Thursday, October 25, 2012

Elephants, Stars, Balloons: A Montage

                                                       This is how we begin our day.

Sweet Pea's content at the moment because she's guzzling a bottle full of her mom's freshly pumped breast milk. That's Lambie on The Cousin's lap. Or is it Lambert?  They all have f@#king names.



It's very important, during emotional meltdowns, (The Cousin's not mine) to know which one she wants.
The Cousin and I bonded big time yesterday while Sweet Pea was napping.
We played with scoops and shovels in bubble water...

And ate applesauce with mega doses of cinnamon.  

It's not that we don't enjoy Sweet Pea's company. But Sweet Pea has become a beast. Seriously. 
I've seen the change in just 2 short weeks.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, stops her from applying the 'bulldozer method'. Nothing gets in her way on the blanket. Nothing distracts her from her focus. Nothing says "unhappy" quite like this...

Sweet Pea's lungs are as massive as her body and she doesn't give a shit about the cutesy little Playskool toys, the PVC-free corn starch rattles, the soft plush bunnies, the teething rings.  
She now hates conventional infant toys.  She bypasses all of them, plowing through the childproof barricades, trampling every damn toy in her path, in order to get a tag, a Dasani h2o bottle, a magazine, 
the A+D diaper rash ointment tube or her cousin's feet.  All these items have one and only one destination: her mouth.

                  I didn't get to feed her the oatmeal.  Her mom's only "allowing" it at night. issues with the nanny?  I did, however, secretly slip her a faint smear of The Cousin's banana and she about gnawed my finger to the bone, which pretty much told me,
bring it on!

And another thing.  Somehow, Sweet Pea didn't get the memo that states:
Babies crawl before they stand.
This presents a problem for the nanny as you might imagine, because she's pulling herself up on everything, at a jackrabbit's pace, and of course, what goes up...quickly goes SPLAT.

You know, choice words do go through my head, but I can't say what I'm thinking when it all falls apart, because The Cousin is a f@!#ing parrot and I'll get fired.
But when Sweet Pea bonks her head, all hell breaks loose.
Sweet Pea eating a red chair.

Sweet Pea eating a book appropriately titled.
The Cousin has many strengths, but her forte is not clean-up time.  She actually dislikes clean-up time with a passion. I'm trying to set a good example, but the god's truth is, clean-up time's not my specialty either.
Basically yesterday was all about primal survival.  When I got them both in the double stroller (with the help of Sweet Pea's mom and the grandma, both of whom conveniently dropped by to see if I was above water) it was as if a melodic breeze and the motion of a moving stroller worked some sort of wizardry and they both conked out.  When I'm walking with them, I do everything humanly possible
to avoid loud noises such as barking dogs and sirens.  I even silence my cell. Yesterday, I could have stabbed this dude in the jugular and left his body for the crows.  He was using a leaf blower inches away from us.
When Sweet Pea started to stir a bit, my deodorant instantly lost all effectiveness.
"I'm gonna kill that mutha if he wakes them up." 
Upon returning home, I had to carefully lift the monstrosity of a stroller up over several large cement steps to get them inside without waking them. Once in the front door, I wheeled the whole damn thing into the back bedroom, put on the humidifier for background noise and closed the door.  I then proceeded to stuff my face with carob covered malt balls and stare catatonically at Dr. Phil.
I'm sure all the stay-at-home moms or insane nannies all across America were doing the same.
I'd probably sum up "Nanny hood" with this simple one-word logline:
S O S!

It's like the army.  5-minute showers. A wipe of the drool with your own shirt sleeve.  A spoonful of cereal on the run. You can't even take a piss alone.
The Cousin follows me into the bathroom and watches.
And because I can't leave Sweet Pea alone on the floor anymore, I have to either harness her in the Johnny Jumper or strap her in the swing and that goes over like a fart in church.

Well, that's the story on this morning after. It's no joke that I was asleep last night by 8 pm.
I do have one last pic for the montage. I'm teaching The Cousin how to change a diaper.
(I wasn't born yesterday y'all and I see it as beneficial)
So, it isn't age-appropriate. So the hell what!
I think she'll be ready to help me out next week.
The Cousin "in training."


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dear God, Not Oatmeal

It was not a difficult or even borderline choice:
the third and final presidential debate or the final game to determine if the San Francisco Giants
go to the World Series.  It wasn't a grueling decision.
But after watching both, (the debate taped) if I had to choose the most entertaining, because, my lovelies, I DO like to be entertained, I think Scutaro brought it!  Y E A!
I might add, though, that the second debate did leave me with the realization that I, in fact,
have something "special" in common with the governor:
“Governor Romney and I both have binders full of women.”

It’s an eery, gray Tuesday, the morning after rain, and I already have anxiety for tomorrow.  
Seeing Sweet Pea and The Cousin in just 24 hours, somehow makes me want to crawl back under the blankets of my king-size nest and suck my thumb until Thursday.  
Sweet Pea’s mom sent me a text with the earth-shattering news: “SWEET PEA’S EATING HER FIRST FOOD! OATMEAL”
Now that's thrilling and exciting news unless you're the nanny.
A cracker I can deal with, but runny slobbery oats will put me on a bridge.
The thought of feeding her oatmeal sends chills up my spine.
And I don’t mean in a satisfying way.

You know, I might just be getting too old for this stuff.  Runny diapers. Runny noses. Runny oatmeal.  Not to mention, screaming infants and spit-up. 
But then again, my "I can handle anything" super-sonic-bionic action figure takes over just like it did when I managed the park all those years.
Because only the truly brave, fearless and insane mess with me. 
No child under the age of 18 months is going to take me hostage. 

There was this whack-job from space 22 that did attempt it though, and with some success.
Some of you might recall how 'loose' she was when she didn't take her meds... 
               Calling me names from her trailer window, taking a swing at her husband, "Gil" when he came home late one night, calling the cops on her sister for reasons that probably stem back to when they were six and eight.
But the time that my action figure was "on vacation" was when the blonde bombshell at 22 came down to my place, screaming like a Banshee, in front of my pre-fab and dropping 100 more 'F-bombs' than Tom Hanks on Good Morning America.

I almost pissed my pants.  Clearly, if I had boots on, I would have been shaking in them, but in my jammies and bare feet, I hit the shag in my living room and belly-crawled under the single panes to the phone.
I had become a hostage in my own home.  Fact.
But this is rare for me.  She scared the shit out of me and in my mind I was thinking,
"Gil, for Christ-sake, get her a pill." 

She had gone ballistic because we, the management, hadn't trimmed her trees and one of the branches was touching Gil's prize possession, a 1967 Chevy Camaro.

Sweet Pea has lungs like space 22. The Cousin, not so much.
But note to self: Be prepared.
Tonight, I'll need at least 8 hours.  In the morning, I will eat a hearty breakfast.
When I dress, I will hook my bra on the last hook to ensure 9-hour comfort.
I'll arrive with a satchel of toys, books and humor.
And, obviously, the wine will already be in the fridge chilling.
Stay tuned...

Friday, October 12, 2012

From the Trailer Park to the Changing Table... the Saga Continues...

Me: That's a doggie.
The Cousin: Doggie. Woof. Woof.
The Cousin: Doggie?
Me:  Yep. There's another dog.
The Cousin: Woof. Woof.
The Cousin: Doggie?
Me: Doggie. Uh, huh.  Another dog.
The Cousin: Woof. Woof...
This stimulating conversation continues for 30 minutes on the walking path near their house.

That's how we roll, me and The Cousin.  That constant and predictable repetition of verbiage that drives weak caregivers to totally lose it, but not me.
Some things just come with the job. Some things you just accept as part of the territory.
Things like repetitive jargon and poop.  Yes, poop.
Those are two things you can depend on when spending a day with Sweet Pea and The Cousin.
Let me sidetrack for a minute. I know this is random... 

My ‘aunt-n-law’ is a frugal girl from the north, and with the rising cost of cat litter, she informed me that she buys sand ‘in bulk’ from Home Depot, rather than boxed litter, on a regular basis. Evidently, the savings is enormous.
Last week, she headed to HD to buy her 'litter-sand' and after making her purchase,  she gassed up at USA “the cheapest pump in town for Christ-sake” and continued home to change Mao Mao’s urine & feces box.
She thought the bag was “heavier than shit” but paid her thoughts no mind, continuing to clean out the old and pour in the new.
A day or two passed and she went to scoop out Mao Mao’s excretions and the entire box was filled with large, solid, hulking rocks.  Mao Mao’s piss had turned to cement.
I guess she raised some hell at HD for moving the sand to a different area and putting cement in its place.

On Wednesdays, poop's an issue for me too.
How could it not be when you're working with 2 'machines' like the ones I work with?
I learned a big feces lesson last Wednesday: Never try and shake the poop out of the Pamper into the toilet.
This action results in the nuggets missing the toilet bowl completely
and going all over the white tile.

But they're sweet, you say. Yes they are. True that. But there are some 'new developments' brewing.
Y'all have heard of "sibling rivalry" right?  Well, I'd like to give you a brief overview on what I call "cousin envy".

"If I drop my elbow to her chest, it could easily look like an accident."

"Look at those locks. I bet I could take one without her knowing it."
You see, The Cousin was used to livin the high life; agreeable, easy and alone before Sweet Pea came along.
'Attention' was her middle name and she bathed in it like a pig in sunshine.
She was la reina, the queen, and that felt good to her, I'm sure.
But things have changed for her highness, as things often do.  And 'sometimes', (I could say 'often'  but I know their moms read my blog) she just can't refrain from a quick and covetous smack with the This Little Piggy Book  right across Sweet Pea's cheek or a right hook to her ribs. We had to have a conversation about pinching and squeezing her cousin's face and I think I made progress although her response was " Ibah... abin... gibby... ga... goo."  
Which for all I know translates, "Go to hell".

Once I noticed her take the plastic sifting shovel, and what started out as a gentle rub-pat on Sweet Pea's back, quickly became a hard pounding.  

I get it, though.   I grew up in a house with a mom that always believed me.  I have since apologized profusely to my little brother for the torture and antagonizing, the teasing, the egging him on until he reached a boiling point in which he couldn't take it any more. He'd then haul off and hit me and I'd then run crying to mommy. 
Yep, he'd get in serious trouble.  I'd get a hug.

As the Wednesday Nanny, I try to assess each situation individually and with fairness. 
Sweet Pea's no bowl of cherries, believe me.
Basically my strategy is simple.  I run it like boot camp.
This is especially effective when they are both awake.
However, when one's asleep, I ease up and I must admit, super cool things do happen. Like turning on PBS and getting down with Elmo the Musical: "...yip... yip... unky... the Elmo dance, it's funky" is what The Cousin and I find our groove to.
Also, exploring painting with water.  We went through two sets of clothes, but hell, I don't do the laundry!

Dipping big brushes in big bowls of water and 'painting' the chair, the pumpkins, the table is 100% pure, unadulterated fun.
(We both shared a moment of silence; a prayer if you will,  prior to this activity. We asked God to keep Sweet Pea asleep for as long as possible).
But Sweet Pea does eventually wake up, and when she does, it briefly looks like this:

And this is nice while it lasts.
But of course, it never f*#!ing lasts.
Good thing I have a partner who pops the cork and pours 'the grape' right as I'm walking
in the door.