Paintin’ With Puddin’.

November 30, 2009

Thing 2 attends an art/music “workshop” on Wednesdays and this past week had an activity that he really, REALLY got into. Man did he ever love it. All of the kids that participated in Paintin’ With Puddin’ were totally, totally entranced.

Behold! Vanilla pudding with food coloring! And some spiky balls!

Something about the thick texture of the pudding was much more appealing than any kind of normal paint. Perhaps the subtle vanilla scent also helped – but Thing 2 wasn’t one of the kids who figured out that the “paint” was also delicious. He just totally, totally loved the texture of the pudding and moving it around the paper with the little ball. He used his fingers a bit, but the ball was the main “brush.”

Here’s his final product:


Go! Paint!

November 16, 2009

Here are some of the results from Thing 2’s experiments with the Go Paint markers. They’re a huge hit – he loves them, his parents love that he’s learning to write ON THE PAPER and his brother… covets them. We’ve explained that they’re “Learning Markers” and that Thing 1 doesn’t need to learn, he already knows how to color on the paper, which helps. There’s nothing that can be done about sibling rivalry or Thing 1’s urge to direct all parties as his assistants in art creation (even if it is not *his* art that is being created), but the actual markers are working really well and the rest of the process will continue to get the kinks worked out over time. As you can see, the process currently involves my demonstrating that the marker draws *on the paper* and Thing 2 picks up on his own pretty quickly.

In case you were wondering… yes. The markers *do* bleed through to the other side of the paper.

The two big downsides to the “Learning Marker” genre (this holds true of Crayola’s Color Wonder markers too): #1) You can’t mix colors. #2) The drawings smudge over time.  Here’s the same drawing a day later:

Thanks, Natalie Dee!

Also, if someone wanted to make a loop of me saying “Put that down please. That’s not how we play with that, we need to be gentle with our toys. No, not with your feet, thank you.” – it would allow me to have enough time to refill my coffee without turning around to find that my charges have found their way outside. Geez.

It’s going well though, everyone is making a good transition. Thing 1 is investigating the how’s and why’s of everything, so that by the time he reaches the age of 5, he will have attained TOTAL KNOWLEDGE. There’s nothing like answering “Why?” sixty eight times an hour to make you realize that no, I don’t know why electricity makes the freezer make ice… IT JUST DOES. I try not to ever resort to “Because.” with kids, but sometimes the follow ups to the follow ups… well, sometimes, I honestly run out of answers.

Thing 2 is doing his part to make sure that gravity is tested on all objects. We know that Galileo* already figured out that gravity affects objects equally, but Thing 2 doesn’t believe that he tested a large enough sample size, being as he did not include ALL objects. I have learned never to allow him to have whole granola bars or more than five berries in front of him at a time. He’s got quite an arm – I’m thinking of giving the Red Sox a call about sending down a recruiter, but I’m told we have to wait for *all* of his teeth to come in first.

*Ok, how weird is it that I just googled Galileo to figure out how many l’s are in his name and THERE is his telescope because it’s his 400th anniversary?! WEIRD.

Off to a Poopy Start.

August 11, 2009

When I say “poopy,” I mean that literally. I don’t mean “crappy,” as the past two days have, in fact, been awesome. I mean “poopy.” As in, dealing with poop. Or the lack thereof. The power of bowels is a mighty, mighty power indeed, and it has been exerting itself all over my workplace.

First, Thing 2 had explosive diarrhea yesterday instead of a nap. Because yes, it is better to poo all over one’s self and one’s couch than it is to lie down and sleep. I always thought so. Poor thing though, he obviously couldn’t have been feeling well as he’d already dropped a gigantic load an hour earlier. And he really didn’t like having his butt held under the faucet any more than I liked the inevitable poop on my hands, so I guess we were even. Still, a pretty memorable first-day “hazing” experience. I’m becoming jaded. My own children are going to have to crap tsunamis to faze me. And I’m sure they will.

Today, Thing 1 had the opposite experience. That is to say, extreme constipation. He was howling, HOWLING in pain. Poor little guy. Life is hard, and apparently, so are his bowels. I’m glad that this happened when DadBoss was also in the house so that he could take charge of assisting in the PoopScapades while I distracted Thing 2 from his attempts at providing an audience for the howling. Any tips for constipated kids, I’d be happy to add them to my repetoire. The diarrhea is almost easier since it really is just a MESS and there’s not much I can *do* about it – other than feed the guy bananas and withhold all other fruits.

Yes, this is what working with children means. Talking about poop. And cleaning up poop. And thinking about poop. Poop poop poop. I’ll take it over working in a cubicle any day of the week. Poop or no poop, I love my job.

New job!

July 26, 2009


Photo by Flickr user SarahR89

It certainly felt like it took forever while I was doing interviews, but really, it didn’t take long at all for me to find a new family to work for. Yay! As soon as I acquire a vehicle, I will be Mary Poppins for two boys ages 4 & 1.5. “My girls” at the last job were the Schmoops and while I kind of feel weird using the implication of children as objects, I do think that “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” are the best code-names for these boys. They’re very sweet, smart boys with a ton of energy. Very, very Cat In the Hat.

So, yes. Thing 1 and Thing 2. I’m excited. The interview process is always nerve-wracking, especially for nanny jobs. It’s hard, because it’s not at all about the resume or my various certifications and qualifications, it’s really about personality – finding a nanny with the right vibe that matches the family. I’m really happy about this position, I think it’s a great fit for everybody. The kids have their own art supplies! And I mean, REAL art supplies! Thing 1 and I painted together! (I still have paint on my hands, actually. And I’m quite glad I chose not to wear my good pants.) The parents are very mellow, as am I.  This can actually be a drawback for me with parents who really want someone who is going to be on top of the kids 24/7. I am very “in control,” but I am in no way “controlling.” So, yeah, it takes the right match for everybody. And I think that Thing 1 & Thing 2 and I will have great times while mom is away.