17 January, 2012
After school mother’s helper for a six year old (S) and four year old triplets (R, C, M) and have been working with this family for five months.
2:45: I pull up to the house and wait in my car for MB and DB to return from picking the kids up at school. All kids go inside and wash their hands.
3:00: I put a helmet on S and R and take them out for a bike ride around their neighborhood and to the “rock place” which is a small dog park area with grass and a sitting area with a slight downhill. I started taking the kids there to practice braking on their bikes and now they do that then we play on the grass (red light green light, mother may I, simon says).
3:30: I’m back at the house and put a helmet on C and M. S and R go inside, wash their hands, and play. I repeat the bike ride/rock place with C and M until C kicks M in the face on purpose and that’s our cue to go home.
4:00: We’re back at the house, I tell MB that C needs to go on time out for kicking M in the face. She asks C is she’s going to behave. C says yes. MB says C doesn’t need to go on time out (WHAT). MB retires to her bedroom with sleeping DB. Two minutes later, C hits M in face and I send her up to her room for time out.
4:05: I gather pajamas and pull ups to begin bathing children. M didn’t need bathing because he wasn’t in school today. I set S, R, and M up with puzzles in the landing upstairs near the bathroom so I can keep an ear on them. I ask S if she wants to wash first or second (R isn’t washing, C is on time out so she’s last). S says third. I ask first or second. S freaks out and runs into her mother’s room. I follow, quietly explain what happened, MB says go first and she can have a lollipop. S says she doesn’t want a lollipop as her special treat (dessert) (two days ago MB and DB decided no more special treats). MB says lollipop AND special treat. S leaves the room, I take her into her own room and explain to her that even though Mommy and Daddy are at home, I’m in charge of her and she needs to listen to what I say. She starts screaming and crying, S goes on time out in her room. S and C’s rooms are connected by the bathroom in which I watch the kids so I have screaming S on one side and screaming C on the other. Excellent.
4:15: M is undressed and in the bath. I give him about five minutes to play while I check on R who has been quietly playing with puzzles this whole time.
4:30: M is finished bathing and is dressed, C is calmed down (S is still screaming in spite of the fact that she knows time outs are three minutes, but time doesn’t begin until she has quieted down) so I take C into the bathroom to wash her.
4:45: S has FINALLY stopped crying and her three minutes have gone by without another tear so she washes herself while I pop in and out while keeping an eye on R, C, and M playing with puzzles. I have them clean up their mess, gather their water bottles from last night from their rooms and head downstairs while I dress S.
5:00: With MB and DB surprisingly still in their room (normally they are all over me during the afternoon before dinner), I take the kids downstairs and have them playing together while I do the dishes that have piled up in the sink while the kids were at school.
5:15: After a few arguments I had to break up, I have the triplets move into the living room so I can sit down at the piano with S for her daily fifteen minutes of practice.
5:30: MB comes out of her room and S runs to her. MB approaches me and asks what happened before bath because S is “visibly upset.” S says she’s mad at me because I put her on time out. I ask S why she was on time out. I explain to S and MB that she was on time out for not obeying me and throwing a tantrum. MB is obviously not very happy with the fact that I put her on time out.
5:35: MB goes back into her room, S runs after her crying again for no reason, DB is sleeping so I grab S underneath her arms to stop her from running in there loudly. I throw my back out. Excellent! I bring S downstairs with R, C, and M who are playing with Legos. I sit down and play with them for a little but and then have them begin cleaning up and washing before dinner. Clean up doesn’t happen because when I pay attention to M, R and C run away and when I fetch one of them, M runs away etc.
6:00: MB is downstairs and serving dinner. I eat with them in between fetching more milk and refilling bowls of spaghetti.
6:30: When they’re finished, I ensure the kids wash their hands and faces and DB puts on Beauty and the Beast about twenty minutes in. I wash all dishes from dinner (kids’, parents’, pots, pans, DB’s Tupperware/water bottles from work) while the kids are content in front of the tv. I collect their lunchboxes from the garage while DB awkwardly walks in from outside with the smell of cigarettes on him (found out recently he secretly smokes on the side of the house).
7:00: I get the kids vitamins and give them to them while they’re watching the movie. I clean up the play room (because it’s obvious MB and DB aren’t going to enforce me having them do it tonight [they’re watching tv, I can of course pick up after your already spoiled children].
7:20: Movie’s over, I begin brushing the kids’ teeth and refill their water bottles for bed.
7:40: I’m ushering the children upstairs, tuck them in, hugs and kisses + “I’ll see you on Monday, please behave this weekend” times four, and lights out.
7:45: Check in hand, I’m out the door.
Normally the kids don’t watch a movie, it was a big surprise that they got to because I will never put the television on for them (there are four of them, they can always play together) and it only happens when their parents are feeling lazy and don’t want them to bother them. DB is a surgeon and MB… doesn’t do anything? but spends an awful lot of time in the study “working.” Also, I don’t put tv on for them because they always want to watch Superhero Squad but the kids are generally violent to one another and MB blames it on the tv show so she told them no more of that show, which I enforce, but she stopped enforcing after two days. They each just got their own Leappad for… no particular reason so I’ve been giving those to them once or twice a week for the past two weeks. Fridays (this day) are my longest day with the kids and normally I'll take them down to the neighborhood playground instead of bike riding because it gives them more time and space to run around and it gives me more alone time with the kids to have a "picnic" snack and ask about their days, talk to them about what's going on in school, etc...
I adore the children when they’re behaving but when one misbehaves is generally means another one or two are misbehaving which is not fun. I give multiple time outs a day and it’s super stressful. I thought this was a nanny job when I began, not a mother’s helper job, and don’t really like the fact that their mom is home 95% of the time because the kids always run to her when they don’t like something I say.
at 6:00 AM