Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Love My New Job!

What better place to drink from your sippie cups than the front entry closet? These two are forever hiding in there and trying on shoes or throwing them out into the entryway at any unsuspecting passerby.

For those of you that have known me for very long, you know I've tried my hand at various ways to help earn money and take some of the financial burden off of Luke. I've sold make-up, scrapbook stuff, nutrition stuff (all of which I still like and buy but don't sell anymore). I did in-home day care for 2 little girls before Good Lookin' came along and loved it. I worked in a large daycare after he was born and was the teacher for 12 two-year-olds and hated it. One person should never be subjected to that much craziness.
I've done crafty stuff and so on and so forth.
Right now, I AM LOVING what I do! I take care of just 3 extra little boys 2-5 days a week (plus my own two). They are adorable, lovable, crazy, busy, aggravating at times and sooooo much fun.
I have decided that raising little boys is pretty much like raising puppies. They're naughty. They go for every dangerous thing in the room before you even tell them "no."
They'll dump the box or cereal of bag of animal crackers on the floor and instead of picking it up, dive in face first. "Look mom! No hands!"
They're sloppy, messy, gooey, grubby and snotty, but just like puppies, when they look at you with those adorable still droopy baby eyes, your heart melts like butter left on the hot stove and you go all mushy inside.
The first couple of weeks I thought I was going to go crazy. The energy output that I was expending had to match theirs just to keep up, but we've settled into a pretty loosely consistent routine and the days are just flying past me. I mean loosely consistent in that we do the same routine EVERY DAY but I don't stick with strict times.
I have the best job in that I get to PLAY for most of the day. I am doing preschool with them, but it is ALL OUTDOORS for now. Several of them (including my own) are learning their numbers, colors, shapes and letters just by playing with the toys God gave us: rocks, dirt, leaves, sticks, grass and our beloved dog, a dozen or so cats and two goats.
My house has taken a definite hit in the cleanliness area (well cluttered anyway). Dishes are no longer done every night and laundry may wait for days in a pile in the laundry room. My basement may look like a toy factory threw up it's contents.
I do have a lot cleaner surfaces now with 5 little nose pickers (we're learning that even though the fingers may fit up there, they don't belong there), and inadequate nose blowers, potty-trainers and all that dirt drug in from the outside. I've never used Clorox wipes or hand sanitizers or Lysol on a daily basis...until now. (i still don't use Lysol. I use an organic disinfectant that makes everything smell good too.). Every night I wipe everything down and spray the rest and then throw a handful of toys into the dishwasher with the dishes to be sanitized. But I digress.
This is what we do most days:
Children have a connection with animals. We spend lots of time feeding the goats apple cores and peelings and nuts they've gathered from the ground. The LOVE LOVE LOVE watching "Mr Luke milk our little nanny Tree and climbing all over the hay in the shop.
These two adorable hooligans say that they're brothers. And as one knows, the new way to wear sunglasses is not on your head. It's around your waist.
One is constantly following the other around. Some days they have their backpacks on seeking adventure and other days it's playing school. It is so fun watching 2 little guys teach each other the alphabet when neither of them really know it that well. Yesterday Good Lookin' was singing his ABCs and when he got to LMNOP he instead sang LSD. Not sure where that came from, but like all beginning learners he was singing his heart out and missing and mixing much of the alphabet.
Then we have the 3 two-year-olds. They have a love/hate relationship with each other. They are either wrestling, following each other around, singing together or taking each others toys and making a run for it. This particular day they were digging for buried treasure.


We take A LOT of walks outside. The older two run ahead usually singing or yelling something at the top of their lungs and I slowly assist the shorter-legged-diapered people. At least one of them has to either help pull or push our little red wagon, so that make for getting anywhere really really slooooooooow.
We see lots of stuff on our adventures. This day the little guy had spotted a hawk perched on a wire alongside our drive. It's really funny trying to explain that the bird hawk is not the same as our last name Haak to a 2 year old....or even a 3 year-old for that matter.
I tried taking a picture, but it didn't focus too well. I can't wait until the eagles come back in the Spring. They fly over our house and yard and now that I don't have to worry about our little chihuahua becoming lunch we can enjoy them a bit more. (We gave the biting beast away).

The mailbox is a quarter of a mile from our house and makes an excellent source of getting rid of energy. Little boys happen to like puppies in another way, they need A LOT of exercise or they make their own trouble happen. I get my own exercise as well because by the time we head back, they ALL want in the wagon and then I'm pulling nearly 90 pounds a pure wiggliness behind me).

These two are fast friends. Little guy in the back brought his trike to ride over at our house since he's the one that's here every day for a good 9 hours. Yesterday morning he allowed Nater Mater to get on in front of him and he attempted to drive him around. It was so fun watching him be so sweet and trying to be all big brotherly when he's just 7 months older.

About once a month, we head down to the dairy barn and watch my father-in-law milk the cows. It is a little boys heaven. I often wonder what they are thinking when they look up through the fence at those huge Holstein cows. There is a lot of pointing and "hey look at that one!" going on. I'm rarely sure which one they are pointing at since they all look alike to me.


We've been able to help the last 3 times with bottle feeding the calves. Nearly every time that I pick up the two brothers, they beg to go see "du cows." I try not to take them more than once a month because I know that when we "help," it takes twice as long. I think I'm safe to say that it's the highlight of each month though.

Being around children all day is exhausting but oh so rewarding. The constant laughter and delight in the smallest discoveries makes ones heart swell with joy.

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

How much do you charge a day? I may have to hire you to take mine sometime. You house looks much more fun!

Soaring High said...

100 a week Suzanne (per child) = )

Living Creatively said...

:D Those kids are so lucky! Wish my little people could be around animals more often. We've gone through spells with dogs and cats, fish and chickens, and the misc snake, turtle, or mole that we catch. For the most part, though, we rely on friends and neighbors for an animal-fix.
I'm glad you found something that you love doing that also helps your family. We're in the same boat, and I'm trying to decide how I can help financially.

Living Creatively said...

Oh, an dyou are BRAVE. My three little guys totally wear me out!!

Btw, LOVE that you have the kids outside so much. It's so good for little people!-- well, ALL people.

Did you see the study on brain activity connected to playing in the dirt? Fred says our kids must be destined for greatness, if that's the scale. ;)

Soaring High said...

If playing in the dirt is connected with greatness, my kids will be off the charts! We are outside every minute that is possible. They are so much happier! If you need an animal fix sometime, just come over and I'll take the kids to visit the baby calves.
Thanks for your comments. = )

Anonymous said...

Melinda,
The boys are so lucky to get to be with you guys 2 days a week! For those of you reading the comments, my boys cry when I come to pick them up and you can see why. They absolutely love you, Mr. Luke, and your kids. Thanks for taking such great care of them. You are enriching their lives in a wonderful way and they are better people because of being with your family.