More Adventures In Babysitting…

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It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to link up with “Think of me Thursday” over at http://www.mrsmamadrama.com and http://www.bellycharms.blogspot.com

Today I decided to share a couple more of my adventures in babysitting.  I began keeping twins,  Jayla and Mackenzie,  in October of 2005, when they were just five months old.  We spent almost 2 years together, and we both learned a lot during that time!   

I learned that I it’s fun to put “things” on babies heads and take their photographs!  The girls were usually pretty good sports

about it, and would go along with me.  One of my favorite “hats” was a Cool Whip container.  Hey, what can I say, sometimes I just needed a laugh!  I took pictures of the girls doing all kinds of things.  The twins will get a laugh out of those crazy pictures one of these days…I filled up an entire scrapbook, and gave it to their mom.

I also learned that I had to be twice as smart as the twins were.  They worked together, and were always exploring new places and things!  It was hard to stay a step ahead of those two!

One thing I learned quickly was that the twins’ favorite place to play was in the bathroom.  Shame on me if I forgot to close the door whenever I came out of there.  What is it about a roll of toilet paper that is so enticing?  If given the chance, they would unroll an entire roll of paper!  Of course, they would also put things in the toilet if given a chance.

I always tried to at least keep the lid closed on the toilet, just in case I forgot and left the door open–like I did just before making this photograph…

The scariest experience that I ever had while babysitting happened  when I accidentally locked the twins inside of my car one day!

I had two car seats of my own that I kept in my car, so I could take the girls to town occasionally.  On this particular day, the girls and I had just returned from a trip to town.  The twins lived in an isolated spot, out in the country, and I usually just left my keys in the front seat of my car. (I know this sounds crazy to city people, but that’s the way it is in the country.)  This day was no different, except that I accidentally hit the “lock” button on the  car door, instead of the unlock button.  I realized what I’d done immediately! 

I didn’t panic, however.  The day was cool, my car was parked in the shade, and the twins weren’t crying.  I calmly decided that I would call their grandfather who lived very close by, get him to stand beside my car with the twins, while I quickly ran home to get my spare set of keys.  I’d be back within 15 minutes…

I called the grandfather, not realizing that he was a panicking kind of person.  After calming him down, I got in his truck and headed for my house…Then I realized that  I couldn’t get to my spare set of keys because they were locked in our fire safe–and the code for the safe was in my purse–locked in my car!  Now I was beginning to panic!

I turned around and went back to where the twins were.  By then, their aunt had also arrived.  She was almost as upset as the grandfather was.  By then, the twins had begun to cry because of all of the activity around them.  I decided to call 911. 

The dispatcher at 911 quickly told me “we don’t handle that kind of problem”.  If locking two babies in a car isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is!  At least the 911 dispatcher gave me the name and number of a man who could help me.  I quickly called him, and fortunately he arrived within 25 minutes.  Within two or three minutes after arriving, the man had my car door opened, and the twins were rescued!  The twins were locked in my car less than an hour, but to me it seemed like an eternity!

By the time all of these things had transpired, I was a nervous wreck!  Calling the twins’ mother to tell them what I’d done was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.  Fortunately, she was very understanding.  The twins’ grandfather even paid the thirty-five dollars that it cost to have my car unlocked–and he refused to let me pay him back.    After that harrowing experience, you could always count on one thing–from that day forward, I always took my keys out of my car!

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Adventures In Babysitting…#1

The twins...in 2005

 By the second week of school in 2005, I was already relatively sure that I wasn’t going to be able to continue to remain in the classroom with the teacher that I’d been assigned to.  I continued to try to hang on until Christmas, but it just got to be too much to handle.  Stress was consuming my life.  As the door was beginning to close on my career as a first grade paraprofessional, a new door was beginning to open up for me.  I found out, through my daughter, that Michelle,  a good friend of hers,  would soon be looking for a nanny for her five month old twin girls.  The twins had a nanny at the time, but their mother was looking for a new nanny to begin work in January.  I inquired about the position.

After talking with both parents, they agreed to hire me.  I was going to start in January, and I would be going to their house to keep the girls.  Beleive it or not, excluding the insurance benefits, the pay was pretty close to what I had been making working at school.  In the meantime, I gave my two weeks notice at school at the end of September.  I decided I’d just enjoy doing nothing until January.  Well, that thought quickly disappeared when the other nanny left earlier than expected…and thus began my “adventures in babysitting” which began immediately after leaving school, and lasted just short of two years.

It had been about twenty years since I’d handled any babies, but it’s like falling off a bicycle–you never forget!However, I quickly discovered how to do things in a different way than I had previously done them!  I learned how to feed two hungry babies at once!  I learned how to rock two babies at once!  I learned how to get two babies to sleep at the same time!   While twins might seem overwhelming to some…after dealing with 20 first graders for nearly 16 years, five month old twins seemed rather tame.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed keeping those little babies!  These babies were already special to me before I ever became their nanny.  I’d watched Michelle go through years of wanting a child, and not being able to get pregnant.  Then, finally, after saving up enough money,  she went through the invitro fertilization process and became pregnant with twins.  They were little miracles–and I got to share their days with them.  I became like a third grandma.

Jayla

Fortunately, the babies had opposite personalities.  Mackenzie, the larger of the two, was a colicky, demanding child.  She cried a lot, and demanded immediate attention–always!  Jayla, the smaller, darker  haired twin, was a pleasant,  easy-going, child–always willing to wait her turn–and it was a good thing!  As the twins grew older, and larger, I could no longer manage them both at the same time, and somebody had to wait.  I was so happy that Jayla never complained about going last. 

Mackenzie

As they grew bigger, Mackenzie was notorious for getting into trouble, but Jayla would happily follow her!  Oh the things those two could find to get into!   I couldn’t   trust Mackenzie to stay quiet and out of trouble while I put Jayla in the stroller or carseat, so Mackenzie always got buckled in first.  Fortunately, Jayla never seemed to mind waiting her turn.  She would stand and wait patiently until I got Mackenzie buckled up. 

You will see a picture of Jayla in this post–immediately after she’s finished eating.  Both twins looked exactly like this–after each and every meal!  Can you tell that she had carrots for lunch?  The other picture is of Mackenzie sitting in the sink–taken one morning while she sat watching her mother get ready for work.  Placing Mackenzie in the sink was how her mama kept her occupied while she was trying to fix her own hair and makeup!  By the time I got to their house each morning, Michelle had already put in a day’s work with the twins–before ever leaving for her job!   

I have lots more tales to tell–as you can imagine with twins. Some days were more adventurous than others, but something was always going on with those two!   I’ll share more tales on another day.  Until next time…thanks for stopping by!

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (11)  
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