The phone call comes, and you’re so excited to go to either a new family or one of the families that you’ve grown to love. The promise of a new day, and doing fun activities that will be wonderfully received with enthusiasm, calmly executed, and a day that is well organized, timed, kids love everything you do, and you love everything they do, everyone shares, cleans up after themselves with no temper tantrums, every child loves you, all parents love you, and you plan on having the perfect day of fun, love, and peacefulness.
The parents leave, you’ve calmed down the children with separation anxiety, and you’ve begun the project that you planned on for this family specifically. One child is totally into the project and the other one is listless, running around, and could care less about the making of one of the fantastic crafts you read about that looked so easy on the internet, and couldn’t wait to try it out. You chase the child that doesn’t care about the project and has highjacked the glue that you need for the next step of the project.The other child is whining about the other one not letting us finish the wonderful craft that has filled his little soul with hope.
Lunch time: You’ve changed 2 poopy diapers, prepared a snack, cleaned up at least 5 messes, wiped up 3 potty training accidents, did one craft, played dolls, went to the park, stopped at least a three arguments, and the entire time you’ve maintained a calm demeanor with a lot of love, and communication as to why you can’t let the children do what they want to do.
Lunch prep is no easy ordeal. If they aren’t picky eaters it’s a little easier because they’ll eat a good old fashion PB&J sandwich or another type of nut butter if there is a peanut allergy, of course they won’t eat the crust. Some families have taught there children that the world is their oyster as far as meals go. If the children want oysters on the half shell (exaggerating of course) you have to prepare it. If the other child wants beef bourguignon then you have to make that too. Then you have the daily mac n’ cheese kids that won’t eat anything but…The eating process isn’t easy either. For some odd reason meal time is the time when all children have the need to go to the bathroom, dawdle, be loud and obnoxious, and do anything BUT eat! You begin to run thin around now, and you can’t wait until nap time to regain composure.
Then it’s nap time. Getting the children down for naps is the longest process ever. You read 2-3 books while you start to use a calm quiet voice. Then you sing to them for awhile, and then down they go. Of course there is more dawdling, sometimes tears because they don’t want to take a nap. You know they are so busy, and there is so much to learn, and they just don’t want to stop. They usually don’t go to sleep until they’ve spent at least 15 minutes of getting out of bed to check on you, and make sure you haven’t left, or going to the bathroom, coming out to tell you that they did take a nap and are ready to come out (they say this after what seems to be an excruciating 5 minutes but an hour or more to them). Of course you have to hide your smile at the thought that after 5 minutes they had a restful and peaceful nap. After an additional half hour they are finally snoozing. Crazy, all-in-all you spent over an hour getting them to sleep. You finally eat your lunch, take a moment and then you do some light housekeeping to help out the family. Nap time ends…and repeat!