Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Babysitter's Here

Kristin has been coming to help out with Luca a couple of days a week since just before Matteo was born. She's a nanny for a good friend / school mate of Luca's and she has some extra hours available these days, so we've been more than happy to keep her busy during those times.

In a word, she is wonderful. She's young and full of energy (necessary for endless hours of legos, memory games, adventures in the arts and chase), and she has an innate sense of what works when it comes to little kids. She also has a ton of patience - lucky for us AND for the three and a half year old that we happen to room with.

Kristin has been sitting for Luca for almost a year now. She used to come in the evenings only, when we were out of the house - but we'd see her out and about at the park and at play dates. Now that she has a bit more availability, and now that the concept of "date night" is pretty much ONLY a concept - most of their time spent together has been during the day. As well, some of that time together has been in and around the house when Debbie and I are also at home. And, unfortunately - Luca gives Kristin a much harder time when his moms are nearby. When they are on their own - whether at the house or out on an adventure - Luca apparently does very well. He listens to Kristin, plays nicely, maintains a decent mood, etc. But, when they are in the house and we are around - Luca gets all Edward Hyde on her. I don't know if this sort of thing is typical - kids acting up with the sitter or another adult when the parents are around - but, it's been stressing me out quite a bit. We have her there so that he is insured some one-on-one attention and so that we have some help in tending to his needs. But, lately, he's been much more of a handful and has given Kristin a really hard time - so that Debbie and I, despite our best intentions, wind up intervening. I get aggravated at Luca and, at the same time, I feel sad for him. When he acts out for our attention, I feel like I am being neglectful. That I shouldn't be passing him off to the sitter, but - instead - I should be trying to engage him and care for his new brother at the same time. The reality, though, is that I can't. Not yet, anyway - at least not until I am feeing good again and this baby isn't so darn-spanking new anymore. And - the whole reason we have Kristin here is to insure Luca's well-being and his fun.

After having a difficult Monday, we came up with a plan for Tuesday - have them stay outside as much as possible. When we are out of his sight, we are pretty much out of his mind. The weather was great in the beginning of the week, so this wasn't a problem at all.



And other random outdoor adventures...

Luca has a day off from school on Friday, so Kristin is taking him away from the house for a play date. But, we'll have a day or two next week when we will all be around the house together again. I know that we can think of a few more "out of the house" activities, but I am hoping that we can also think of some ways to make the "all of us at home" situation a little easier for everyone.


StephLove said...

Sounds like he's still got some adjusting to do. Good luck!

s said...

what adorable children you have!!! although i'm not yet a parent, i am a kindergarten teacher, and, if i may, offer this website that is filled with activities... it seems that the more i can get my students really involved in something, the more likely they will "forget" that their love care provider is present. cooking, playdough making, pudding painting, etc. are great ways to keep them engaged and content. good luck :-)

Melissa said...

oh my dear.
welcome to the world of wrangling two.
the heart grows but we don't get more hands or more energy.
one of many riddles to solve in this parenting game. if you figure it out will you clue me in??? still struggling...but i have to say 4 is kinder to moms than 3. i am sure of this.