isn't fair to them to not get services. It might be more simple than she realizes.

Ally Bean said...

I have no idea what'll happen next at your daycare-- and that's why I keep reading. I learn much from you about situations I have no direct experience with. I'm sorry this mother didn't listen to you. Poor kid

Ernie said...

Ally - That's me, just living on the edge over here. This school year, of the 7 total, has been the most full of surprises. Thank you for continuing to read. I know it is a long story. I think if I'd told it in real time as the year went, it might have been even longer because I'd be more focused on all the details. I'm sorry that she didn't listen to me too. If your child needs glasses, do you skip it? No, I doubt it.