So, this nanny thing. I’ve been doing it for almost three months now, I think. And, I’ve been bound to learn a thing or two by now, right? In the spirit of remembering said lessons, I think it's only appropriate that they be recorded.
So, for starters, the current bane of my existence is the spoiled milk smell that haunts my car, that NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I CAN NOT GET OUT.
At least after a time, I found the source: a stray sippy cup that had wandered under my seat, no doubt thrown there by small, exasperated hands (or dropped, sadly, and lost, like a smelly Velveteen Rabbit). By the time I found it, after the weekend (my car had been parked in a hotel garage for a wedding and largely un-driven), it’s contents had congealed and sprouted life.
The most unfortunate part of the poor sippy cup’s saga is that two hours of my day consist of driving in my car’s malodorous confines. That is two hours of spoilt milk smell. You think, perhaps I will get used to it, but no, you really don’t, and no amount of driving with the windows down has helped the situation.
At the moment (though it's now mid-week, still smelly, and looking grim) I can only hope, and pray, that time, and Febreze, will help ameliorate my stinky situation, but I have at the very least learned a very important lesson: make sure all sippy cups are present and accounted for upon exiting the vehicle.
That is Lesson #1 in my book. Here are just a few more, as I’ve learned so far:
2) Soap is icky. We don’t eat soap.
3) You never know when you’re going to land on an answer to “Why?”
“Drive, Rachel, drive!” I hear, daily, from my back seat. Or, “Hey Rachel, whatcha doin’?”
“I can’t go right now, N,” I say, or, “Driving.”
“Why?” or, “You pick me up from school? Why?”
“Because that’s my job.”
“Because…I love you. Because…it’s my job to take care of you. Because...your mommy and daddy are at work. Because...your mommy asked me to. Because…that‘s how life works.”
“Because that’s how life goes,” or, “Because accidents happen” are two of my favorites, actually. I’m always amazed that they consistently work, too.
Of course, today, I got, “You pick me up, Rachel? Because that’s your job?” Ah! Progress!
“Yes,” I say.
“Doggone it!” N says. This is, of course, one of her new favorite things to say (we‘ve finally moved past “poop“), but to this…I could only laugh and say,
“Yes, that’s right, N, doggone it - you just said a mouthful, lady.”
4) Teaching patience requires great patience - enormous amounts of it, often - but is so worth it. You both learn it. At your own pace, of course.
5) And, to that effect, temper tantrums can be easy. No, seriously. Let them have them. N wants to scream and kick and shout? Fine by me. Let her get it out. There will be more of them and they will be bigger, and in more public places, if you give in. She knows that when she’s ready to talk, and calm down, she can get up out of time out and we can discuss that nap. She probably knows she’s really ready for it after all those tears and spent energy.
As one of the Big Lessons I've learned over the course of my life, and my nannying, is, There Will Always Be More Lessons, I'm sure this is to be continued. . .
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