For those of you who don't know, in the real world I spend about 50 hours a week as a Nanny. I am self-employed. I offer my services to three different families, though I have one main family and the other two I see a few times a month, more as a babysitting service. I spend most of my time with a 6 year old girl, I'll call her "Cupcake", and her 2 year old brother, "Monster." I have raised Cupcake since she was about 18 months old, and then in 2010 Monster joined the party.
Cupcake is excited to be starting 1st Grade in the fall. She attends a prestigious private school 9 months out of the year but is on summer break right now. Every summer, I ask her what she wants Nanny (me) to teach her during summer, then we spend the summer going on field trips and doing activities related to her subject. This summer she said she wanted me to teach her how to count money. So we've been playing "race to a dollar" like fiends. She's learning about coins and cash and debit and credit. We have plans to visit the bank with her piggy bank.
Cupcake reads at a 3rd grade level and we often have to censor her reading choices, lest we be asked questions about murder and motives (she got to the newspaper.) She has always been an extremely shy and timid girl (I think it's because she's so smart, she is always considering the risks and ramifications of her actions and her imagination is HUGE!), but she is blossoming every day and today I am celebrating the fact that she actually put her entire head under water during swim lessons on Tuesday. She's been facing that fear for several years. I'm bursting with pride for her. When I asked her if she was proud of herself, she said "Nanny aren't YOU proud of me?" And I thought I might cry because my heart was bursting, but I had to suck it up and make sure she was proud of herself first! Then, of course, I smothered her in kisses and told her how amazing she is and gloated about it all day long. I made sure to get it on video and showed it to Mommy and Mommy gushed all over her too. She is sweet and smart and so very sincere it makes my heart ache with joy. She will be a beautiful person, even if I had never met her. I'm so blessed to be a part of her world.
Her favorite foods: Feta Cheese and Hummus. Not together though, dear god don't let her food touch!
Her favorite color: Princess Pink. We read Pinkalicious a lot.
Her favorite game: Cafe' Owner, mostly because she loves hot chocolate and bakery goods.
She's been playing piano for 2 years and has now also taken up horse riding lessons.
Monster has just freshly entered the world of two. He is a fiery boy in every way. He knows what he wants and he will not hesitate to let you know if he disapproves of the situation. Hence the name choice. He is also a snuggle bug who's first sentence was "Ah Ee oo" (I love you). He has well passed the 100th percentile in height and weight. At his two year check up earlier this month, he weighed 35 pounds and was 36 inches tall. Yes, that's right, THREE FEET TALL. If you watch closely, I swear to you that you can SEE him growing! Therefore, he barely stops eating, and if he does it's only to sleep.
He knows his colors and shapes well. He loves Elmo and Cookie Monster and ducks and his blankie. We have limited his pacifier use to his bed and I will find him sitting on his bed holding it in the middle of the day. He's struggling with it, but being so brave. He likes to sing songs like "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus" and "If You're Happy and You Know it." He is working hard on using a fork and spoon. To the chagrin of his sister, he loves to be in the water. I decided to call him Monster, but Reckless was my second option. Being 3 feet tall and 35 pounds doesn't much suit the coordination of a 2 year old and he is an accident waiting to happen. But he has NO fear and wants to do all of at 100 MPH. He was humbled by the ocean though, wouldn't go into the ocean without being held.
His favorite food: Garbanzo beans, shredded cheese, whatever you're eating in front of him.
His favorite color: Hasn't picked one- but he loves to use markers on paper and say the names of the colors he's using.
His favorite game: Jumping off of things, spinning until you fall, running.
The boy is my heart and soul. He brings such light to my life, every time I leave I just can't wait to get back to him.
These children and their mother are my second family. Their mother and I over the years have grown to be best friends and spend time together even when I'm not "on the clock." I love every minute of my job. I often worry that I'm using up all my "great job" karma up this early on. I'm sure the next few jobs I have will be horrible compared to this one. :o)
I love to talk about them, so if you like hearing about them, I am more than happy to oblige!