This past week, I’ve started nannying for adorable 17-month old SJ (Samuel John) Clendenin. It’s a great way to make a little extra money before I start staying home full-time, help a friend out, and get some practice before the big “game” of having a little one myself. SJ is a lot of fun and in just the past few days, I feel like I’ve already learned quite a bit to help prepare me for baby girl Maroon. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
- There are so many little things that you don’t think to think about until you have a baby with you. Example: I took SJ to the mall today and as soon as I parked the car I realized that I was facing a mini dilemma. SJ is in his car seat in the back seat, the stroller is in the trunk, and it is 100 degrees outside. Do I: (A) turn the car off, get SJ out of his car seat, and then get the stroller out of the trunk- risking him running off in the parking lot while I’m struggling with the stroller? (B) Turn the car off, get the stroller out first, and then get SJ out of his car leaving him roasting in the car without the AC on? or (C) Leave the on with the AC, get the stroller out, and then get SJ out of his car seat risking him somehow hitting a “lock” button and me being locked out of the car?…. I’ve never thought about the tricky little things like that…
- It is a wonderful thing for public places to have handicapped or automatic-open doors! I was getting a little bit scared when I saw the doors that open by “pulling” out only, thinking about how I was going to manage that with the stroller.
- I thought I sweat a lot in August on my own; that is nothing compared to adding a sweaty baby, stroller, diaper bag, purse, and lifting in and out of a car seat.
- Speaking of diaper bag and purse, not only do you have a lot of extra stuff to bring with you when you have a little one for them, but I found I have to bring more for myself as well for some reason. I don’t just need a diaper bag, but a bigger purse too!
- When having to use a public restroom, I will always have to use or wait for the bigger stall that a stroller can fit in, which can still be tricky to manuever.
- A play place in the mall for kids= great idea. The open shoe cubby that all the little ones can reach= not a good idea. How are you supposed to explain to a 17 month old that all these new shoes that are within reach are a “no-no”?
- Always read the rules at things like a play place. Apparently I was not supposed to have food in there. I’m sure all the mom’s loved me when I heard several little ones around me asking them why “that lady” can have a snack, but they can’t…oops.
- Hand sanitizer is amazing and must be kept closely at all times.
- Having mommy friends will be essential to survival and sanity. Playing mommy is fun, but I’m sure it can be isolating at times and it would be great to have other friends in the same phase of life to share it with and do things together with the kids.
- Fold up strollers aren’t as easy as they look. Sure the umbrella stroller was super easy to open, but I’m thankful the car has a big trunk since there is currently a full size, unfolded stroller in it right now…
- I always wondered how mom’s with little ones find time to work out. Having little ones is a work out!
- Never pass up opportunities to teach and train little ones, no matter how young they are. At only 17 months old, SJ is learning his letters and his colors! He can point out the letter “M,” “B,” “O,” “W,” “S” and make the sounds that they make and if I ask him where the yellow, green, red or blue tractors are in his book he can show me! I’ve been surprised by how much he picks up on.
- When little ones smile, laugh, or cuddle it completely melts my heart and pulls on the “I want to be a mommy” strings in my heart. SJ isn’t even my child, and I turn into a pile of mush whenever he does these things! I’m in trouble when baby girl gets here, she’s going to have me wrapped around her tiny little finger…
So there you have it! Thank you SJ for coaching me this week! 🙂 I’m sure I have many more things to learn along the way…