My three week job is down to two more days. It has been very challenging but I really like the family. I am supposed to go to one day a week with them after this but the mom said she is going to try to take the baby to work with her next Friday and see how it goes. We are both skeptical.
M is 5 months, a chubby little sweetheart, has a heart condition that will need surgery in the near future, and is breastfed. She wasn’t used to taking bottles regularly and being away from mom. That was our first challenge. I feel really good about having helped her learn to take a bottle and not messing up their breastfeeding. She will take about 3 ounces at a time but it needs to be broken into 2 or 3 parts, with burps and a break between. It must be warm so I usually end up warming it up at least twice. The first week, she couldn’t drink enough at a time so she wasn’t sleeping well. By the end of week two I was able to help her stay close to her usual routine with mom.
Wallace is adorable with her. Tries to give her toys and her bottle. Touches her head gently and counts her toes. She does this great snurfle noise with her breathing and Wallace mimics it. He does impressions of people and animals that are hilarious.
Then there is big brother D who is 3. He goes to school three days a week. He loves trains and busses and books. He barely eats and survives mostly on whole milk. He has really gotten Wallace into trains and we all make some pretty elaborate tracks together. He has this nasally voice and awkward mannerisms. I predict he will be a sweet hipster nerd when he grows up. When Wallace needs help putting a train back together or figuring out a new toy, he is really great about helping him.
His challenge is that he gets rough with M and Wallace. The way that his parents have been handling it has confused him more by not giving him consistent and stable responses. How I want to try to work with him on this is difficult because it is hard to keep my response calm and bored. Last week D threw a train at Wallace’s face from a foot away. When a person, no matter how small, hurts your child on purpose it is nearly impossible to not react. This gets worse when he is tired, hungry (and he barely eats), or when a parent is home.
Here is another good read on this approach to discipline. I’m not sure how to do this when the behavior has already happened. Saying “I won’t let you push him” after the action has already happened doesn’t make sense. With two active kids and a baby, it is impossible for me to shadow him and prevent a push, hit, pinch, grab, etc. I have to do some more work to figure this out.
All of this behavior plus Wallace not napping well at work and being really overtired was making me doubt the regular part time job I am starting next week. It is with 4 year old A and 1 year old B. I was reassured by their previous nanny that A doesn’t have a problem with hitting but I am still concerned about Wallace’s nap. I am going to have to try.