Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nannyhood in the Neighborhood

I've been working as a nanny for about a month now for Asa's nephew Jonah and another little girl, Grace. The kids are now five and six months old respectively, so you can imagine how hectic the days can be.

This job has been working out quite well for me for a variety of reasons. It's a great deal different from my last job as an intensive special needs teacher in a public middle school. I don't attend staff meetings that don't apply to my students anymore (always a huge waste of my time). I don't have to work with assistants who aren't very cooperative. I don't have mountains of paperwork or deadlines (except for feedings). And now we can go on walks throughout the day, including walks to the neighborhood shops, banks, and libraries, making it fairly easy for me to keep up with errands and chores. This includes my eight minute walk to work. It's so nice to be a walking commuter! And let's not forget that I only work four days per week (10.5 hours/day). I love my Fridays off!

There are some similarities, however. I still change diapers though its much different when the diaper isn't worn by a 14-year old. I still structure my day ahead of time, to allow for walks outside and certain amounts of playtime between naps. I still have a super rushed meal time, though now it's me chowing down while the kids are napping (you never know how long you'll have), instead of racing through my lunch after my long walk to the staff room and then my wait at the microwave for the other 10 teachers, and then a sprint to the bathroom, all in the 30 minutes allowed by the bells.

The job is very fun for me, and I hope also for the babies. We've gone to the park a couple of times now, though Jonah has been asleep both times by the time we roll up in the double stroller. We get to walk the dog, Story at the Arboretum. We spend time outside visiting with the very friendly neighbors at Grace's house. And we sing and play throughout the day. All of our time walking around in the stroller has helped me learn our neighborhood and West Roxbury too. We can go to the grocery, the libraries in both villages, parks, and coffee shops and restaurants. And, look at these babies, they are a hit everywhere we walk! People are always asking after them and wondering if they are twins.

Being a nanny is not without its challenges, though. Grace has been going through what her parents call a sleep strike, not wanting to sleep in her crib. She will sleep in the carrier or in my arms, but this will not be a long term solution (I hope). When one baby is hungry, both are starving once the bottle comes into view. This makes for some intense seconds until I get everyone positioned for a group feeding. And when one baby is tired, that doesn't mean both are. But crying and clinginess are contagious, so if one is tired and clingy, I've usually got both kiddos attached to me. Sometimes its a bit wild, like while I'm wearing a sleeping Grace in the carrier and trying to get Jonah off to sleep, by bouncing him in my arms. Luckily they both tend to nod off in the stroller; if only we could walk for two hours at a time twice a day, everyday!

Because the babies are so young, they are changing a lot all of the time. I've noticed big differences in Jonah and Grace in the four weeks since I've started watching them full time. I'm very excited to keep watching them grow, develop, and learn in the months ahead.

In other neighborhood news, Asa and I had the opportunity to walk to the polls last week for election day. We hadn't been able to do that in a few years, as Seattle moved to all-mail-in ballots. Our polling place was the local church in our village, three blocks from our apartment. We were impressed with how organized they were and how quickly our line was processed. It was a pretty low tech situation, with small counters and felt tip pens to fill out our paper ballots, but the turn out was impressive and it seemed like voting was a family affair for many of our neighbors. Here's a photo taken outside our polling place, the Greek Church.

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing Jaimee! I honestly do not know how you do it with two babies, but it sounds like you are figuring it out and living up to your new name: Jaimee Poppins. And they are so cute - love the double-stroller nap shot.


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