Monday, January 11, 2010

Working, Girl

In my birthday post, I mentioned a job. Or, rather, an "almost-job." It's nothing that I've written about before, but I've been doing it for almost a month now, and it looks like it's going to work out.
Of course, it's not an "it." It's a she.


When I found out that my friend Amanda and her husband were expecting a baby, I asked all the nosy questions people ask their pregnant friends (even though they've been pregnant themselves and should know better), and among them was, "What are you going to do about childcare?"

Enter the "job."
Beautiful Kaylee, 4 months old.

I always have to put the word "job" in quotation marks in my head, because it's nothing like any job I've ever had. Or rather, it bears a striking resemblance to the work I do all the time, but don't get paid for. And since she's my friends' baby (and an incredibly easygoing one at that), it feels doubly weird to put the "job" label on it.

Don't get me wrong: nannying four days a week while also caring for Westley full-time, is work. Hard work, with the occasional moment of hair-pulling-out stress. Like when one child wakes up just as the other is going down for nap. Awesome. And today, I experienced my first full-blown two-for-one meltdown, complete with tears and shrieks that go to eleven. Miraculously, I managed not to lose it, but I'm going to say it right now: I do not know how mothers of two or (holy Mary mother of God) more children maintain even a shred of their sanity!

(They don't, do they?)

Still, it's a pretty great arrangement. I get to help out a lovely couple by snuggling with their lovely daughter, while also breathing a little bit easier when I sit down to pay the utilities bills. And--because I'm sure you're wondering--I'm getting a preview of (possible) coming attractions.

I could totally steal her. She's got my eyes.

I would be a big, fat medium-sized liar if I said that a big part of this nannying gig isn't about giving myself a two-kid trial run. It's totally about that. I was dying to find out how Westley and I would do with a baby around. I was really hoping that nannying would pull me strongly into the either the "yay, baby #2!" camp or the "one is enough" camp.

It turns out that it's pulled me strongly...into both categories. Westley and I are mostly okay, most of the time when Kaylee is with us, but it's unbelievably easier when it's 'The Mommy and Westley Show' (or, for that matter, 'The Noelle and Kaylee Hour'). Westley is very pro-Kaylee as long as she doesn't try to touch him or his toys. He likes to show her his toys, however, and enjoys telling her how "a big boy" does things like eat a snack or get his diaper changed. It's wonderful to see him try with all his might to share his knowledge with her. Of course, he also likes to wait until I'm giving Kaylee a bottle to act out. Today he sacrificed two pacifiers to the heater-vent gods.

Having Kaylee around during the day makes me really want to have another baby, and so thankful that I don't have another baby. Because having two is totally doable! Except that she's not waking me up at night to nurse, and I'm not trying to fit back into my old pants. Early in the morning and late at night--when having a child can seem like a terrible idea, regardless of how many you have and how much you love them--it's still all Westley, all the time. But I'm still a little sad to say good-bye to her in the evenings.

I close the door and look at my one-child life and I think, I so want another one! It wouldn't be that hard.

And then I remember again that the thing making it seem "not that hard" for both me and Westley is giving Kaylee back to her mommy at the end of the day...

But not before I eat her up.

Nom nom nom.

(One sure doesn't feel like enough.)


joanna said...

noelle, i am very likely soon to be in the same boat. we've decided that my nannying is the backup plan if i don't have a new job by the end of january. thanks for trial-running my life for me! you were even kind enough to have westley three days before i had milo!

good luck!

Allison the Meep said...

I seriously have no idea how moms of toddlers deal with having an infant around too. The worry for me is that I wouldn't be a good (or sane) enough mom to try to do both at once. It's probably why we waited so long to have this second baby. Julian will turn 6 this month, and then Nutella Butterfinger will be born in February. I feel like that's more doable for me, because I got all that awesome quality time with just him for so long, and now he's in school 6 hours a day.

What a sweet gig you have though. She's really cute and getting paid to hang out with a cute baby sounds like a deal.

emily bilbrey said...

oh wow - she is PRECIOUS!! i giggled out loud at how you could get away with stealing her. :D i think it's great that you're socializing westly with a little baby. it sounds like he'll make an awesome big brother, and a little practice for both of you is a great thing! glad you're having a good time with the new gig. best of luck! cheers!

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

Ohhh what a tough one. From where I stand right now...I cannot EVER imagine doing this again. I wonder when the baby days amnesia will kick in and I end up in your shoes.

That's a great gig you've got though...and a fantastic way to really test out your mommy endurance.

My close friend once said that she can be a great mom to one child, but doesn't know that she would even be an acceptable mother to two. We've both decided that IF we ever have a 2nd, it won't be until ours are in school full time. That would make me 36 for a second...ack!

BTW, you look just beautiful in all the photos. Having a little girl around suits you :-)

candace said...

Well I have to say that I was in the "one baby camp" until we found out last week that we are expecting #2, talk about an oh shit moment! I've been calling all of my 2 under 2 friends to fill me in on all of their tips.

I took on two toddlers today, and I'm exhausted. Of course I'm pregnant taking on an 18 month old and a 15 month old. However, I can see how, eventually, they will entertain each other, and right now that is what I'm holding onto!