April 27, 2022

join the crowd for lunch? Or watch from a live feed and keep your distance (recommended)

This was not an intentional hide-the-face pic. Mini was bending, to avoid the wind? Between photos. Plus she'd said I was only allowed one, so maybe she thought I was going to actually follow that order. Silly girl. Mini and I were at admitted student day on Sunday and Monday this week. Thanks for your patience while I was off doing mom related fun stuff. Being on campus and hearing about what's to come for this kid was a pinch-me moment. 


For the remainder of this school year, I have the twins, L and El, C and A, and Ricky. Delightful, supportive parents who I enjoy very much. I also enjoy their kids. 

Ironically, Ricky's mom teaches preschool in Johnny's district. *Pausing here to recognize - WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? I babysat for this woman since Oct. and knew what district she taught in, but never she taught preschool. When I asked her, I was like STOP IT!

She looked at her list. Ricky's mom didn't request a screening when she registered him. This ticked Ricky's mom off, because it'll now take longer to get Johnny services since he won't be assessed until after he starts preschool in the fall. 

After I wrote my letter to Nelly, Ricky's mom let me know that Johnny's mom called the school and requested a screening. Unfortunately they had no screenings left, but at least Nelly seemed to be coming around. She was confident that my letter made an impact. For Johnny's sake, I sure hope so. 

Lela and 'El' (who will be a year in June and is a favorite and doesn't cry constantly. She's not spoiled). This was the background sound of my days while Lela was there especially if El was also having a moment.


The woman who cuts my hair was disgusted by my stories of Wil's folks yanking him and leaving me high and dry, and of Johnny's mom not coming back suddenly after I'd held a space for her and skipped out on other opportunities. At my next haircut, I'll share with her BB and his wack-a-doodle folks. Haircut Chica gets it, because she provides a service for people. She deals with cancellations and inconsideration too. 

I told her how difficult this daycare thing has been. Should I even bother trying to find anyone new? It felt dicey. So many nutter-butters out there, and I don't mean tasty cookie variety. 

Haircut Chica told me that she knew someone who was closing her daycare in the SAME.TOWN.WHERE.I.LIVE. Huh? She reached out and encouraged the woman who was shutting down (I later learned that she's closing because of a difficult parent) to give out my number to any teachers looking for a new in-home daycare. 

Two sisters reached out to me from that closing daycare. Thanks to Haricut Chica. A few days before I left for Europe, I met the 'sistas'. One needs care for two kids 3 days a week. The other needs care 2 days a week for 1 kid. They hoped the cousins could overlap at least one day. Babysitting math is not as easy as it seems, friends. 

They were at the former daycare for 6 years with their older kids. That spoke volumes to me. It means:  they get it. They hired me on the spot for next school year after I told them that I honestly just want to work with nice families who appreciate what I do. I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  THIS AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE. Having every slot filled for the fall meant I could relax in Europe, at least on the days when I was fed. More on that later.

When I described how Wil's family left for fear of Goddard germs, these sisters shook their heads. HOW SILLY. A bit later they asked me if I knew a particular family in the next culdesac. I was like YEP, THAT'S WIL'S GRANDMA. HE WAS GOING THERE ON THE DAYS HE ISN'T WITH ME. Both sisters chuckled. They know Wil's mother. They went to high school together. They again shook their heads. One of them was like NOT AT ALL SURPRISED. I almost hugged her, but didn't want to scare her away and end up with an open spot again. 

I assumed Ricky wouldn't come back in the fall based on his mom telling me that she'd probably just send him to the all-day preK that his sister attends. After I was hired by the dynamic-sister-duo, I let Ricky's mom know that I probably wouldn't have space for him. She also wanted him at my house 5 days a week, which I was trying to avoid.

While in Europe, I saw Ricky's mom post on FB that she was looking for an in home daycare for Ricky and his sis after preschool. He'd qualified for the district preschool, meaning it's free and she was thinking of just sending him there vs the all day deal after all.

One mom, who used to cut my hair before I switched to the curly specialist who cuts Curly's hair, lives in our district. She commented on Ricky's mom's post. Guess who she recommended? ME. I felt like a turd. Like I'd sent Ricky's people packing. I msg'd Ricky's mom and said, IF YOU FIND SOMETHING, NO PROBLEM, BUT IF YOU WANT RICKY AND SIS TO GET OFF THE BUS AT MY HOUSE IN THE AFTERNOONS WE CAN WORK SOMETHING OUT. She and I chatted when I got back from Europe and sure enough, he and his 4 year old sister will get off the bus at my house 5 afternoons in the fall. 

His sister has come to my house a few times this school year when her current preschool was closed. Let me paint a picture:  mother-hen type who likes to read board books to babies and follow directions and keep everyone playing happily. Score. I should probably pay them to let me keep her here. Can you say, 4 YEAR OLD ASSISTANT? Plus one of the new 'sista' families has a 4 year old who doesn't nap. I love that I've already found a playmate for this little girl, and solved my HOW DO I KEEP NAP TIME AS A SACRED GET-THINGS-DONE TIME FOR ME problem? 

How great that I'll be able to chill on the couch and eat bon bons, as you know that is my dream. The bummer:  I was hoping to have Fridays off, but Annie (C and A's mom) needs care on Fridays. I've told her that I will watch her kids, but I'll plan to take off quite a few Fridays in order to visit my 3 college kids in the fall,  or travel with Coach when he teaches, or just take a mental health day. Now I also have Ricky and my 4 yr old assistant Friday afternoons, but that mom also knows I plan to take off a pile of  Fridays faster than you can say I NEED SOME ME TIME. At least there will be no infants on Fridays. Searching for the sliver lining here. Did ya notice? 

My home will be crowded, assuming no one else quits. The youngest, El, will be a year end of June. This is what my fall looks like, at lunch time after Ricky and 4 year old assistant are back from preschool, I will have:  8 on Mondays, 7 on Tuesdays, 8 on Wednesdays, 5 on Thursdays, and 4 on my 'day-off' Fridays, subtract 2 preschool kids from each day to get my morning number, and subtract an additional one from Tues and Wed mornings as those are the days L and C will each attend a preschool. 

You were warned, daycare math is hard. 

You know what else is hard? Thinking about the math that will present itself after my retirement, because the funds will dry up. My focus right now:  college tuition, but Mini's scholarship has helped a lot with that pressure. If Reg and Curly get the Evans or a partial sport scholarship, my saved funds will be reallocated. There will always be something, like weddings . . . down the road. Ed has told me that I could be done working sooner, which would be nice. But our couches are 16 years old. Plus, travel. See what I'm talking about? 

Please let me know in the comments which day you'd like to visit me and my rascals in the fall for lunch, or if you'd prefer a live feed of the nonsense and good times. Is it wrong to pray that Finn is settled into a condo with Lad in the fall?


joymariecooks said...

Sounds like you will be super busy in the fall, but I'm glad you'll have your slots filled with good parents. 😊

Amy said...

I'd love to come for lunch - I like hanging out with littles! Congrats on getting a full roster for fall!!

Pat Birnie said...

My head hurts a little just trying to follow all this. It does sound like it’s worked out fairly well, in spite of the trials with nutso parents. The 4 year old mother hen is PERFECT!

Ally Bean said...

I like the idea of a 4 y.o. assistant for you. Somehow the idea of that charms me. I know how wonderful it is to have conversations with your hair stylist about RUDE PEOPLE. I worked in retail so she and I had oodles to talk about.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love the photo of Mini---also pinching myself thinking of her future!!

Can you say, 4 YEAR OLD ASSISTANT? LOL! I mean, she could probably start dinner while you're reading a book. 😳😜

I can not do daycare math. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking you're forgetting someone or something? I mean-I'd have ZERO marbles because of worry. I have to look at my calendar one-two times a day just to check if I need to be somewhere.

Beth Cotell said...

Regular math confuses me so I'm not even going to attempt daycare math! I'm so glad you have next year all figured out!

Ernie said...

Joymarie- I will definitely be busy but with most of the gang walking and talking it will ve a fun kinda busy . . . not a 'wish I had more hands' busy with multiple babies. All the parents seem chill and no one is upset about Finn being in the hood. Full steam ahead to next school year.

Ernie said...

Amy- Ha . . . and I'd love to have you. Id appreciate the company but extra sets of hands to open their wrappers and yogurts would be helpful. Having a full roster is a load off.

Ernie said...

Pat- Not gonna lie, I've used paper and pen and columns and hashtags to create the week at a glance. I meant to tell you that time you mentioned your daughter closing shop . . . jealous. Also I can imagine once you are ready to be done, the presence of messy little people might ve tedious. I feel like that sometimes in early May when the countdown begins. This summer without Wil . . . pure relaxation mode. Little mother hen is gonna add a glorious element to my afternoons. Ive asked her mom if I can pick them up early from preschool on Thursdays occasionally so we can do an outing with them on my 'light' days without having to wait fir the bus. She was like SURE THING.

Once I decided to chalk this school year up to a financial bummer and move on, things got easier.

Ernie said...

Ally - the 4 year old assistant is gonna be a hoot. Maybe she and I will take coffee breaks during nap time to plan out the next days adventure.

And yes, my hair lady gets it. She has a relative who babysits and a nephew who needed services, so she is familiar with my world of nuttiness.

Ernie said...

Suz- We were busy and Mini was nit wanting to stop for photos so I didn't look at the pics till we got home. I was lime OH ONE FOR THE BLOG. She is super excited after attending that event.

I chuckled at the 4 yo starting dinner. I like the way you think.

I do sometimes have to pause and remember who is coming the next day so I set my alarm correctly. Some people arrive at 7:20 and others after 7:30. Of course 99% of the time I am awake before my alarm.

The 1st year I did this the mom asked me for a few extra days. I said sure but on an extra day when they came I had FORGOTTEN. They walked into my house and I was SO CONFUSED. I faked like I was happy to see them and had no other plans for my treasured day off. So yes, marbles lost long ago.

Kara said...

It sounds like you'll have a good batch of kids next year. It will be fun!

I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm bleeding money right now. Two of our cars needed some expensive repairs. The water heater sprang a leak and needed to be replaced. Not to mention the fees and things that come with having a kid starting college in August. My savings are dwindling quicker than I'd hope! But that's the cost of being a grownup I guess.

Ernie said...

Beth - Believe me I have to stop and think sometimes when I am at the park or the library WAIT, HOW MANY KIDS DID I BRING WITH ME TODAY? There is much more math involved in my job than I would've thought. I'm glad next year is scheduled and ready to go . . . now hoping the school year is smooth sailing.

Ernie said...

Kara - I do think next year will be fun. The guys I have right now are good buddies and I think the new blood will mesh well.

I do not feel like I'm bleeding money mainly because of Mini's scholarship, BUT I am noticing that I'm a tad more relaxed in my spending habits and I need to reign that in. We do need two new cars currently, so this is a temporary feeling.

Nicole said...

Wow, you are going to be so busy!! Like you weren't before. Congrats again to Mini on her scholarship!

Ernie said...

Nicole - I will be quite busy, but it'll be good busy. Thanks, being there for a few days really made it feel real. So exciting.

Charlie said...

I love your daycare stories and hearing about the nutters that always seem to find their way to you. I’ve just binged the last few posts - fabulous! Like a new Netflix season :) I can’t fathom how you can have so many of your own kids and then up to 8 a day more! You are a rock star Ernie. Happy to hear the savings can get boosted for a while, but thought that you’d missed ‘future grandchildren’ from your list of expenses items still to come!

Ernie said...

*picks up the phone to text Delilah . . . CHARLIE'S BACK, CHARLIE'S BACK! HOORAY!* Charlie - thanks for binge reading as if it is a Netflix series. Hilarious. If I can just finish my memoir, despite the pouting of my sisters, then I could get busy on other books, such as but not limited to the Irish dancing tell-all, the babysitting chronicles, and the 'with friends like these' starring none other than Mary Ann. I think the reason I can do 8 more despite having a large brood of my own, is that my kids are older (and often at tougher ages). This age group still bows down to my authority. They're better behaved for me than they are for their own parents, which I think is just standard protocol that is possibly discussed in the hospital nursery: OK GANG, GIVE 'EM HELL. BE GOOD TO THE FRIENDS' PARENTS, ETC. THOUGH. I miss this age of discovering stuff and giggles. What can I say, I like an easy audience. I have not factored in the expense of grandchildren. *shudder* Perhaps that's because I feel so far removed from that stage. I will need new couches before I need grandbabies. Still, something to consider. ;)