Thursday, February 5, 2009

SuperHero Adventure in LP

My days at the LP townhouse are always ones filled of educational experiences. The 4-y.0. has recently become obsessed with Star Wars and my days have since then been filled learning about all of the characters, their missions, and their history. "Good guys" and "bad guys" are the easiest way to segregate the group and the easiest way for me, a non-Star-Wars-fan, to stay up to speed.

I can't keep the stories straight! First there's Luke, and who knows what he's up to or where he's going. Then there's Darth, Luke's father?! What?! It's sad that the 4-y.0. knows more about death and fighting that I'll ever care to know. He's recently started playing "guns". I am NOT a fan of this game. I replace the word "gun" with "weapon" and getting "killed" with getting "injured". Let's keep it 'G' people. Even THE BABY has learned how to fall over and "die"! He's 15 months old and will run in a circle while the 4-y.0. chases after him with a gun/lightsaber and when they've done this for a few minutes, the baby will fall over and "die"! It's hilarious because he does it so dramatically, and will even lay there for a few minutes until someone reacts to the little show he's put on, but at the same time... I think he's a LITTLE young to realize the effects of death! - This video is HILARIOUS! My roommate and her boyfriend just showed it to me after I told them about the 4-y.o and his baby brother. It's great!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pigeon Adventures

Friday was another day full of babysitting. Fridays belong to the South Loop family. I've only been babysitting for them for a year, but since I've watched their youngest grow from 2 months to 14 months, I feel like I've been with them a lifetime.

The Loop is one of my favorite places to babysit. The apartment overlooks the entire city and it's a surreal experience to walk around with the babies, glancing out to the hustle and bustle of the city. This is TRUE city living.

Both of the Loop boys have birthdays in the winter (November for the baby and January for the 3 year-old). Although I don't get them "holiday" gifts, I decided that getting a little gift for their birthdays would be appropriate. I truly believe in the philosophy that your child will be as smart as you allow them to be. Interpretation: The 'smarter' (or more mature/educated) you speak to your children, the faster their minds will grow! That being said, I'm on a book-purchasing spree.

Mo Willems hails from Brooklyn, NY (specifically, Park Slope) and is the author of the many "Pigeon" classics. I met him when I was in Brooklyn a few summers ago, nannying for the NY family at a book signing. He's a neighborhood-classic in the streets of Park Slope and it's not unusual to see him at the local park with his daughter Trixie (another must-read: "Snuffle Bunny").
Here's a silly picture of Mo that captures the way I feel about the Pigeon Classics.

Some of my pigeon-favorites include:

"Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" - gift for the Loop 3 year old
"The Pigeon Wants a Puppy" - gift for the Loop baby

The simplicity of these books is what caught my eye. The illustrations are hilarious, even in the opinion of an adult. I couldn't help but laugh at the pigeon begging for a puppy, promising to water it once a month, as EVERYONE knows a puppy needs proper watering and sunshine.

The Loop babies love these books. They flap their arms in the air when I turn the page and the puppy appears, licking the pigeon with its big, wet tongue. They love when the pigeon promises to be careful while driving the bus in "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus".

My favorite, "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy"!! (how can you resist that face?!)

Although these books may not be the most "educational" around, they're enlightening and enjoyable for both children and parents. Maybe it's because I've met Mo and can appreciate where he comes from and the neighborhood that inspires his stories.

Or maybe it's because us city-folk can appreciate a few tales about our fellow sidewalk friends, the pigeons.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Blues-day

Today is technically my day 'off', but of course I'd rather be with the little munchkins. Time seriously slows to a comfortable pace when I'm with "THE KIDS" as I will now affectionately call them.

I have two wonderful roommates ("THE ROOMIES") who I don't think quite understand my love for THE KIDS. They both have experience babysitting, but as my one roommate referred to babies, they're like handling 'foreign objects' :)

I'm not feeling so hot on my day 'off''. I have a test today at 1pm (I really need to start studying!) which isn't helping matters. I'm also pretty sure I have the flu. Here's my diagnosis:

Yesterday, 1pm, at the THE KIDS' Lincoln Park residence:

Amy (mother), upon my arrival: You haven't eaten yet?! Go raid my fridge and make something for lunch, while I'm going to put the baby down for his nap before I leave.
Me: THANK GOODNESS. I will gladly raid your fridge stocked with wonderful Trader Joe's organic products. Nothing but the best for the LP babies.

......I make myself a delicious bowl of TJ's Creamy Tomato Soup (with the 4-year-old running around me in circles, it's the best I can come up with) and sit down to quickly eat my yummy soup doused with mini-wheat crackers (from TJ's of course, and I put so many in it either looks like oatmeal or stew).

The 4 y.o.: What are you eaaaaaaaaattttttinnnnnnnng? (all curious of course, even AFTER I asked him if he wanted me to make him something of his own, he said no thanks!).
Me: Oh, just some tomato soup.
The 4 y.o.: I want to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
(ugh, ok)
Me: See, it's orange and creamy and DELICIOUS! (used WAY TOO descriptive of words - what kid is going to resist something that's DELICIOUS???)
The 4 y.o.: I waaaannnnt sooooooommmmmmeeeeeee.
(ugh, ok)

So I reluctantly let him eat off my spoon. He was being all cute, helping me put crackers (or, Ca-kers! as he says) into my soup and he even climbed up on my lap to eat; a rarity. Spoonful after spoonful, what turned into my lunch was now sitting in The 4 y.o's tummy. I tried to teach him how to dunk the crackers in like milk and cookies (which, by the way, he's never done before! how awful!). I was shocked by my genius decision to avoid the whole spoon-in-two-mouths episode. The dunking went well for the remainder. I still regret the whole spoon-sharing decision as I have felt sick to my stomach all morning. I guess it was a trade-off for the few intimate moments I had with the 4 y.o. who patiently sat on my lap while we shared a bowl of yummy soup :) Next time, I'll just get him his own spoon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Should Have Started This YEARS Ago...

I've been babysitting for over 8 years, and cannot believe that I just got the idea to start this blog now. I'm not trying to copy the "Nanny Diaries" because, believe it or not, I haven't even read the dang book or seen the movie!

I babysit anywhere from 2-5 days a week in addition to attending college (second semester senior year, woo!) in wonderful, beautiful, right-now-really-chilly, CHICAGO. There are far too many days when I want to laugh uncontrollably or pull my entire head of hair out (sometimes both in the same day) because of some of the things these kids do.

I hope you find my stories interesting, hilarious, disgusting, etc. I love these kids, and dread the day when I have to give up the flexibility and relaxation that babysitting brings me for a 9-5 desk job that is somehow, supposed to prepare me for my future.

Grab a PB&J or some Cheesy Mac and enjoy!