The Exploits of a Nanny

Nanny Hell May 9, 2007

Filed under: nanny moments,out and about,the bad,the good — S @ 7:49 pm

How you know when you’re in nanny hell.

When you have cramps, need to pee so badly you think you might have a situation on your hands, are staving because it’s after 2 and you still haven’t had a chance to eat lunch, and have two cranky, cranky babies who are hungry and tired but are refusing to eat or sleep.

How you know the nanny gods hate you.

When you found out that same morning that one of your families is moving to Seattle and you job has suddenly become very uncertain.

You truly are in the deepest darkest inner circles of hades when…

You carry two still tired and cranky babies (because they didn’t sleep long enough) down three flights of stairs, bundle them into the stroller only to discover there’s not enough room to get between the cars to get the stroller out and have to carry two, even more cranky, babies back up three flights of stairs.

But you’re back in heaven again…

watching your babies’ faces as they discover the joys of swinging.

 

Personal space in the city or Why I’m having visions of rabid squirrels April 19, 2007

Filed under: nanny moments,out and about,the city,Uncategorized — S @ 6:33 pm

Yesterday during my daily walk with the girls, I was thinking about the differences between my personal space when I’m alone vs. when I’m with the girls. I tend to have a smaller personal space boundary than many because of my time in Africa as a child. Different cultures tend to have a fair consistent distance that people stand from one another, depending of course on context and the relationship of those involved. There are of course, as with most things cultural, alot of factors that go into how much space a person needs to feel comfortable, but what society you are from plays a key role. Americans have one of the largest “bubbles”. Very rarely have I had my boundaries pushed, but it’s been happening more and more as I take the girls out.

Yesterday it happened in the most dramatic way yet. I was just entering the downtown area when I crossed paths with a man probably in his 40s. Now being the small town girl that I am, I tend to make eye contact with the people I pass on the street and smile. I do this even more when I’m with the girls, because I tend to attract more attention. This gentleman didn’t smile back, and I held his gaze probably a little longer than I normally would in anticipation of some form of acknowledgment. I know, very un-citiesque of me. So when he still didn’t smile back I just kept on walking thinking to myself, “fine Mr. Grumpy-pants, don’t find any joy in life, if two little baby girls don’t make you smile, nothing will”.

I was a little shocked, however, when I realized that he had turned around a couple paces behind me and was following me. I turned to see if he wanted to ask me a questions, or why he had turned around. Suddenly he had is finger in my face shouting “Why are you looking at me? Don’t look at me like that!” My jaw dropped, I dropped my gaze, I started to respond, realized that this man definitely had a mental disease of some kind and quickly turned and walked away as fast as I could with my head ducked in case he tried to hit me. My adrenalin shot sky high. The man followed a couple steps before crossing the street still yelling “F***ing Bitch“, “I’ll F*** you” “crazy over sexed…“. I was terrified.

Luckily, a man and a woman were walking nearby and stopped to make sure I was ok. The gentleman walked me across the street to make sure that the guy didn’t come back. After the immediate danger seemed to be over, I almost started crying. The girls seemed fine. Liz had let out a small cry a half a minute or so after the man was gone, but she was soothed by my reassurances that “everything was fine” I had started saying this almost immediately after the man crossed the street, partly because I was concerned for the girls, but most to reassure myself. The girls were faced away from the whole scene which I am most grateful for, and they were too young to really understand what was happening enough to be scared.

I, however, was not as fine, and it took a couple blocks before my shoulders relaxed and my legs stopped feeling shaky. I considered calling the police, but had decided not to when a squad car turned the corner I was approaching. I waved him down and described what had happened. Unfortunately I could only tell him the location, that the man was Caucasian, a rough age estimate, and the direction the man was headed after he crossed the street. I couldn’t describe him any better than that because I was trying not to look at him as much as possible since that was obviously what had set him off.

For the rest of the walk I was a bit on edge, and very aware of everything around me. I steered well clear of where it had happened and the mental home that is located a couple blocks away and more than likely he is a resident of.  I found that it was still difficult for me not to meet people’s eyes and smile, if a bit more timidly than before.  Old habits are hard to break.  Nothing about this man’s behavior before he turned and followed me seemed out of place.  Danger is not always something you can anticipate. Going home, even the squirrels received a suspicious glance if they got too close.

 

Back to blogging April 13, 2007

I tend to bounce back and forth between my blogs, so to catch up on the other side of my life, and to hear some fantastic news, go here.

So there’s alot to catch up on, and so many things I’ve thought of to blog about and then didn’t, so I think I’ll list some stuff, forget some stuff, and slowly catch up as things come to me.

Rose clapped and waved for the first time last week. It was very exciting. There have been a couple of times where all three of us have had clappingfests. Sitting in a circle all clapping our hands. It never lasts long, but it’s so cool to see the excitement on their faces.

Another moment I love is when the girls look up from their little circle of toys and realize there’s another baby sitting across from them. If they time it right, and both become aware of each other at the same time, they start talking to each other. Their little babble conversations are one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Liz is becoming much more mobile, but not actually crawling yet. She mostly rolls where she wants to go and then sits up. She just started sitting up on her own this week.

Two things need to happen soon, or I’m going to need to say something.  I’ve been told both things are going to happen repeatedly in the last month, but I come back the next day or after the weekend, and they’re still undone. Liz’s crib needs to be lowered, which right now isn’t really a problem while I’m here because she’s still not using it during the day, but that’s hopefully going to change soon, and I think her parents use it sometimes in the evenings.  She has the strength to pull herself up and now that she can sit up on her own, she could potentially fall out.  The second is a more immediate concern of mine because I’ve started getting really nervous every time I leave the girls alone upstairs to make a bottle or use the restroom.  Liz’s mobile enough that she could find her way over to the stairs and fall down them.  A very, very scary thought indeed.  I’ve started putting her in the exersauser or putting a really fat pillow in front of the entrance when I leave, but really, a gate should be put up.I get to try out the double stroller for the first time today! Yay for sun!

 

The mistress of not sleeping February 28, 2007

Filed under: nanny moments,the good — S @ 4:28 pm

Music: Brigg Fair from Chanticleer’s Wondrous Love

It’s so rewarding when I can get Liz to sleep by lying down with her, playing the little piano toy that plays such lively tunes as “for he’s a jolly good fellow”, “London bridges”, and “O’ Suzanna”, and rubbing her back and stroking her head. Let me tell you, this is a feat. Most of the time when she gets really tired, and isn’t being held, she freaks out and won’t stop crying, so every once in a while when I get it “just right”, it’s a thrill. Ah the simple joys of nannihood.

 

Syllables and job leads February 22, 2007

Music: Arms of a woman by Amos Lee

Liz has started saying syllables like “ba” and “ma”. And she uses the “ma” when she’s unhappy. The other day she was in her exersauser and I was feeding Rose a bottle, and Liz started getting fussy, and I swear she said “ma, ma” and was looking toward the stairs. It made me so sad. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t connect the “word” as a label for her mother, but that it’s more of an innate usage of the sound. I wonder why that is? She uses “ba” when she’s happy or excited. “BABABABABA”

Liz was fussy again today while I was giving Rose her bottle. I had tried to feed Liz to sleep, but she wasn’t taking kindly to the idea and after an ounce she refused to eat any more even though half an hour later she was hungry enough to eat 3 more ounces. She knew that if she kept eating she would go to sleep. It’s amazing the will power these babies have. So I set Liz down on the blankets, supplied her with plenty of her favorite toys, and made Rose a bottle. So Liz starts getting fussy, just like I knew she would, but she’s not all out wailing like I thought she might. Instead she was desperately trying to distract herself. She’s let out a couple half hearted wails and then pump her legs a couple times and tug at a toy then repeat. Awww…

Daily walks have started up again. They make the day much more manageable. Rose has started arching her back when she’s falling asleep and since I have her in a front carrier, it’s kind of a funny sensation to have her head arching into my chest. She also does this low, guttural, sustained gurgle when she’s tired to try and keep herself awake. It’s quite funny.

I’m often asked about the girls when I go on walks. Most people assume they are twins. I’ve started saying “thankyou” when people say they are beautiful and stead of being awkward. I guess I haven’t contributed to their beauty in any way, but I do feel a bit possessive of them. But seriously people. They’re both blond and blue eyed. I’m a dark brunette with brown eyes.

I passed a woman with a dog and two youngish children one day and she turned and seeing Liz in the stroller said “Oh! two babies.” See most people think that I’m an idiot and carry my baby in a packer, and push an empty stroller… I love looking like a dimwit. So back to the woman. I turned slightly, smiled and said “yep :)” and started walking again. She followed this with the exclamation “you look good!” I turned back a bit confused and said thanks. I was turning back toward my walk when I realized that she thought they were mine and that I had lost all my pregnancy weight already. I turned back saying “oh! they’re not mine”

Today another woman with her own baby in a carrier and also with a couple kids in tow struck up a sidewalk conversation with me, and upon finding out that I was their nanny, asked “is it all week?” I guess she knows someone with a one month old who wants someone for a few days a week. Nothing like getting leads on the job. Not that I’m looking to move away from my current job, it’s pretty near ideal, but it’s interesting how once you have a job, others seem to line up at your door.

I have Friday off because I’m going to Seattle this weekend, so tomorrow’s my last day this week. Yippee!

 

If I was one handed February 5, 2007

Filed under: nanny moments — S @ 3:19 pm

I can make a full lunch complete with salad (lettuce, shredded carrots and cheese) a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, and orange juice while holding a baby.  I have officially adapted.

 

A long nap January 26, 2007

Filed under: baby behavior,nanny moments,the good — S @ 3:09 pm

I only have Liz again today, and she just slept for 2 hours, and now she’s really happy and playing well. She is so cute when she gets excited ( and smiles, and sleeps, and almost all the time). I wonder how Rose’s doing with her grandma. I must say I like this one baby thing. I miss Rose, but I can do such a better job if I can give one of the girls all me attention. I anticipate their needs better because I can pick up on all the little hints. Liz’s playing with the tag of one of her toys. Seriously, I think she might play with the tags of things just as much as she plays with the actual toy. She’s going to be hungry soon, but for now she’s just happy playing with her toys. I think this might be my favorite times of the day, when she’s just woken up and I let her play on her own for a little bit because she can entertain herself, and I can just watch her and give little encouragements now and then. It’s good that she’s learning to play on her own better. When I first started she really couldn’t entertain herself. Of course she couldn’t sit up on her own either, but Rose can’t and she’s always been able to self-sooth/play on her own. That’s kind of changing, lately she’s been demanding my attention whenever she’s awake. Ok, Liz’s hungry now. She aways acts a little tired when she’s hungry. That used to confuse me alot. She has the cutest way of talking. 🙂