3 days with a 3-year old

All I need to write is that it’s not the piece of cake summer I was promised. 

I heard from my regular nanny family and this new nanny family and basically everyone else that a summer with just one child was going to be soooooo easy compared to having the four that I regularly have. And in some aspects, it is, only having to be concerned with the health and well-being of one child is a lot easier than 4 plus international students plus pets plus extended family. But sweet baby Jesus I am exhausted and it’s only Wednesday of my first week as I’m writing this.

The first day, the mom stayed home just to help facilitate the transition for this little guy. He was stopping school for the first time since September, the family is in the process of getting ready to move to an air bnb at the end of August so their home can be renovated, and there is a new baby coming for them in October. That’s a lot of changes for one little munchkin to handle, plus a new nanny and a summer of new classes on top? It was really appreciated.

We have swimming lessons at 9:30 every day. We set out and as soon as I turned the stroller to leave the driveway, he was crying. “I want my mom! I want to go home!” Being the determined person I was, and not wanting a summer of him thinking tears will get him out of doing things, we persisted. We walked to the pool accompanied by a few weird stares as I sang “Down by the Bay” as we strolled along, but he wouldn’t even get out of the stroller to get changed. He cried the whole way in, and out to the pool deck. But we sat and watched the swimmers and when we left he said he’d get his feet wet the next day. We went home, did some play time and had lunch together. I had brought food since I didn’t know what was expected but he said he wanted to eat a grilled cheese with me. I made two, and he helped. Then nap time, a trip to the library, and more playtime. By 5pm I was just about dead on the floor!

Day 2 was better! It was my first day alone and I had a plan this time! The library was having story time from 10:30-11 for little children and I wanted us to be there. Swimming is done at 10 and I figured we’d have enough time to get there. I noticed that he works well with routine and knowing his schedule so we had 5 things until mom got home: swimming, library, lunch, nap, play time. He changed into his swimsuit with no problems and put his feet in the pool that day (but no more), and he didn’t want to sit through the story time at the library (but we stayed for over an hour there) and we filled our morning and our afternoon really well! A good no-tear day!

Day 3! The day for finally getting into the pool. I like to give little kids as much time as they need to warm up to an activity. If you push, then they freak out and then they resist even harder. But today was going to happen. Our 5 things until grandma arrived were swimming, library, lunch, nap, park. I’m going to keep the first 4 the same for Mon-Wed. Consistency is my friend! And his! We arrived, got him into his suit, watched the other swimmers until our class started. I picked him up and walked to the side of the pool and the teacher said I could sit with the class. He clung for DEAR LIFE when I sat down to play the splashing game. The teacher was so supportive and understanding but eventually, I handed my little guy over to the teacher. After so much crying he was just too overwhelmed and on his way to a coughing fit or worse, I pulled him out of the pool. Once he had calmed himself and took a few relaxed breaths, I stood up and we got ready to leave. A few parents came up to me after to tell me tips on how to make it easier for him and I relayed a few to the parents for consideration. The library was so much fun for him! I had to almost drag him away for lunch. Walking back to the house he asked when I was going to come back after I went home that night:

Tomorrow. Is that ok?

Yes! I like spending time with you!

I like spending time with you too!

He napped a little long after such an emotional morning and we hadn’t even finished an after nap snack when his grandma arrived which meant that I could go home early.

It’s been a good first few days and we seem to be clicking really well! I had some huge doubts about starting this job – especially considering the age of the child but now I think it’s going to be a great summer! I’m still a little worried it might ruin my regular job for me, but only time will tell on that one.

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16 thoughts on “3 days with a 3-year old

  1. I’m glad it’s coming along. Maybe I’m evil in suspecting the parents tried the swimming thing, found it a disaster, and delegated to you…the poor child seems SO afraid and upset. It’s good people are being kind and offering tips ro help the poor guy and you.

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    • Ooo no he loves swimming at his grandma’s! But he does show that anxiety towards new activities that a lot of toddlers show. Even in an established activity like his soccer, he’s clingy and a little teary at the start every time lol he just needs to get used to it. That being said, the mom was surprised at such a reaction so we’re feeling it out 😉

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        • Yeah of course! Little person, big emotions. His parents are amazing. I love the little man they’ve raised so far. It makes my job a lot easier. I’ve only been a nanny for my regular family and they are all older children (7 being the youngest when I started almost 2 years ago). It’s been a great transition to a new family and a new parenting style. They are so supportive and inclusive of him and his feelings. It’s great to see that in a child so young.

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            • Yeah for def! Swimming today was much better! Still crying but not as hard and he actually stayed in for almost the full 30 minutes. I love how they treat him. Even though he’s little they respect his feelings and judgements. Its amazing. You are right though, it’s hard for kids to grow up right now. I’m not a parent but I sure am learning from the parents I work for. Its hard sometimes because I will try to change behaviours but it’s ultimately the parents who have all the control over their kids

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m glad he’s doing better. I think the parents have ‘control’ legally, but you and others can help him make good or bad memories about how nice this person was, or how nice or mean other people are to him in day to day world. I remember some people who were good to me and those who were creeps to me, even now, decades later–so you have the chance for a lot of positive influence.

                Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I totally agree!! I love that I have the routine of swimming/library/lunch/nap set for the first three days. The last two we have other activities at 11am so that changes those days so it’s not allll the same allll the time lol variety and routine. A nice combo. And I like how it’s worked out to be 5 things before Parent’s come home. Its easy for him to remember and gives him a sense of how much time is left until he sees his mom again.

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