The Exploits of a Nanny

Any advice welcome April 18, 2007

Filed under: baby behavior,discipline,tools of the trade — S @ 6:23 pm

The girls seem to enjoy being read to, and I try to read to them every day, but it’s starting to become a frustrating experience for all of us.  Both girls, but Rose particularly, love to get their hands on one (or two) of the books, and of course what’s in the hand ends up in the mouth.  There are a couple books that are either plastic or cloth, and in the past having those has been enough to pacify them.  No longer.  So I’ve started giving each of them a cardboard book during story time, but attempt to not let them chew on them.  A paci in the mouth is a temporary fix, but they are often spit out in order to obtain the more enjoyable book corners.  I tell the girls no (with sign) and gently pull the book away from their mouths often re-insert the pacifier, but I’m not sure they’re old enough to process what’s happening.  Will repetition be enough to teach them not to chew on the books?  I’d like to eventually be able to take them to the library for story time, and the sooner the better, but I want to wait until I know that they can be trusted with at least a cardboard book.  It’s also hard to read a book and monitor both girls with their books at the same time.  What have other’s experiences been with teaching babies how to treat books?  I’m not just concerned with teaching them how to treat books either.  When they chew/suck on the cardboard the dye and other chemicals in it leach out and end up in the girl’s mouths.  Not good.


Sleep and Sharing February 19, 2007

Filed under: baby behavior,discipline — S @ 3:27 pm

Rose’s started fighting sleep as hard as she can. She stayed up for 3 hours and 40 minutes, and fought tooth and nail till the last moment. None of my usual tricks worked. Usually if I hold her while I’m making lunch and she’s already tired, I’ll take her upstairs with me, lay her down and she’ll fall asleep watching me eat. Today that almost worked, but when she could tell that she was really drifting she started getting fussy, so I laid down next to her and hummed to her as I stroked her little head. She calmed down for a little while, but then she started getting fussy again, and this time she started wailing. The thing is that when she’s this tired, nothing but sleep will make things better. So I was finally able to rock her to sleep. Usually when I try to rock her, she arches really hard and gets really upset. But her crying woke Liz up 😦 Luckily, I was able to rock her back to sleep after putting Rose down. Rocking Liz back to sleep is a delicate process. She sleeps in a swing, and most of the time it doesn’t work, even though she hasn’t slept enough. Often her mom’s voice will becoming from the next room, and it’ll distract her enough that she can keep herself awake. It’s hard to tell when she’s going to go back down and when it’s a lost cause. Sometimes it’ll take as little as 5 minutes, sometimes as much as 10.

Another thing I’ve been meaning to post about for a while is the fact that “the grass is greener” mentality starts early! Around 6 months old, Liz started wanting the toys Rose was playing with. Sometimes, especially if she’s tired, nothing else will make her happy. Usually I gently tell her “no, Liz, that’s the toy Rose is playing with” and block her chubby little hand. One time I was writing in their book (I keep a daily journal of when they eat, when I change them, and when they take naps) with Rose in my lap and Liz was sitting facing us, and I looked down just in time to see her take the toy Rose had been playing with, the expression on her face was priceless. I think she knew that what she was doing wasn’t ok with me, but she was very happy about getting the toy. Sharing, that’s going to be a concept that’s going to be hard for Liz. She gets what she wants most of the time.


It’s been a while October 26, 2006

Filed under: discipline,nanny issues,the bad,things kids say — S @ 9:29 pm

I’ve been MIA for a while because I’ve been so stressed out about things. And life has been keeping me moving. Last weekend I went down to Goshen, and the weekend before that Mike was up here. I’ve been working late days/overnights at least once a week, although yesterday I got off early because the boys were getting Flu shots.
Here’s the thing. I’m not sure that I’m a good fit with this family. Being a nanny you have to fit with your family’s needs and values for it to work, and I’m not sure that’s the case here. Honestly, I don’t think Jordan likes me very much. He does on some levels, but I think we kind of clash. He wants to believe that he’s in charge and calling the shots, and that doesn’t sit well with me. I can let it go most of the time, but there are times when I need the boys to do what I say without me repeating myself 10 times and having to resort to threats or counting. I try alot of tactics, like telling them why they need to be doing what I’m asking (we need to get to school on time, etc), but that doesn’t work alot of the time. The past few weeks ever since Janice talked to me and talked to the boys, I’ve let things slip too much. I’ve given the boys too much rope and they took it and ran. It’s gone majority downhill. They get in fights all the time. They talk back to me and order me around. They honestly function better and are happier when I have things under control and they’re not doing whatever the hell they want.
So I cracked down a bit more today. I talked to them about their fighting and asked them to think about what they can do to end them. I also was basically more of a hard ass in general. Not obsessively, but when Jordan was blowing bubbles in his milk and getting it every where I told him to stop and took his milk away when he didn’t. I told Anthony he had to eat all but one of his pineapple. I can’t keep catering to their whims. They need a nanny, not a pushover, and if they can’t handle it/ their mom doesn’t like it, than maybe it’s time that I start looking for another job. Which is exactly what I’m doing actually. I haven’t given up on this one yet, but as my flatmates can attest to, I come home miserable every night! It’s easy to say, “just ignore it” “don’t take them seriously” all that, but in the end, they are the people I see all day and when they treat me like shit it’s hurtful. I’m just tired of fighting them on everything. This morning, getting them to eat their breakfast in 45 minutes and not spill their milk everywhere was a test of wills. Getting Anthony to go upstairs and get his socks and then put his shoes and coat on took at least three times as long as it should have.
One thing I’ve realized is that Jordan’s taking about his frustration from school on Anthony. Last year Jordan was at the top of his class age group. They go to a Montessori school, so they are with three grade levels together. Now Jordan’s a 1st grader in a classroom with 1st-3rd. He’s used to being top dog, and now that he can’t be that at school he has to assert himself and his dominance at home. I asked him about that yesterday, and his response what “I like being teased!” He won’t take any of our conversations seriously the way Anthony will. He makes a joke out of them. Says stupid stuff. It’s hard not to be very frustrated.
So I’ve been thinking about where I want to work, and if I might work better in a different environment where there are co-workers to go to to consult, and other people “on my team”. I don’t feel like I’m a team with Janice, because she has made it clear that she doesn’t want to deal with issues, that she wants to come home and hear about what we did that day and then I leave and she has fun with her boys. So that’s what I’m trying.