Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Top 25 Lessons of Nannying

1. ANYTHING can be solved with gummy bears and tootsie rolls. You can have a snit, a fist fight, hurt feelings, general boredom or incooperativeness-and as long as you bring the back up, everyone will go home happy. Even you.

2. The Beatles still rock the world. Try to argue that they're the beginning of the modern downfall of true music and mark the start of horrifying musical commercialism with a seven year old. Go ahead. I dare you.

3. Children will say anything and everything about anyone you both know, just so their opinions are out in the open. And you don't get to be offended on behalf of your friends or relatives. Or even embarassed. Because if they see you react-they WILL pounce.

4. As it turns out, studying history has more than academic benefits. Little boys like WAR stories. Real ones. Detailed ones. And they don't want to read about it. They want you to recite everything you know off the top of your head. Oh-and make it sound good. Boring stories make for a very long bedtime process. Good thing I studied Napoleon's war strategy or I'd be a goner.

5. Entertaining children without electronics is far more difficult than one would originally suspect. Especially when the child refuses to do anything else. Especially when you live in constant rain and can not take the child outside. Where is the Cat in the Hat when you need him?

6. One should make sure the cell phone is hidden is a locked cupboard before any child even knows it exists.

7. Apparently, keys are delicious. So are pennies.

8. One should not assume that just because you have strapped the baby in with five different types of buckles, they are secure. Houdini took lessons from babies. This is especially true if their conniving brothers are present in the room-in which case one should really just give up and feed the baby on the floor.

9. The mothers who are constantly hosting friends are NOT crazy or even necessarily socially assertive. Life is about ten thousand times easier when the friends get the child out of your face and into the playroom, backyard, or bedrooms. Everyone is happier, boredom is generally unmentioned, and you can get quite a lot of other things done while they're distracted. Particularly if the baby is sleeping. Plus there's a BONUS (but only if you're actually the Mom): When you invite other children over to play, your children generally get an invitation to said friends house at a later date. Giving you extra and even more liberating free time.

10. Children like NOISE. A movie in the background, a radio or even playing the drums on your legs will keep things moving and children busy for hours. For some reason, silence makes them listless and crazy--while noise makes the world interesting.

11. Coloring books and utensils are God's gifts to babysitters. Thankyou God.

12. Little girls LOVE it when you sing to them and dance like a crazy person...little boys DON'T.

13. You must be --insert age of child speaking-- years of age to do EVERYTHING.

14. No matter how cool they think you are, or how old you are- you will never be as big or amazing as their oldest brother or sister. Even if they're 12.

15. If you walk into the house of four growing boys and you can't catch a ball-you may as well walk back out. (Thanks for all that training Dad!) Furthermore, if you don't actually know the names and various numbers associated with the players of their favorite sports teams, you must either act well and learn fast, or admit to being a complete and utter loser and failure at life.

16. Mom really is the most beautiful woman on the planet, and Dad is a superhero.

17. Maniacal laughter and the word NOTHING are VERY BAD SIGNS.

18. You think oil's a hot commodity these days? Try walking in with sugar and new movies in a house where they're generally unheard of. The world will be your oyster.

19. Older siblings can be very helpful. Especially when they're being paid.

20. Rocks, flowers, dirt, balls, worms and dogfood are all edible. And I'm not just talking about with the babies.

21. If you think things are going smoother than they should, you're right. You are being tricked. One (or all) of them was supposed to do the dishes. Bed time was half an hour ago. Somebody found a bag of hidden M&M's. There is now a frog or some other sort of lovely little critter in your bag. You are not hearing the baby wake up from her nap because she is perfectly happy emptying her bottle, her diaper, the wipee's, and the batteries from her newest toy onto her freshly washed sheets. You were supposed to serve brussel sprouts with dinner. You read an extra story-it was a large chunk of a chapter book. You forgot to make them brush their teeth or pray. They have found a new way to torture the house pet. Whatever you do-don't go upstairs. It will be worse than you imagine. Trust me.

22. There is no cure for a nine year olds insomnia. Unfortuntely, you can not legally drug other peoples children. Really, you can get in trouble even for drugging your own.

23. The only way to stop the series of questions is to come up with a truly amazing and undefeatable question that has no known answer. The unknown frightens and stumps them.

24. One should never say the words 'I just don't know,' or 'I'm not sure,' or 'Maybe when your mother gets home,' or 'absolutely not,' to a child. Them is fighting words.

25. After all the bumps and the bruises, when your hair hurts from being yanked and pulled, when your arms are tired from holding a cranky baby for hours on end, when your ear holes are three times larger than when you arrived and you are suffering from a headache and lack of nourishment; they will tell you that they love you, climb into your lap for snuggles, give you a sweet baby hug or kiss and say that you're pretty much their amazing older sister-and you'll remember why you love this job so stinking much. That moment is worth all of it. Every time.


Bri... only she said...

How do I comment on this post? You had me literally rolling on the floor the entire time I was reading. I'm frightened to ask if all of these have actually happened to you.

Favorites: Houdini took lessons from babies. . . Thankyou God. . . Maniacal laughter and the word NOTHING are VERY BAD SIGNS. . . The world will be your oyster. . . Them is fighting words.

Man I miss you.

You make me want to be a mom... SO BAD. Then you can come over and watch my kids. (insert maniacal laughter here)

P.S. Idea for you. . . I don't know if you like having your posts more private but methinks you should post some of them as notes on Facebook. You would bring happiness to so many people. You're incredibly talented and witty!

Paige's Pages said...

Miss Kristi! I agree! Only not to the sugar thing...its out-lawed here :( But movies and books are great bargaining tools! I'll add my favorite answer to never ending strings of questions... "Im not sure, What do YOU think?" It'll buy you at least fifteen minutes :) Cant wait to see you!

Dave in the Couv said...

I'm beginning to think every teen age girl out to have a stint at being a nanny before taking on the role of mother. Sounds like very good training, or trench warfare if you prefer.

This reminded me so much of babysitting Bishop Cotrell's kids when I was a young teen. Now why was a teenage boy asked to sit when there were so many perfectly able young women in the ward? I found out why later.

These were the kids that ganged up on poor unsuspecting babysitters with pranks that rival those in "Home Alone". The one I remember best was when the older sister hid behind the bedroom door, sent the youngest kid out to get me and tell me the oldest boy had been injured and to come quick. On entering the bedroom, I found him crying in bed, hold his leg as if it were broken. While I examined for actual damage, the older girl crept out from behind the door, sneaked up behind me, and sprayed her dad's shaving cream all over me. Then they all erupted into ROTF style laughter. Turns out they had quite a reputation, and most of the YW in the ward found they had to wash their hair or some such when the Cotrell's called for a sitter.