September 15, 2011

Bling

At Porter's preschool they have a behavior system that really works for Porter. The kids earn gems for a little jar every time they do something nice or listen really well to instructions. Once they earn ten of them, they can trade them in for a prize. It only took losing one for him to really get on board with earning them instead. Today he got his ten and got to trade it in for a prize. When I walked in to pick him up, he was doing his show and tell; a doll that plays a lullaby. As I am watching, my gaze can't help but be drawn to the bling he is sporting on his finger. A huge green gem ring that is, in his own words (and with a big grin), "so big I just can't stand it". He hasn't taken it off his finger for anything. He just came up to me a little while ago to tell me, "When I am big like you, this is going to be my wedding ring." Hopefully his wife doesn't mind him having a ring much MUCH bigger than hers. :)

Love my little growing up man.

P.S. and after telling my kids a joke the other day, the picture he brought home of his family today included a new sibling named 'Chubby', right beside his 'Awesome, Cool, Magic' Dad.

Kissing Boo Boos

Gabe is at the age that he needs a kiss for every boo boo. Most of the time a kiss is all it takes to have him happy and heading back to play again. Today, I heard a bump and a cry from the playroom and Gabe runs out crying to me. I asked him what was wrong and through is tears he said he fell and hit his bum.....

"Kiss my butt, Mommy." I tell him I won't kiss his bum, but I would kiss him on his cheek (face). "No, Mommy. Have to kiss my butt." I kissed him on his cheek as he started wiggling and giggling that I can't kiss his cheek and then ran off to play. I guess it doesn't take a kiss on the exact boo boo for it to work. lol :)

September 13, 2011

Camping preview

Last night Adam asked me if I would like to go camping Friday night. We aren't doing gardener's market on Saturday, so we could take our time coming back and enjoy a night in the mountains before it gets too cold.

My response was, "Sure, only you know we won't get any sleep. Gabe will keep us up all night asking, D'you hear that?" He laughed as he realized how right I was.

This morning Gabe woke up before any one else, so Adam got him and brought him to our bed. He used to snuggle in and go back to sleep when we did that.......not anymore.

Porter wake, Daddy?....

I hear sounds....

D'you hear that, Daddy?....

Its dark in here.....

Time wake up......

I hear Porter...

Finally, I chime in. - Yes, you hear Porter on the monitor, he is just rolling over and still asleep. Shush.

Okay........

I hear something......

And it went on like that.

After Adam got up, Gabe stayed with me. He snuggled right up to me and then let one rip.

Hehehe, I tooted Mommy.....

No poops came, just toots......

Tooting....hehehe




Gee, thanks Gabe

September 04, 2011

Again!

I hear this phrase all the time lately. Earlier I was telling the kids the 'chubby' motorcycle story. Then Daddy told it. All he heard for several minutes was, "Do it again, Daddy!" It was hilarious to see the boys try to mush their faces as they giggled. Yes, I know it isn't the most politically correct of joke/stories, but since I'm chubby, its cosher, right? :)

Anyway, after exhausting his face, Adam decided to try a distraction....but still ended up with the same result. This has already been going on for a few minutes by the time I got the camera out.


video

September 01, 2011

The Movie

I went to see The Help last night. Our book club was going to go last week and one by one things came up for just about everyone and people couldn't go. I still really wanted to see it, and I don't mind going to a movie on my own, so last night I asked Adam to watch the kids while I went. Almost there, I realized that I had grabbed my purse, but not my wallet. So back home I went to grab my wallet and head back to the theatre. I almost didn't go because I hate getting there late and trying to find a seat in the dark, but I am so glad I did.

I loved the movie just as much as the book. And I was kind of glad to be sitting on my own so I could freely cry and not worry about who was looking. One thing that was different for me with the movie was the relationship between Aibileen and Mae Mobly. It was much more touching to me in the movie, more moving. Every time she would interact with that little girl I would tear up. It brought back memories of all the children I have taken care of. In the last 13 years I have helped, in part, to raise 14 children.

I don't really know how to put into words the connection between a child and a nanny. I tried when I first started to keep a bit of distance with the children. Knowing I would be leaving in just a year made it a little easier not to get quite so connected, but no matter what, those children just snuggled their way right into my heart. Even my shortest job, about nine months, I was torn up when I left. Those girls were my first, and I will never forget them. I wonder if they remember me at all.

They had never really known family, as they were raised for the most part in an orphanage in Lithuania. The oldest girl, who was seven when I first met her, had been in and out of the orphanage; her mother would come get her occasionally and take her home until she ran out of money and then bring her back. The youngest, three years old when I met her, had only known the orphanage. Even at three, she had already learned to sew and those two girls would sit in their playroom and hand sew doll clothes for their barbies. They were so lost and so sweet and there was no way I could not love them. It broke my heart to leave them. How do you explain to children that are so young that it will be better for them if you are gone. They had started calling me Momma on occasion on accident and even though I would correct them, the mother was not happy about it. She had waited so long to have children, and I am sure it was terribly hard to see them bonding so much with me. But with no firm grasp of family to begin with, a nanny just confused them even more. After so many people had left them, I had to be one more who loved them and then hurt them. I wonder if they ever forgave me for that. They are 16 and 20 now and I wouldn't even know them if I saw them on the street... or they me. So sad.

I have noticed that the better foundation the children have with their parents, the more involved the parents are (no matter how many hours they work), the more I am regarded as a babysitter, and that's in a good way. If the relationship is rocky because the parents aren't totally plugged in or if there are problems at home, the more I am regarded as a surrogate parent by the children, and not just the nanny. Those goodbyes are the hardest. I had one other family that was like that. The parents loved their children, but had so many struggles with each other and within themselves, that the children got a little lost in the shuffle. I was a live-in then and had been there for almost 4 years. I had moved with them twice and been there since before the baby boy could crawl. In the last year I was there, the mother had health problems and was struggling with pain meds. They were also struggling to connect to each other, and in-laws who were living with them weren't making things any easier. By the last several weeks that I was there, the children were coming down to my room at night to ask me to tuck them in because their parents had forgotten about them; their mother was nonfunctioning and/or dad working late. It broke my heart to see it. I had already set a time to leave as things had just gotten so untenable in the house. And then one day things exploded. Mother raging and I cut my notice short. The father came to me later and apologized for her, but it wasn't needed. I knew she was drowning in her struggle with so many things, drugs especially, but there wasn't anything more I could do.

I took the oldest girl out to the movies my last day and tried to explain that it wasn't her fault. (The rage had been over a discipline decision I had made with her) At 11 she still thought somehow she was responsible. I know in my heart that me staying would not have helped them or myself, but I always wonder what happened after that. I know there had to have been a lot of venomous things said about me after I left and I wonder how much of their memories of the almost 4 years I lived with them as a pseudo family member were tainted by just those last few days.

I really connected with the Constantine character in the movie for that reason. As that kind of help, you are part of the family, but not. You live there, you are with the family day in, day out, but always separate. It only takes one moment for you to lose everything. After I left that day, I promised myself that I would never be a live-in again. It was too hard to love them so much only to lose them, especially in that way. Those few days have haunted me. My youngest son is named after the little 3 year old boy I cared for there. He would be about 12. I wonder if he has any memories of me at all now. He was too young when I left to remember much, if anything. The family has since split and gone separate ways. I hope he, and all of the children I have loved, remember -they are kind, they are smart, they are important. I hope I left some lasting memories of how much they were loved, even if they don't have a face to attach to the memory.

When Aibileen left Mae Mobly in the movie and she ran to the window crying for her nanny, I broke down. All the memories of leaving came rushing back in, especially those two really hard occasions when the leaving was under difficult circumstances, and my heart broke for Aibileen, and for Mae Mobly. Both losing someone they loved so much, probably never to see each other again. Mae Mobly to grow older and forget, Aibileen to hold the memory close to her heart for the rest of her life.

Goodbyes are a part of life and inevitable, but they don't seem to get any easier as I get older. I have never gotten used to them. Especially with the children I tend. I have stayed longer with each successive family and gotten more and more attached to them. This will be my fifth year with the boys I currently nanny and I can't imagine the goodbye next summer. I know this family I will remain in contact with, since I am not moving away as I have done before to the next job, but it will never be the same, we won't be as close. It is bittersweet to watch them outgrow their need for me as they get more and more independent and move into school. I love it and hate it at the same time. As many parents have felt recently for their children as they go off to school for the first time. Ironically I didn't feel that angst sending my own preschooler off on his first day. I have him forever; a few hours at school is no big deal. But my sweet twins, my boys, won't be there forever. School is the beginning of the end for us. I am already have withdrawals and it is only the beginning of the year, but we'll make this last year count, and it is the way of things. Children grow up and I haven't done my job right if they don't outgrow the need for me.