Summer isn’t truly summer when you’re in college unless you have a job to pad your bank account for when the school year rolls back around. (Seriously though, what I wouldn’t give to have an 8-year-old’s summer, the kind where all you do is play outside and run around and not have to worry about anything except what’s for lunch and when mom will take you to the pool.)
So what did I decide to do to fulfill this? I became a:
Okay wait, that last one didn’t sound right. No, people, I did NOT birth children this summer, relax. Rather, I became a nanny. But really, what is a nanny but all of the former jobs compiled into one: a fill-in mom (Mom B) while real mom (Mom A) is at work.
And let me tell you, it was a struggle. Though I have nannied 2 summers before this one (really, third time is a charm, right?), this summer proved to be the most challenging. My children for the summer? A giggly 3rd grader, a sporty 4th grader (and the only boy), a sweet 5th grader, and a sassy 6th grader. I have been babysitting for the brother/sister duo of Sporty and Sassy for the past 3 and a half years and have been sitting for sisters Giggly and Sweet since last summer, though I have known them since my first summer with Sporty and Sassy. (Goodness, with these names, it sounds like I’m nannying for a little over half of the Seven Dwarves). You would think, after several years of working with these kids, and at an age where they start gaining some independence, this summer would be a breeze!
Because besides the average nanny duties of preparing breakfasts and lunches (no easy feat with 4 younguns), cleaning/doing dishes/doing laundry/vacuuming, and planning fun activities for the kids, I was running my own private shuttle business, carting the kids to taekwondo practice, dance class, gymnastics practice, basketball camp, soccer camp, art class, softball practice, piano lessons, cheer clinic, band practice. No kidding, there were days that I drove 70 miles IN TOWN. The struggle.
And somehow, between all those activities, we managed to squeeze in some pool days, finish the library program, go to some parks and spray parks, hit up the zoo (RIP Miller Park tiger), show off at the bowling alley, and eat more ice cream than is probably healthy for children of that age. But then again, consult the list of activities these children were enrolled in, and you’ll see how easily they burned off those calories.
Needless to say, I am EXHAUSTED. And though we were constantly busy and the summer could seem long at times, I can’t believe it is almost the end. In fact, I had to say goodbye to Sassy and Sporty yesterday as it was my last day with them and I will not be nannying for them next year since I’ll likely stay at Purdue. Now THAT was difficult. I have played an minor role in raising these children for around a third of their lives, and suddenly it was time to say goodbye. Sassy and I began tearing up in the parking lot as I dropped her off for softball one last time. And Sporty? Well, he said he wouldn’t really miss me too much because, “After three years, it’s time to move on.” Oh. Well okay then. Lol.
And then next week will be my last week with Sweet and Giggly, so I’m basically dreading 5 pm Friday.
And if anyone has spent any time at all with me this summer, you’ll know that I complain A LOT about this job. I won’t deny it. Between cleaning up the sticky messes and putting up with the bickering and coming home night after night ready to pass out, who can blame me? But then again, there are so many fond memories I have of this summer, specific and general. Like that time I was playing my oldies CD in the car and the kids fell in love with “Build Me Up Buttercup” and requested that I play it so they could dance and sing along each time we were in the car. Or when I was finally able to get the kids excited about reading and Giggly and Sweet came to enjoy the times I read aloud to them from our chapter books, which became good bonding time, as well as a chance for me to practice for my future profession. Or when we tirelessly studied the lyrics to Iggy Azalea’s rap in “One Less Problem” until we could recite it effortlessly. Or spending countless mornings in the kitchen whipping up a wide variety of pancakes (banana, cinnamon sugar, s’mores, chocolate chip/sprinkle/whipped cream/chocolate syrup). Or even the little things, like when they would remember something specific that you’d said, or when they’d grab your hand, almost subconsciously, as we were walking to and from somewhere, or when they said they love me and will miss me and that I’m the best sitter ever. It’s the things like that that really get me, that made it totally worthwhile. I really do love these kids, each in their own way, and I’m going to miss them lots next year.
But that doesn’t mean I am anywhere NEAR ready to be a mother. In fact, the nanny rally cry happens to be, “I’m never having kids!” At least not now :)`
But besides nannying, I did get to do some other cool stuff this summer. These included:
-Family reunion in Nebraska at Platte River State Park
-Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne concert with some friends
-Visiting Jess in Chicago with Annie and going to IKEA to shop for our apartment
-Going to Purdue and seeing all my school friends
-Going on vacation with Sydney and her family…RV trip to Glacier National Park in Montana!
-Other various shenanigans with my frands and family.
But, in just a couple weeks, I will begin round 3 of being a College Kid. Stay tuned 🙂