Time for Goodbyes

I spent a wonderful two months with these boys. All three captured my heart in a way that I can not even explain. Is it possible to love children so deeply that aren’t even yours? Cause seriously, that’s what happened.

I promised you guys this story, so here goes.

WARNING! A box of tissues may be necessary if you’re the emotional type.

It was my second last day with the kids. Their mom had been easing them into the fact that I would be leaving and a new nanny would replace me. Sam went to sleep without a fuss, as did Luke. I always put Nathan to be last and about half an hour later than the other two. Nathan and I would talk before bed and reflect on the things he did and learned. We had just finished our talk and I was walking out of his room when he asked, “Can you just cuddle with me for a little bit?” He patted the bed and moved over to the other side to make room for me. Knowing it was my last full night with him, I agreed. I lied next to him to see what he would do next. He propped himself up on his elbows and looked at me with a sad look. “Mommy said that you won’t be here anymore. That makes me really sad. But I won’t cry.” He paused. “Are you sad that you won’t see me anymore?”
“Of course, Nathan! I’m going to miss you and Luke and Sam so very much!”
He seemed relieved to know that I would miss them. “Y’know, you can cry if you want to. I’ll just cuddle with you until you feel better,” he gave me a big smile and put his arm around me. He sigh. “Melinda, I just — I just really really love you.” Cue heart melting.
“I love you, too, Nathan,” I held myself together. There was no way I’d let him see me cry. We laid there together for a minute and before he dozed off, I told him to be good for the new nanny like he had been for me. He promised he would listen, but only if the new nanny had a happy face. I assured him she would. “It’s time for me to go now, bud.” I started getting up. He sat up and hugged me one last time. “My last day will be Sunday, but we will play lots and I’ll bring you a treat, okay?”
“YES!” He exclaimed. “I promise I’ll be good!” He knew I only awarded treats for good behaviour. I walked to the door and just before I closed the door, he said, “I love you!” one last time. I told him I loved him back and closed the door.

These boys taught me so much and I fell in love with them. The joy they gave me is unexplainable – there are no words that could full express my experience. I will forever cherish them. ❤

That’s My Nanny!

In a previous post, I had hinted to the fact that Nathan never called me by my first name until the very last day that I was with this family. While this post is not the story of what happened the very last day, I thought it might be amusing to hear about the names and instances in which he used these names.

The very first time I noticed him call me a different name was about a week after I had started. I was a live out nanny and so it was no surprise after a while that every day I would ring the door bell at 12:00pm on the dot. Every time I rang the door bell, I heard the excited stomps get louder and louder as Luke anxiously tried to open the door for me. This particular day, I rang the door bell and as usual, Luke came running to greet me. As he opened the door, I heard a second set of foot steps following. It was Nathan and before be turned the corner he began to shout, “Luke! It’s my nanny! It’s my nanny!” Luke jumped into my arms and Nathan came scooting around the corner. Nathan came over to me and hugged my legs and said, “Hi, nanny. I’m so happy you’re here! Let’s go play now!” I couldn’t help but giggle at the funny-soundly, yet very accurate title he had given me.

Eight out of ten times, Nathan was good about following directions, be it picking up his toys, finishing lunch, or being nice to his brothers. He never gave a verbal confirmation of following such directions, but usually went ahead and did what he was asked. This day was by far an exception. I had just finished making lunch and was ready for the boys to come eat. I called down the stairs telling them lunch was ready. I heard Luke as he huffed and puffed trying to run up the stairs followed by Nathan’s big, slow stomps trailing behind . I strapped Luke into his high chair and turned to Nathan and said, “Alright Mr. Slow Poke, time for lunch!” He stopped. He looked at me and charged toward me. “YESSIR!!” he replied.
“Sir? I’m not a ‘ma’am’?” I giggled. Well this was new.
“Nope. You’re ‘sir'” he confirmed. Well alrighty then! ‘Sir’ it was.

Another one that was amusing to me was ‘the silly singing bean’. I think this was a play off of a silly name I had called him one day. It might also have had to do with the fact that I was pretty much always humming or singing something to myself as I went about my day with the boys. Nathan had been hyper all morning (and no, not from sugar intake. He’s three; basically a walking, talking tornado with two legs) and started mimicking Luke who was still learning to talk. He had mastered all of three words: ‘Yuuuh’, ‘No!’, and ‘Heeeeeeey’. Nathan started saying the same thing in the same voice while dancing and jumping about the living room, arms flailing and everything. I paused and looked at him – he paused and looked back. “You, little mister, are a silly jumping bean today!” It wasn’t until the following day that his dad had asked me why he called me ‘the silly singing bean’ when he referred to me that night after I had left. He told his dad that he never wanted his ‘silly singing bean’ to leave. Talk about possessive! 😉

Kids say the darnedest things!

Cribbed In

So far in my posts, things are positive; the kids say ridiculous things, they teach me lessons, etc. But this post, even though it bars on the edge of scary for a split second, I assure you, it has a happy ending!

Ah, nap time. The time of the day where two out of three children sleep soundly and I get one on one time with Nathan. He had decided that we would read books this afternoon. Half way through Where’s My Mother?, I hear Luke wake up. He’s notorious for waking up and falling back asleep five minutes later so I ignore him and continue reading to Nathan. The crying stopped for a couple minutes, but then came the blood curtailing scream. I jumped off the couch and rushed upstairs to his room. Everything looked normal and I relaxed a bit, until I noticed a limp leg stuck in between the crib bars. You’ve got to be kidding me. How did he manage that? The screaming continued until I knelt down to him and talked to him. Making light of the situation so he would calm down I ask him how on earth he got his leg stuck. With a little giggle and a sniff of his nose he replied, “Yuuuuuh.” Hmm. What to do. I examined the leg to see if I could easily pull it out, but it was stuck three quarters of the way up his thigh. My guess was he had been standing or jumping and his foot slipped between the bars and BAM! Stuck. Sigh.

I tried to gently turn the leg to push it back through the bars, but at every touch, Luke cried out in pain. Nathan, being the not-so-sympathetic older brother rebuked Luke saying, “See, Luke! This is what happens when you wake up early from your nap and don’t sleep all day! I think you’re going to have to stay there forever!” (You older siblings. Pfft)

I made the executive decision to just push the leg out, despite the pain Luke would be in. One, two, THREE! A window shattering scream was heard and in the same second Luke was in my arms as I cuddled him to get him to stop crying. I took him to the bathroom and ran some cold water over his leg; a bruise was already appearing. After some comforting, I had a clingy toddler on my hands for the rest of the afternoon. But after a bruised leg and a lesson to not go near the crib bars, I don’t think Luke will ever be ‘cribbed in’ again.

Baby Cuddles!

What’s more rewarding than rocking a baby successfully to sleep, you may ask? Why, the cuddles you get while doing the rocking of course! There’s something heartwarming about a baby’s head nestled in your neck, completely comfortable. Bliss.

Sam was the cutest little chubby baby you ever saw. Sometimes mistaken for the Michelin Man, the five month old baby was a content baby that was a cookie cutter baby. If he was hungry, he would cry. If his diaper was dirty, he would cry. If he was overtired, he would cry. Other than that, absolutely nothing but his giggles and attempts to master the confusing language of the giant humans could be heard from him. Every now and then I would hear a little whine, but nothing a little baby talk couldn’t fix. Silly thing is, even at five month old, Sam was able to give me something I really needed.

It was 9:00am. My shift started earlier than normal (I usually worked from 12:00pm – around 8:30pm) which meant it would be an exhausting day. Except, I was already exhausted. At 9:00am, seriously?! you say? I was exhausted because the night before, my current ex-boyfriend decided to pull the plug on our relationship and I was absolutely devastated. Up until now, I had thought our relationship was fine (every girl’s mistake, right ladies?). Plans had been made to visit his family at the end of the summer and we were so very much in love – at least I was. Not getting the explanation or closure that I fully needed, as you could expect, I got no sleep. I tossed and turned and before I knew it, my zombie-self was up and at ’em ready to face another day. I was so numb. It took every ounce of me to not call a sick day. I pulled up to the house, took deep breath, wiped the tears from my face and walked into the house. Luke greeted me with a huge hug and I could hear Nathan stomp through the house yelling, “IT’S MY NANNY!!!” (Nathan never called me by my real name until the day I left. But alas, that is another story for another time.) Why are they so energetic? Is it nap time yet? Sigh. Like i said, exhausted.

Nap time finally rolled around and Sam decided that he needed some help getting to sleep. Great. I opted to leaving him till last. I put Luke in his crib, and off to sleep he went. Till now, I had been fighting back tears. The boys did a great job of distracting me as we put giant floor puzzles together and read Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch over and over and over (I’m not even kidding). Nathan had outgrown naps, but I usually allowed him one 20 minute Super Hero show on account for his good behaviour. I set him up with his Ironman cartoon and proceeded to carry Sam upstairs to put him to sleep. Sam fussed a little as he fought sleep and as he whimpered, I joined him. The pent up hurt I had been holding all morning just flowed out. I felt pathetic. Pull yourself together, Melinda. You are pathetic. You are supposed to be comforting the crying baby, not the other way around. Sam finally fell limp in my arms and that was my queue to set him down and get on with the household chores. Except, the gentle rocking and the way Sam was snuggled into my arms was somehow comforting me now. I decided to plant myself in the rocking chair and pull myself together. I knew it would be short lived because once Nathan’s show was finished, he could come looking for me to play cars with him.

Sure enough, Nathan came running upstairs and I finally laid Sam down in his crib to continue sleeping. The day continued on as normal; the two little ones eventually woke up leaving me one hand short, but nonetheless surviving. Heartbreak would have to wait till later. Eight o’clock neared and an empty washing machine, full dish washer, and three sleeping children marked the end of my day. The parents came home and relieved me. Had it not been for baby cuddles, the day would have been, without a doubt, harder than it was. Best thing about baby cuddles? You can’t give cuddles without getting them back.

Having a rough day? I’m telling you! Baby cuddles is where it’s at, man!

“Make my day!!”

Small Disclaimer (only because I must): All names have been changed to protect the identity of this wonderful family! (:

It was lunch time and the hot dogs – without the bun of course – was cut up into small pieces and placed in front of Nathan and Luke. Luke, the one and a half year old, pointed to the fridge and said, “Yuuuuh??” Ketchup. Right. Almost forgot. I grabbed the ketchup and squirted a glob on both the boys’ plates and the face stuffing began. Luke, the glutton that he was, scarfed down his hot dog within seconds leaving his poor cucumber all by itself. “Luke, you have to eat your cucumbers before you can go play,” I told him with my stern, motherly voice. He understood. I looked over to check on Nathan’s progress only to see that he still had a full plate.

Nathan, the three year old, was the particular one. Everything had to go his way and had to be just right. You know the type. He constantly frustrated me with his ‘preferences’ and today was no exception. “You got ketchup on my hot dog and I wasn’t ready! I’m not eating it,” he pouted. I walked over to him and tried to explain that it was okay because now he didn’t have to do it himself and that it was like a magic trick. He could now stab his hot dog with his handy dandy fork and voilà! there would already be ketchup on his hot dog (kid reasoning, right?)! One point Melinda, zero for Nathan. I was victorious; he started eating.

Commercial break. It’s funny how a little ‘reasoning’ and misdirection works on a child’s mind. They are so innocent and for the most part, buy into anything you try selling them. It’s almost as if they are dumb little robots that walk around and make messes all day. But, dumb they most certainly are not! I prefer to use the word ignorant. No child in their right mind would choose broccoli over a bowl of ice cream given the choice for lunch. I mean, obviously ice cream tastes better. So smart choice. Except, as an adult, you know it is not. They are ignorant to the fact that ice cream will leave them with a tummy ache and the munchies twenty minutes later as opposed to the healthy broccoli that would hold them over till supper time (okay, dumb example, but you catch my drift). The toddler mind is one that is so simple, yet we still are dumbfounded when they say or do ridiculous things.

Luke had now finished his cucumber and indicated that he was full and would like to go play. I let him out of his high chair and away he waddled. Nathan, still working in his final 2 pieces, paused to drink some water. He gulped down the rest of his cup and asked if he could have more. Proud that he was almost done his plate, I excitedly said, “Yep! You can have some when you finish those last two pieces!!” I flailed my arms a bit to get him excited to finish. He looked at me, paused, put his sippy cup down, and said, “Ah c’mon! Make my day!”

One point Nathan.