Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blessed with One More Work Week with the Three Silly Sisters: Flashbacks, Fast Forwards, Reflections, and an Abundance of Love, Hugs, and Kisses (My Nanny Diary)

Last week I took care of the three silly sisters while their current full-time caregiver was on vacation. It's hard to believe that I first babysat for the oldest when she was about 8 months, and now she's started Kindergarten.
The oldest of the three silly sisters
as a wee little on under age one.
My Little Pony Flashback

The oldest this week at age 5.
Notice the T-shirt she's wearing.
The three silly sisters have given themselves nicknames that are My Little Pony characters.  I used to have My Little Ponies when I was young.  I had fun playing with them, braiding their brightly colored hair, etc.  As far as I recall, I don’t think I was imaginative enough to give myself a nickname based on one of them. 

I find it extremely entertaining that they often introduce themselves and refer to each other as Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Twilight Sparkle. The other day when Twilight Sparkle was pretending that she had to get her backpack and go to school, she was saying goodbye to each of us, and apparently she has chosen the name Applejack for me. Why she associates me with a cute blond Southern belle-type pony, I haven't figured out.

I used to have quite a Southern accent when we lived in Texas. My parents tell me I could make van a five syllable word before age 5.  I do like to eat apples. But quite honestly, I'd like My Little Pony code name to be Shutterfly, because I love taking photos, and I'd want to pick what she and her cutie mark looks like.  Is that too much to ask?

Once (Again) Upon a Potty Training

I had to laugh at the confusion this week regarding some key lingo.  What I refer to as Pull-ups (because that’s what they are), Fluttershy calls “big girl panties.” What I would call big girl panties, she calls underwear.  It took me a second or two to realize why we were having a breakdown in communication and she was having a meltdown.  From that epiphany on, I was careful what I said each time I reminded her what all needs to be pulled up before she leaves the bathroom.   

Naturally, these interactions brought me right back to when I was helping to potty train Rainbow Dash when she was this age.  My amusing experiences from that time, are memorialized in my original Once Upon a Potty Training post

It never ceases to amaze me how many times I repeat the exact same phrases throughout the day.  And they say toddlers tend to sound like broken records!  I can’t imagine where they get that tendency.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

This Mo Willems classic is one of the books I read over and over and over this past week.  For good reason, Rainbow Dash was a big fan of how enthusiastically I would read this and other picture books to her.  After reading about how important it is to “read it again!” for literacy, learning to associate words and pictures, sequencing, and reading comprehension, I rarely quit even if it means that I spend half an hour or more telling the pigeon that there’s no way he’s going to get a chance to drive the freaking bus. This time, the twins were the one requesting to hear about the plight of the poor, persistent pigeon.

I can still recall one particular little one whose parents were professors at Hollins who could and would sit for hours listening to one book after another, or the same book again and again.  One day, I started counting how many times we read one book.  I like Strawberry Shortcake and all, but I ran out of questions to ask her or things to point out or expound upon after we reached the 20th read-thru.  Then again, I also have a myriad of literary memories related to the boys and books.

Bring on the Rain (to erase my horrendous attempts at drawing Disney Characters with sidewalk chalk)

God is merciful. How do I know? It has been and is supposed to continue raining most if this weekend, so my failed attempts to draw a chalk figure even loosely resembling Donald Duck will likely be washed off of the parking lot. Twilight Sparkle requested I draw various Disney characters, but after a fairly recognizable Mickey and Minnie, things went downhill quickly. In my defense, I have a lot more experience with photography than I do with sidewalk chalk drawings of animated characters.

Their Abundant Xs and Os Warmed Me.  Yes, I Feel the Love!

I'm beyond sore from top to bottom from carrying little ones, playing on the floor, chasing, sorting, sitting in the sandbox, drawing on the driveway with chalk, cleaning, singing, dancing, reading, organizing. I gave and received more kisses and hugs this past week from the three silly sisters than I have in quite some time. I got to have dinner with their family and catch up with good friends (the three silly sisters' parents) Thursday night.  They graciously let me do some laundry there on Friday since I'm a little reticent to use the machines in the basement of our building after one recently caught fire and they didn't evacuate everyone. I got to stroll down memory lane when toys and books came out that I have fond memories of sharing with Rainbow Dash when she was a baby and toddler. I experienced the joy of being loved, welcomed, and appreciated by three little ones (and their parents) all of whom have long held a special place in my heart.
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