Tag Archive | Children

The Time I Snapped On A Strange Teenager

Seriously, I did this. I snapped on a teen on the TTC last week. In front of his friends on a very crowded bus. Loudly. I embarassed him. Some people might be feeling bad for him but I don’t and if I could do it over I wouldn’t change a thing.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had started apart time nanny job and this situation happened on a day I was with Minnie. Since she is still being breast fed and hasn’t figured out how easy and convient a bottle is I make one trip a day with both her and Little Miss to her mothers office for a feed. It’s not that far and in nice weather we’ll walk or we sometimes take the TTC. It depends on me and how I feel as much as the weather.

This is never a spur of the moment trip. Pfft. I have to transport a 1 yr old and a four month old. I don’t just up and decide to go out. It takes timing and synchronization of getting all three of us ready to go out. It’s not a huge distance but really, this is Canada, we get cold up here. I don’t want either of them getting over heated before marching out into the Great White North’s sometimes frigid winds.

Last week wasn’t too cold. We walked to Mama Mouse’s office not too far from Eglinton Station and afterwards wondered around the area visiting Toys r Us and The cupcake Shoppe (Amazing by the way). We even went by the office a second time for a top up. 

I should also mention that to make this trip involves a stroller and a baby carrier along with a diaper bag full of two little girls necessities. I can wear either of the girls in the carrier and switch them to the stroller based on their moods and temperments. On this day Little Miss was in the stroller sleeping and Minnie was on my chest sleeping. We were at the bus station before finally getting on the bus to make the short trip home. Little did I realize the high-school only a couple of stops along the way lets out at 3. streaming onto the bus came a hoard of rude, loud and overly Axed teenage boys. One of whom kicked the stroller.

Now, I know that might not seem like anything bug and in fact could have been a mistake even though he kicked it higher up. I thought so too at first. Then he did it again, and again and then finally a forth time. That was when I snapped. In a loud and angry voice that I knew would carry over the teenage cacophony of noise I said ‘If you kick my stroller one more time I’ll kick you right back.’

He looked up at me with a deer in the head lights stare and did that mutter ‘Sorry’ we all know they don’t mean. All of his friends had stopped talking and were watching both their friend and myself with expressions of utter fascination; waiting I imagine to see what would happen next. The man sitting next to me chocked, coughed and started to laugh. An older woman across the way smiled. All of the teenagers stayed quiet from then on.

Oh, and that guy next to me? Yeah, he’s Minnie’s Dad. He’s finished work early and we happened to catch the same bus together. The rest of the trip home these boys watched me, waiting to see if I would do anything else I suppose, and when it was time for me to unload with my stroller they all were very polite and assistive. Each and every one who spoke to me called me Ma’am and nodded their heads and either moved to the side so I didn’t have to push my way off the bus or tried to help me lift it to the side walk.

Could I have done or said something less aggressive? Definintely. Would it have been as effective? Probably not. What if one of the babies legs had been hanging a little closer to the edge and he kicked on of the girls? He was not just gently nudding the stroller, but kicking it. He would have HURT  one of them. Did that thought cross his mind when he made the decision to kick the stroller? Did he mean to try and hurt either of them intentionally? I don’t believe so but that doesn’t make it ok to purposefully assault someone else’s property in public and it wouldn’t have made his behaviour any less horrible if something had happened.

I’m only 26, maybe 10-11 years older than those boys probably were and yet even at my most obnoxious as a teen I never would have done something to inconsiderate. I don’t know anyone really that I knew when I was that age who would have done something like that. I don’t know what has changed in the years since I was a teenager but it sometimes feels as if there has been a monumental shift in what is acceptable behaviour. That since there are so many more teens after school roaming around before the business day ends that other people should cow toe to them and work around them. Maybe some of you will think I was overly harsh, I don’t. I reacted in the moment and in all honesty think I did a good job of not reacting more explosively. I just hope that the next time he of any of his friends are out and about they’ll think twice about their behaviour towards others and their property and how they treat it.

The Nanny

I used to be a nanny. Yep, I got paid to play, watch and love kids. It’s probably my favourite job that I’ve had in my varied work experiences. It definitely helped prep me for Mommyhood but of course every child is different and every situation shades how you react and what you choose to do in response. I figured I would tell you a little about my experiences at ‘The Nanny’, and yes, people used to call me that.

I have fully potty trained two boys and help potty train another boy and a girl. I’ve helped deal with a teenaged boys hormonal tantrums and flights of fancy and was there while the little girl , Z, was so sick she nearly died.

The first set of kids I looked after were 6 months and 19 months when I first started and both little blond blue eyed boys with huge smiles. They were only being introduced to english as back west their parents spoke french in the home to help them become bilingual. I barely can say ‘I don’t speak french’ in french and here I was having to pick up the odd french phrase in the negative to get these two littles to understand me. I started out only watching them on weekend nights over the summer while their mom worked a bar. Slowly it became more and more frequent until I was with them 6 days one week and 7 the next. I was still in high school and it got to the point I finished class only to head to there house right after and most nights spend the night. Their mom started to party.

I was the one to completely potty train both boys and teach them their ABC’s and colours. I was the one to teach them the beginnings of proper public etiquette and manners. I’m the one who had to dole out disipline and hugs and good-night kisses. I finally had to stop when they called me ‘Mommy’, that I couldn’t do, I couldn’t let two little babies call me Mommy when theirs was around and just lazy. It took a few weeks to sort a working arrangement out but I finally got the family into a situation where I left safe leaving them and moving on without feeling like they were at risk from negelect.

The next family lived just across the street from my Dad`s and we met while their Mom was pregnant with baby 3, Roni. The kids were Conman 11, Z who was 2 and Roni in the belly. Again it started as an after school thing while Mama was still working. I have to admit, they`re my favourite family. I still visit with them and keep in touch almost 9 years after first meeting.

The first time I did more then an over night was when the took me to Blue Skies Music Festival with them. A four day blue grass music festival where you camp out and have fun with the whole family.  Roni was just 6 months old. I spent the weekend playing on swings, taking a face paint workshop and slinging a pudgy little baby around sharing my manderin slices with him.

Over then next few years they took me with them to Blue Skies a total of 4 times and to Florida and Disney World 2 times. Imagine getting PAID to go on holiday. It`s awesome! I helped teach Roni to walk and ride a bike and helped hold Z down when we had to cut an infected earing out of her ear and comfort her afterwards. I was there for teeth being lost and first recitals. I got to help comfort all three was their parents tried so hard to save a failing marriage and then be there when it completely fell apart.

Splash Mountian with Z hiding her princess hair next to me in front

 

 

So anyways, I started with them occasionally and finally worked up to full time Monday-Friday 7:30am to 6pm. It was great. I love those kids like crazy. Even after I moved back to Toronto and in with `C` I brought Conman up for a March break to show him around with out his much younger siblings tagging along. I love these kids and it shocks me to see how much they`ve grown and become whole people with varying personalities and quirks. It`s amazing to still see some of the things I taught them still so very much in play in their characters. I am so glad I got to be there right up front for a defining chuck of their lives and still get to witness the great people they are becoming.

Being a nanny is hard and not for everyone, you are always walking a line when it comes to what you find acceptable and don`t while still honouring a parents choices for their children. Some of my favourite memories are with these families and I`m so glad I got to spend time with them. I learned a lot about myself and how I wanted to raise any future children I had and so far the things they helped teach me have come in handy and I`ve been able to stick to my goals as a parent. I know this won`t always be the way it is but at least I know what I`m made of where kids are concerned and hopefully it will help me be a better parent. So THANK YOU Les and Family as well as babies Gabe and Cabe for the oppertunity to help watch you and your families grow.

Girl Toys Vs Boy Toys

As previously mentioned, I have a daughter. She’s the greatest thing I have ever done and the light of our lives. Will we add to our family? We don’t know. Parenting right now is solely focused on our daughter and raising her healthy (which so far hasn’t been easy) and happy.

It took us until we were 27 weeks into pregnancy to find out we were having a little girl. Until then we were told it was 60%-40%. She was shy. We ended up doing a 3D scan and that’s when we found out for sure she was in fact a she.

 

We had already started getting things for the baby before we found out the sex, so of course there was gender neutral stuff all over the place. Greens, yellows and browns up the wazoo. I had also purposefully started buying things in blues,since I knew that no matter the sex they would be wearing blues and other tradionally ‘boy’ friendly colours. Even after we knew the sex I kept buying blues and greens.

When did we decide that boys and girls have to be raised so differently? Why can’t they be raised the same way with a few modifications to suit situations like potty training and what their privates are. I get that pre equal rights little girls were expected to wear dresses and boys to be covered in dirt, but somehow I don’t think it was as polarized as things seem to be headed now. I can remember the toy section being fairly neutral, expect the doll section which was a land of fluff and pinks, but otherwise the toys were pretty free range sex wise. Now it seems even toys like Lego are boy and girl specific with there being the tradional boldly red, green and blue lego for boys and the more ‘girl’ friendly pastel coloured legos for the ladies out there. It’s as if society has completely forgotten that historically pinks and purples were considered too ‘masculine’ for women to pull off.

My mother is a feminist. Not the light weight kind either, but the full bra burning kind and I love her for it and my dad for supporting her. They went out of their way to make sure that I was exposed to both ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys. I ended up loving Barbie and Disney Princess but I also ended up having the largest collection of Hot Wheels and race tracks in the house as well as my own sizable collection of Legos. I was all over the place in the toys and games I liked and my parents encouraged me to explore them and decide for myself which ones I liked and not to only like all things pink. I even ended up going through a very tom boy phase before deciding I liked dresses again.

In high school I did dance class and tried wrestling and played on the rugby team. I was allowed to experiment with all sorts of tradionally gender selective sports, games and toys. My parents never made me stick with one thing, they let me try and fail and choose for myself my likes and dislikes. Now, I’m 25 and I definately prefer some decidedly girly things but I still enjoy things aimed at men more than women. I also find that my parents way of raising me rubbed off in my previous work experiences.

When I was a nanny the youngest child, a boy, loved Disney Princesses. His favourite was Ariel, The Little Mermaid, he wanted to watch this constantly and I let him. I don’t see how it can do any harm. We never watched more then 2-3 hours of TV a day and if watching Ariel fight for her love was how he wanted to spend a large chunk of his TV time then that was OK with me. Admittedly she wasn’t the most proactive princess but she was the first to do something other then wait to be rescued. He also loved to steal his sister’s dress up clothing and run around in it. He never played being a girl, he just liked to hang out in it sometimes. Do you have any idea how hilarious it is to see a 2 1/2 yr old boy run around his room in a transparent pink pengior while smashing two cars together and making wreck noises? Just because he liked his princesses and pink doesn’t mean he also wasn’t obssessed with Cars or Toy Story either. He was well rounded.

Don’t think, ‘Oh, he must be one of those boys who always knew’. He’s now 8 and an absolute boys boy. He now is your typical 8 yr old boy. Playing with cars, guns and sports balls. He mainly has guy friends and they run around causing usual kid mischief. He is the sweetest, nicest little boy I’ve ever met, there isn’t anything mean or malicious about him. He’s  treasure.

Where is all this going? Well, I hope to be able to expose my daughter to the same openness that I was. I hope to be able to have a little girl who chooses for herself if she wants pink or blue for her bedroom and if she likes football or ballet on her own. I don’t her buying into advertisings campain to have little girls only interested in pink and princesses and Bratz. If she wants to play with the boys, I want to let her and will fight tooth and nail to give her that chance, but if she wants to sit and have tea parties with her Babrie’s then I’ll be happy too as long as it’s her choice and not what TV or some old fashioned notion has told her what she should do and like. Besides, with her eyes, blue is a great colour on her!