Cold & Kids (repeat)

Last weekend I came down with a cold that I caught from Jack and Jill. All three of us were pretty miserable and struggling through the busy week.

I go home Friday afternoon finally feeling back to normal. Literally the second I got home after 50+ hours of work on Friday the doorbell rings. Or rather someone knocks at the door. The landlord has yet to fix the doorbell that has been broken since we moved in August. But I digress.

Who is at the door? Phil and Lil! They were coming to stay with me over the weekend and we would sight see around New York together while their parents enjoyed a romantic weekend in the city alone. Being a caregiver myself I fully respect the importance of some time to yourself, so I was happy to give that to Phil and Lil’s parents.

But gee wiz, watching two little kids all week and then the second you get home entertaining two older kids is exhausting! Not to mention Lil had an awful cold that seems to have made it’s way to me. This is where the “repeat” comes in.

So Friday night I took Phil and Lil to S’mac on the lower east side, which is a restaurant where you can only order various types of gourmet Mac and Cheese. They absolutely loved it. Following dinner we went to a chocolate restaurant for dessert where I think they had a bit of a sugar overload.

Saturday we woke up early, spent more time than I ever thought possible at the Lego store, American Girl and Toys R Us. After a late lunch we went down to the Statue of Liberty. Needless to say I was EXHAUSTED.

After they left Sunday morning I crashed on the couch, caught up on Teen Mom and The Real Housewives series and had a well deserved nap.

Now if you’ll excuse me I think Jack and Jill are waking up from their nap. Time for ballet, baby music class and preschool. Repeat.

Things I never thought I’d say

Even though I’ve been working ridiculously long hours, coming home exhausted and neglecting important things like Facebook and this blog I have to admit that I’m quite enjoying myself. 

It takes me an hour to get to work each day, and most days I’m there so early that my husband is still in bed sound asleep.  Yesterday was one of these early morning days, and to add to the matter it was practically monsooning.  But then I walk in the door and Jack immediately grabs my hand, starts running us in circles around the apartment while gleefully shouting, “I happy!  I happy!”

A couple of hours later I’m changing his diaper, and older sister Jill is on her training potty.  She’s been doing really well with the “pee” aspect of potty training but is afraid to go “poop” on the potty.  I don’t think I’ve ever talked about poop more than I have in the past few weeks.  We’ve read countless books on potty training and pooping, everytime we see a dog we talk about how it poops and I’ve asked the question, “Do you need to poop?” more times than I can count.  Poop, poop, poop.

Jack however has a habit of reaching down to touch his bottom when I change his diaper.  Poopy diapers.  That means poopy little boy hands.  Poopy little boy hands trying to touch me.  As I’m trying to avoid being touched by poopy little boy hands Jill goes, “I did it! I did it!  I pooped!  I pooped in the potty!!”

“Oh my goodness Jill, that’s so great!!”

“Come see it!!  Come see my poop!  Do you want to see my poop?!”

And then I said something I never thought I would hear myself say, “I do want to see your poop!”

This pretty much sums up the majority of my days.

This pretty much sums up the majority of my days.

The Nanny Diaries takes a break

I swear I’m not purposefully trying to turn this blog into The Nanny Diaries. But when you spend eleven hours a day with two ridiculously cute children it’s generally all I have to talk about. Like I will not tell you about how Jack exploded into his diaper this morning and it ran down his pajama pant leg and he trampled it all over the apartment.

No, instead I will talk about the other baby in my life: Brady. Remember a month or so back when he had a seizure? Between now and then I took him to the vet, got him tested for every this and that I could and we left with a clean bill of health. Then my hubs goes away for three weeks and things suddenly get weird. Hubs started telling me that everytime he comes home from work Brady has a short seizure. Honestly I don’t think much of it until a full week goes by and Brady has continued to have a small seizure everytime the hubs walks through the door. I finally called the vet when the hubs ran across the street for all of five minutes Saturday morning and when he walks in the door BOOM. Seizure. Seeing it first hand and after he’d been gone merely five minutes I picked up the phone and called our vet (who we love love love) who immediately decides Brady should go on seizure meds. This little pound puppy’s medical expenses are getting to be a bit high.

Survived my first week as a nanny, only minor injuries.

Having worked well over forty hours by Thursday afternoon the kids’ mom told me to take Friday off.  Yes, please.  This job is exhausting!  Not only am I practically raising two children, but I have to do it in “The Walking City”.

My yesterday was made up of one very prestigious doctor’s visit, where the doctor would examine the child’s eyes and say something like, “Have you had her eyes examined?”

“No.”

“Oh, well they look great.”

Why would you freak a parent out like that??  Then I was coerced into a flu shot, which I have not had in all of my adult years.  But if my employer was going to foot the bill then I might as well just get the shot.  Now my left arm is throbbing.  Well, from the shot and from totting around a toddler on my hip all day.

Between morning runs with the dog, carrying crying children and pushing around a double stroller all over Manhattan I am going to be ripped. 

Thursday my life was a scene out of Modern Family.  The one where the gay couple takes their daughter to the music and dance class.  Yea, I went to that class.  I was hoping I could just drop the kid off and go sit in Starbucks for an hour, but low and behold the nannies got to stay!  It was Jack and myself and four other nannies with their toddlers.  We sit in a circle on the little carpet squares and next thing I know this girl about my age with the most beautiful voice starts singing at the top of her lungs, “HELLO, GOOD DAY, LET’S SING A SONG TOGETHER!!!!!”  So we sang the usual Wheels on the Bus, High Ho the Dairy oh and Old McDonald while Jack clung to me and refused to participate.  He is only 19 months, mind you.  Then this girl goes on to sing about how Monet, Manet and Van Gough are our inspirations for the day.  She shows us pictures of all of these things and then sings about them some more.  These kids are babies!!  I think they’re still back there at “Old McDonald had a cow”.

But then again as we drove down Fifth Avenue yesterday Jill did ask me if we could go to The Met.  The Egyptian sculptures are her favorite.

Day Two as a New York City Nanny

Yesterday went about as well as I could have hoped.  I decided to take the bus cross town to the Central Park Zoo.  I get to the bus stop, see the bus coming and can not for the life of me figure out how to get the damn stroller folded down.  I thought this thing was going to make my life easier?

I kept struggling with it and finally gave up to the fact that we are going to miss this bus when POP, the stroller folds.  I manage to drag the stroller over to the bus door, throw the kids inside and then I can’t find my Metro Card.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are flying left and right as I tried to dig through my bag to find the card.  Meanwhile the bus driver is not moving the bus because if he did the kids would topple over.

Someone thankfully gives us their seat, so the kiddos and I squeeze into two seats.  We’re doing pretty well and then this lady in her mid forties gets on the bus.  She claims she needs a seat, and says, “The kids need to get up.”

Excuse me?  Are you referring to these two?  In order for them to get up I would need to stand, move this extremely large double stroller and carry both children to the back.  Forget about it.  So I ignore her and someone across the way gave their seat up.  Next thing I know the kids are waving their little hands saying, “Hi.  Hi.” to the lady that had just asked them to give up their seat.

Kids sure are something.

Sprinting through Manhattan

So I survived my first day with the new Phil and Lil.  So we don’t confuse my charges, I’ll call them Jack and Jill.  Here’s your refresher course: Jack is a year and a half and Jill is three years old.  And let me tell you, they are freaking adorable.

Besides a few small mishaps (one including a jar of confusing organic peanut butter), my day ran pretty much as best as could be expected.  It’s pretty safe to say that this was the best first day on the job I’ve ever had.  Normally when you start a job it’s a lot of confusion, a lot of not knowing what to do and so much information coming at you that you end up forgetting the majority of what you’ve been told.

Being that this isn’t my first job as a nanny, my first time changing a diaper or taking care of a small child I felt pretty comfortable.  Add that to a mom who worked from home all day, but didn’t hover and we had a pretty great day.

Minus my commute.  Now that’s something I’m going to have to get used to.  The family is in the process of moving from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side.  Mainly because Jill is starting at a prestigious little person school.  Not joking.

Once they have re-situated in their new apartment my commute will be easy peasy.  Until then my commute is capital A-W-F-U-L.  Luckily the move is about a month away so this time in my life will be a distant memory hopefully sooner rather than later.  So here’s how my day started:

I gave myself forty-five minutes to get from Astoria to the Upper West Side.  As I’m leaving my door I decide to check Google Maps, to see how long they estimate my commute will take.  Forty-seven minutes.  Did I just brag in my three interviews about how I’m always punctual and now I am estimated to be two minutes late??  Really?  So I start to panic a little, but not too much.  It’s rush hour, trains are abundant, I’m going to be fine.

But in order to get from where I live to where they live I must ride a handful of stops in Queens, and then go all the way across Manhattan and south two stops to Times Square.  At Times Square I hop on the line that will backtrack me north to the Upper West Side.  I get on the express train which takes me to 96th Street in no time.  Problem is I need to be at 107th Street.  And I have 6 minutes until I need to be there. 

My options are walk the eleven blocks or wait who knows how long for a local train to bring me to 110th Street, and then backtrack three blocks.  On a normal day I would have no doubt chosen option number two.  But today I couldn’t risk waiting five minutes for the train to arrive, and then another five for it to get me to 110th, and then another five for me to walk the three blocks.

So I decide I have to run.  I run up the subway steps and start sprinting toward my destination.  After about three blocks I’m dying.  I’ve already done a mile and a half with my dog this morning, and now I’m carrying a heavy purse and running across an elite New York neighborhood in ballet flats.

I finally arrive at their apartment building, run past the doorman and totally out of breath yell, “HOLD THE ELEVATOR!!”  I get in the elevator sweating and panting with two residents obviously staring at me.

The elevator stops at the fourteenth floor and I get off three minutes late.  I ring the bell and wipe the sweat from my brow.  Let’s do this.

Phil made me this necklace as a goodbye gift. Is that not the sweetest thing??

Phil made me this necklace as a goodbye gift. Is that not the sweetest thing??

And that’s why you should stay in school.

A couple of days ago I took the rugrats on their first trip to Six Flags.  We decided to stop for a slice of pizza, one of those counters that you just go up to and take the slice and you’re on your way.

We stand there in 100+ degree weather for literally fifteen minutes while the couple in front of us and Phil and Lil and I stood waiting.  And waiting.

This is what the geniuses behind the counter were doing: taking an order, going to the back, making it and then WAITING FOR IT TO FINISH.  Really?  Is that the most productive way you could be doing this?  Or even the third most productive way?

So finally I decide that we’re leaving, that there has to be somewhere faster to get a slice. As we walk away Phil asks, “Why didn’t we get our pizza there?  Why was it taking so long?”

“Because they dropped out of school.  Stay in school so you can get a good job, Phil.”

He seems to accept that and a couple minutes later we are waiting at what appears to be an even less productive food establishment.  All of the sudden Phil says at the top of his lungs, “JOAN, HOW DID YOU KNOW THOSE PEOPLE DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL?”

I about hid under the counter from embarrassment. 

No books for you.

My friend Kelly has started calling the rugrats Phil and Lil, which I think is so funny because who remembers Phil and Lil?  It’s all about Angelica and Tommy. 

Anyways, I get an email while the rugrats and I are out running errands saying that two books that Phil put on hold at the library are now available and are being held at the front desk for him.

I tell him and he’s all, “Can we go get them?  Please please please!”

A kid getting excited about a book?  Now that’s something that I can get behind.

Now, you may remember that a few months back i made them these Library Bags, complete with pocket to hold their very own library cards.  And the idea has worked out perfectly.  We always know where their library cards are, and we always know where their books are. 

So of course while we’re out running errands Phil and Lil haven’t brought their bags.  No biggie, I’ve forgotten my library card a number of times.

We go out of our way to get to the library and head inside where Phil is just about to explode he’s so happy.  Get up to the front desk and tell the librarian we’re here to pick up Phil’s books that he’s reserved but we don’t have his library card.

Well, does he have any ID?

He’s in elementary school.  No.

Well some schools give out IDs.

Well his doesn’t, and if they did he most likely wouldn’t carry it around in his wallet full of hundred dollar bills DURING THE SUMMER.  You know, like most kids.

So she’s all, “Are you his mother?”

No, but I’m his nanny and I’m the one who brought him here to sign him up for his account, my email is the one that’s linked to the account.  Can’t you just look up his account and see my email on it, and then verify with MY ID?

No.  Do you have anything else that may have his name on it?

Rifle through purse.  No.  How about this email I got from the library saying that his book was in?

No, that doesn’t prove that this is him.

Oh, what about the fact that he has his 16 digit library card number memorized!  How about that?

No.

At this point I’m starting to get angry.  Are you really going to deny a kid A FREAKING LIBRARY BOOK?  Didn’t you take some kind of librarian vow about that?

So I lean over the front desk and whisper, “Please, this is a special needs child and he just wants his library book.”

Well then, next time remember your library card.

I turn to Phil and say, “Phil, the librarian won’t let you have your book.  Let’s go.”  At this point Phil loses it and starts screaming bloody murder in the middle of the library.  And I said calmly, “I know Phil, I know.”