Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in Nannying - Farmer's Market Fun!

The thing about nannying, or working with kids in any capacity I suppose, is that one day, you think, yes, I’ve got it! I have the baby, M, on my lap and I’ve fixed his bottle with one hand and am now feeding him, while eating ice cream with the other hand, and having conversations with an adult and M's two-year-old sister, N, all at the same time! I’m so good.

And then the next, you’re having an argument - a battle - no, a discussion with said two-year-old about how much toilet paper is the appropriate amount and yes, we need to pull up our panties and if you can’t do it yourself, then I will have to do it for you. And I know you like to do everything for yourself. (Except when you don't).

And when that happens, perhaps it’s time to just get out of the house. I try to have activities planned for them to do at least a few days out of the week, and in this heat, it’s generally been go to the pool or someplace indoors with air conditioning.

But, last week, we went to the farmer’s market. And, we loved it.

Now, the Old Overland Park Farmer's Market is someplace I've been going since I was a kid with my own mother - who I very often have to thank for all the ideas I've had so far as a nanny. It's a great place for N, because each week there's different foods to learn about, different colors to name, lots of things to count - for example, she really loves holding the money and helping me count it out.

Last week, swing/ hot jazz band the Grand Marquis were there, and, after we picked up some blueberries and peaches, N's attention was definitely drawn to the music up at the clock tower. So we went up, got M out of his stroller, and we danced - even M! - played in the splash fountain, snacked on farm-fresh blueberries - it was a perfect, lazy, late-summer morning. We didn't want to leave.

This week, though N searched, there were no blueberries, but she ate an entire peach (!) and helped pick out sweet potatoes and green beans. I bought some fresh basil for myself and while she didn't like the taste, she loved smelling the bunch. Dan Bliss was there playing blues and folk, and I think we were just about the last of the children to leave.

But on days like that, I don't mind if we get home to nap a little late. Developing their interests in music is so important and N has really come out of her shell with people around there, even asking another little girl to dance with her this time. And M, who is 11 1/2 months and very mobile, is having a ball "dancing" - wiggling a lot - and clapping with the audience.

N with a fresh locally grown peach, and Dan Bliss in the background.

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