Yesterday, I had an absolutely awful day at "work." It wasn't the first awful day I've had since I started nannying for a friend's little girl a few days a week, but it was definitely among the worst.
Nothing in particular happened to make it such a capital-B, capital-D, italic-font Bad Day. But every little thing somehow managed to go wrong. None of my attempts to soothe anybody, myself
especially included, were effective. I think my voice may have gone into "loud and scary" territory a couple of times. I may also have called Rob at work and cried at him over the phone...twice.
Once for each kid.
People care for more than one child simultaneously all the time. In fact, judging by the people with kids I see out and about, the one adult, two young children thing is pretty standard. However, I'm not really sure how we do it. Because sometimes the nannying thing makes me want to die. Because when things suck, they double-suck. Because there are two of them and one of me.
After a bad two-child day, I start to get scared by the thought of having two children all the time. As in, another one of my own, who needs me 24 hours a day. It's hard enough to have an extra person needing me 27 hours a week!
Now, I realize that if this little girl were my baby - and my son's sibling instead of his honorary cousin - things would be different. Two wouldn't be so terrible. Or, at least, that's what I tell myself.
(It's entirely possible that things wouldn't be different at all, and that terrifies me. And I start to second-guess my thoughts of immediate IUD removal.)
Then I start to think that if I were a better, more organized, more creative person, this wouldn't be so hard. It's not that taking care of two little kids is all that difficult - I decide - it's me. I'm just a mess. If I made lists and schedules and ran a tight ship, things wouldn't be so miserable. Bad Days wouldn't happen.
Then I remember that a lot of terrible days just happen. No amount of planning, no amount of got-it-together-ness really makes a difference. Sometimes, things just suck. Regardless of how many children you have to care for.
And today? Has been pretty good so far.