Monday, December 30, 2013

Potty Wars

I am potty training my son. It is hard. He is defiant. I am tired. Trying to take this one day at a time, but by God, I'm gonna get it. Whew. Here are a few links I found helpful from some other moms who have made the journey already. Wish me luck!

The How To Mom-Potty Training

Parents Potty Training in 3 days

A Whole Grip of Resources

I'm linking up with Life of Meg today. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Oh, God. Let it go, dear heart.

So, I got burned last week. I took care of someone's kids. This someone kept showing up late, forgetting her kids clothes and food, not calling me to let me know where she was, not filling me in on their needs. Her kids were really struggling. I was feeding them from my own fridge, dealing with their accidents by loaning them my own child's clothes. I was honestly doing all of it for selfish reasons: I wanted to make a little extra money this Christmas season so I could get my husband a present.

That didn't happen.

She owed me over $300, and she skipped out. She took her kids, told me should would be back with my money, and never returned. She never answered my calls or texts. She ran.

I was pretty angry. I asked her to call me to discuss payment options. I was trying to be understanding, in case she couldn't afford it, so that we could work something out. But I was angry. I was tired and frustrated at her lack of care of her children, and her complete disregard for my feelings and my needs as her children's caretaker. I was angry because I felt that her ability to blow me off showed her real character, and I was angry at myself for not seeing it sooner. I was so, so angry.

I got advice that I should look into small claims court. I was told to contact other local babysitters and daycares and warn them. It was suggested that I should talk to a lawyer, fight back, stick it to her.

But I'm not going to.

She's a single mom. Her kid's dad lives far away. She doesn't seem to have the first clue as to how to care for her kids properly. She feeds them crap and wonders why they have stomach and head aches. She doesn't call them to check in. She has her own life to live. I was just a moment in her life, and now I'm gone again. I can only be proud of my care of her children. I made sure they were clean and warm, well-fed with food I prepared for them with my own two hands. I made sure their aches and pains were noticed, and told them that she loved them, despite how she treated them. I gave them a week of fun and laughter and constant attention. And I wish them the best. I really, really do.

Good luck, sad runaway mama. You need that money more than I do, I suppose. Luckily, I've got a wonderful, thoughtful, caring hubby who takes backrubs in exchange for absent gifts. I've got all I need.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Note to Parents:

I am a nanny/babysitter that has been in action for about 10 yrs. I am good at what I do. I have been handed kids without as much as a word of advice and told, "See ya in 10 hours!". I have weathered kids through fevers, broken bones and sadness. I have been underpaid, overpaid, and not paid at all. I have fallen in love with some kids, wanted to run screaming from others. It is NOT an easy job, but I do it because I do believe good, solid childcare is important, and I love that I can do it with my son as a partner/playmate because he is a great helper. But I will say one thing as a warning to parents: Don't fuck with the babysitter.

The babysitter is someone who takes your child's ups and downs in stride. Your kid poops his pants and drops a whole roll of toilet paper in the bowl, while getting poo all over the bathroom? The babysitter isn't (well, a good babysitter wouldn't) make your child feel bad for it. He or she will help your child feel better, clean them up and sanitize the bathroom. The good babysitter will hug your child when they miss you. The good babysitter will feed your child, make sure they get enough water, ensure they take their vitamins. They will make sure they are clean, happy and exercised. The good babysitter will read to them, make sure they take good naps, and give them snacks.

Essentially, a good babysitter is parenting your child while you aren't there.

So if you lie to your babysitter, it makes them feel like you don't care about how they care for your child. It makes the babysitter feel like you don't value their hard work when you tell them you forgot to bring money to pay her. If you show up two hours late with a lame excuse, you throw a wrench in the babysitter's life (because we actually do have lives, ya know!!!) and we have to reschedule special events because of your poor planning, you make us feel very, very frustrated. And because we are good babysitter, we don't take it out on your kids. We internalize it. We deal with your inconsistencies. But it's just like having a really bad boss who puts you down. It hurts. And in turn, ultimately, we will have to let you go, and your hurt the kids we care for, because they get bounced to another caretaker, which is hard on them.

So here's my advice: Treat us as a very important part of your life. We are an extension of your parenting. We need to know what your kid's needs are. We need to know their likes and dislikes. We need to know when they are sick. We need to know how they react to certain foods, animals, situations, people. We need to know that you care enough to pay us promptly and at a rate that matches our time and ability. We need to be tipped for spending time past what you promised. We need to be cared for, because our needs are important for your child's well being. If all you do is care for us because you love your child, then do that. Your love of your child is important to us, and we need to know you care.

Be the good parent we all wish for and want to support. If you need help, chances are, we will help you. But don't resort to lying, cheating and disrespecting us. Your children don't deserve it, and your baby sitter doesn't deserve it.


A super exhausted, I-just-quit-my-last-family-babysitter, who needs-a-break-for-a-while-because-she-needs-to-go-cry, wishing-it-didn't-have-to-be-this-way-but-couldn't-find-another-solution nanny.

(PS- Bean Boy, I miss you. You and your parental units are the best I ever had to care for, ever.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Why I don't tell my child about Santa

I grew up with Santa. My gifts came with tags that said, "To: Katie From: Santa", which was fine, except that my parents also had me write thank you cards to all the relatives that actually sent them. So I never really bought into the whole Santa bit. Whatever. I was a skeptical child from birth.

The whole Santa/Christmas/Jesus thing isn't really my thing either. Santa has a very interesting past, which I find fun to read about, but I don't really care for the whole Americanized version that promotes extravagant materialism. Christmas is a mashup of different beliefs that was Christianized to make it easier to convert pagans to Christianity. (Also, I'm not Christian.) Jesus never said, "Hey, everyone! Let's celebrate my birthday, but not on my actual birthday."

Some people get really fired up that I say these kinds of things. I'm not trying to be an asshole. I just don't care to make myths and stories about things that don't hold much meaning to me a big part of my life. I don't have any problem with other people celebrating them, but telling me I'm doing wrong by my child because I don't make it part of his childhood is wrong. Leif likes that we hang up bells and lights around the house because I like the way they look. I put on holiday music for him sometimes because I get nostalgic. He finds trees in other people's houses interesting. He likes gifts. (Who doesn't?) He has no idea who Santa is, but he is only two. We don't ask him to pray to Jesus. But I'm not scarring his childhood because of these choices. He just has a different childhood than other kids. And that's ok by me.

My kiddo will grow up with two loving parents, relatives and friends who care about him and send gifts, and the knowledge that there are many beliefs around the world. He will have the choice to engage in these beliefs if he chooses, and will find us as parents interested in his findings! We will always push him to explore faith, belief and religions if he chooses. We look forward to finding out what plucks at his heartstrings.

Have a great winter season, everyone. Have a wonderful time enjoying your families and friends!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This explains the terrible mess of my hair.

Cleaning House

I like a neat house. Not scrubbed glowing, we-dont-actually-live-here looking, but neat. My house is not that today.

I am cleaning.

It's funny that it requires me to literally tear my house apart to find the root of the problems. A table that, placed too close to a vent, collects a ridiculously large quantity of dog hair. A closet that has bunch of junk, and needs it all reassessed. It takes me all week to accomplish all of the things I need to around here. It does help, though. It feel so much better.

And, luckily, I don't seem too attached to all of my junk. I have managed to de-junk so much of my life in the last year. Things are things.

But sometimes I do wish for a museum to store the things I find beautiful. It would be such a strange mix.

But when it comes down to it, my mind is my museum, and it contains all that I love. I suppose I'll have to be content with the "admit one only" sign outside. Others might peek in the window, but ultimately, it's mine. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

What kind of canvas do you have?

Mine is pretty beautiful. I don't think I could ask for a more complex, passionate child. I'm in love. My wildest, most artistic dreams came to life the day he was born.

I'm linking up at Mingle Monday with Meg over here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A reminder to myself:

1 Corinthians 
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nathan Fillion Sex Dreams

Well, that's one of the most exciting post titles I've ever typed. Yay me.

So, this morning I woken by my glowingly clean hubby, steaming straight from the shower. I came down to breakfast, was handed a cup of coffee. We both stared at each other for a second. Bashfully.

me- "So, I had a weird dream."
him- "Me too. You first."
me-"I had a sex dream with Nathan Fillion."
him-"Wow. I had a sex dream too."
me- "With who??"
him-"Summer Glau."
me-"We seem to have a thing with Firefly."

Well, there it is. Hubby and I have fan girl/boy sex dreams. Bwahahahahaha. I guess it could be worse. I am eternally grateful it wasn't the cast of Saved by the Bell or something horribly 80's. Or cartoons! HAHA. Captain Malcolm Reynolds is fine in my book, so I'm cool. Also, Summer Glau is cool, too. Totally acceptable dream people.

Hubby and I were talking about it later, and we both realized that neither of us have a problem with it. I mean, sex is can be weird, but it doesn't have to be uncomfortable. It just is. Both of us were raised in sexually awkward religious beliefs, so we will always be battling all sorts of mental grief. I am determined to help raise my own kids without having them feel body shame, or shame at all, honestly. Sex is real, people. Why are so many people so fixated on making the masses feel shame for being alive?

I cannot express how damaging shame-based sex education can be. I will not go into my own experiences, but I will say that I may be dealing with my own issues for the rest of my life. I would love to help my own child grow up without shame focused on his sexuality. I'm not saying that I will throw self control, safety and personal protection out the window, but I will be showing my son what it means to have a healthy sexual relationship. That is not abnormal, or unattainable. It is very real, despite popular media, religious beliefs and backwards sex ed.

Oh, and I will let him know that having sex dreams about sci-fi celebrities is totally normal, too. We've all been there...I think. Maybe I'm the only one who has sex dreams about Nathan Fillion. Yikes.

:::Googles quickly:::

Never mind. The Internet is also dreaming of Nathan Fillion.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The post in which I explain myself:

Naw, not really. I can't explain why I insist on getting in fights with people online, but let people run me over in real life.

Shit. It's been one of those days. I hate that I consider being more defiant online a reasonable thing to do, but such is life. I have more confidence in my written words than my spoken ones. God, does it irritate me so much, though.

I mean, I feel so much better about typing an email than calling someone on the phone. I am such a hermit.

Wait, no, I'm not. I'm just socially backwards.

I guess. Blurgh.

Living in a cabin is making me feel like a backwoodsy pioneer with internet. How ridiculous. Maybe that's a thing I should start: a group for people who need to be hermits, but also desire high speed internet so they can be bossy on forums to get their nervous energy off their backs.

I am so weird.

It's a weird day. I'm sorry. Possibly better soon?