The 2013 year has been an eventful one to say the least. I moved to a new state, started a new job, and went back to school, but so what, who cares. These Trishlets and a Joey have made my year. I could leave it at that and I think you would get the point, but I will elaborate just a tad and share some of the experiences, observations, and skills I have gained over the course of the past half year.
Let’s start this off the right way and really the way every conversation should start by discussing my new found respect for the men and women who collect garbage. I’ve always appreciated this job as it is something that most people wouldn’t want to do themselves, but through my nanny’s eyes the level of respect I now have for them is at an all-time high. We know babies wear diapers (and yes there are people who reuse diapers in the reusable/cloth diaper sort of way so we are aware of the options) but when you go through as many diapers as these triplets do someone is responsible for disposing all of them. I have dealt with the immediate disposal quite well and have come accustomed to it, but my responsibility ends after my 10 foot walk followed by my toss of the wonderful smelling sack of 30+ or so diapers into the bin. This pungent act happens roughly every 24-36 hr. So yeah do the math. The smelliness plus the sheer mass of diaper volume is why I just know my sister’s house is the talk of the block when the garbage people roll around every week. They probably think we are housing tens of babies. Thanks garbage collectors for doing what you do.
Ok with that out of the way, it’s time to discuss the skills that I have garnered over these last six months. I’m talking serious skills too. I knew coming in that I would probably develop a keen skill of allowing my hearing to internally muffle the sound down of multiple screaming babies, but I have gained so much more, so much more. For instance, not to sound arrogant or anything, but I’m pretty sure I can add baby mixologist to my résumé. I serve these babies tasty cocktails all day long. Actually, the mixology refers to my ability to fill their bottles within the ounce-sometimes half an ounce of the target without looking. That qualifies me for the nanny Olympics Sochi ‘14, right? Next time you need eight ounces of liquid without a measuring tool, I’m your gal. I am positive and hopeful(?) that this is a skill that will come in handy in my future.
In addition to my stellar estimation talents, I have learned through practice how long to let a baby cry with regards to the napping portion of the day. With three of them, just like with most everything else, you kind of have to let them test things out and cry a little bit longer, because being alone with them you are constantly on a 3 on 1 fast break and they are gearing up the for the behind the back pass to the lob for the alley oop, if you know what I mean. In non-sports terms if they all get clicking and deciede to scream/cry at the same time just know that I am about to be slam dunked on. Anywho, to prevent embarrassment and shame I have learned there is a window where crying may ensue, but shortly after giggling happens and then that’s when I want to be a fly for the first time in my life just so I could peek in on them. Scratch that, I probably won’t get the best peripheral vision as a fly unless I’m one with eight eyes or something so I’d actually rather be invisible so I can watch all of them at the same time entertain each other behind the bars of their cribs laughing it up before they fall into a slumber. I’ve acquired the skill of knowing the exact amount of time necessary to let crying turn into laughter and that is invaluable. So in case you lost track I want to be an invisible nanny swatting down any baby who tries to slam dunk on me. Sorry this got so weird and creepy because nothing is creepier than a nanny who uses invisibility to enter babies’ rooms to study and be amused by how they put themselves to sleep.
I also can spot the European attire from the U.S. attire without looking at a tag. By European attire I am referring to high end retailer H & M and for U.S. attire that is pretty much any place in the U.S. that sells cheap yet stylish baby clothes. Europeans (H&M designers) by my accounts put their snaps opposite us Americans. Strange I suppose, it almost makes you wonder if they wear their diapers backwards too.
As Napoleon Dynamite would say, “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” Switch around a few words in that sentence and these aforementioned skills are sure going to take me places.
While developing this unique set of skills, I have also observed and learned a great deal about child development. I previously discussed some of the popular acts the trishlets partake in so I’ll only mention a few. The thing that I find so great about what happens when babies develop is that I’m confident a large portion of babies worldwide are probably in some fashion doing these exact same things too. It’s like internationally across all oceans babies are eating or may be just taste testing everything they can get their hands on. They’re all in it together and they will stop at nothing to accomplish this feat. Dust balls, paper, string, paper, bugs, shoes, power cords, paper, remotes, paper, you name it trust me they’re not passing on it. Frankly, I admire how open and willing to try new things their palettes are.
Secondly, anything on a table within baby reach is fair game. Fair game to obviously be eaten, thrown, spilled, broken, swiped, and slapped on. Coasters, letters, pens, picture frames, coupons, bib pile, newspapers, and glasses(both types) don’t try and tell me I didn’t warn you.
Also, the whole eating actual non baby food is a topic onto itself, but for this purpose let’s just talk about the pincer grasp for a second. I get the scientific and developmental reasons for it, but when you shoot 1 for 7 puffs from the field something’s gotta change. Nonetheless, it’s so cute when babies learn how to eat because all their food is just sitting in their laps and they don’t even know it. Until the dog comes by, and then they know it, and then it is unfortunately no longer theirs.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking (thanks if you are still reading) about the babies, yet a lot of my enjoyment comes from my interactions with Joey. He’s 3 so he does 3 year old things day in and day out. I don’t take the babies anywhere really by myself, but I have had some adventures with the Joey boy. Adventures almost always involve me trying to get something at CVS without him wanting me to buy the whole store. I now get why people don’t take kids shopping, and I truly mean shopping anywhere. You could be in an optometrist’s office looking for glasses and a non-glasses wearing toddler would try to convince you he needs these pair of glasses because they are orange his favorite color. So yes, I’ve taken him to CVS a few times and as a result you have to settle on the meerkats on the front of the anniversary card over the You’re 2! Dinosaur birthday card which isn’t quite suitable for a wedding anniversary. You give him that choice or else you pretend to bring something to the register, walk through a few aisles hoping his mind forgets about it, and then sneakily drop it somewhere else. Parenting and nannying alike involves a whole lot of fooling kids.
Overall, I think I have settled into my new position for the most part rather seamlessly. I have conquered the 7 AM call times on Saturdays for the vital swim lessons that 10 month olds need. I had some thoughts on what would happen in this scenario that I’ve written about before and as it turned out I think the parents of our swimmates just thought I was another mom who tries to make her baby swim on top of, chicken fight, and kiss two of the other babies in the class. The redeeming part of “voluntarily” waking up this early on Saturdays was when all 12 or so of the babies in the class would “float in” together in a circle and say hello and “float out” saying goodbye. That stuff is crazy cute.
I’ve also had hallucinations of hearing babies crying, so yeah I think this nanny lifestyle is impacting me in the healthiest of ways.
And finally to keep me in my place and understand my true value as a nanny all I need to do is to have one conversation with Joey. After watching parts of the live Sound of Music, a few days later when I was smudged between the booster seat and baby car seat in the third row of the mini I started to sing “My Favorite Things” to Joey. Of course the boy shot down my attempts at singing almost immediately by demanding that I stop and declared sternly: “Aunt Debbie you are NOT one of my favorite things, you are NOT a toy.” This is something I will remember for all my nanny days because when you put me on the same playing field as toys, I don’t think I will ever win.
Happy New Year!
**I started writing this blog to document and have fun with some of the daily things I notice and random thoughts that pop into my head. Thank you to anyone who has read anything I have written, I appreciate it greatly. And thanks to Trish and Joe for allowing me to share their family with you and welcoming me into their home, it can’t be easy having to deal with a 28 yr. old roommate.