Nannying never gets easier. Now that I’m in my fourth month working with a two-year-old girl and a six-month-old boy, I expected things to become a smooth routine, where days would fly by.
I arrive, make some meals, change some diapers, play, ooh and ahhh over the childrens’ incessant cuteness, get paid, and call it a day.
Alas, that is not the case — especially when there are battles with the big-girl potty to be won.
Summer, in all of her two-year-old glory, has her ups and downs with potty-training. In the beginning phases, her mother put her in big-girl underwear to test the waters, to see how well she handled using her own toilet and not wetting herself. Fifteen minutes later, the rapidly spreading wetness on her pants and the carpet quickly answered that question.
As a frequently dehydrated adult (is it weird that I rarely feel thirsty?), I forget that children have incredibly small bladders, and Summer’s favorite fashion accessory is a sippy-cup full of water. That requires bathroom trips every 15 to 30 minutes, and the feisty toddler just sometimes does not want to go.
Refuses to go.
Cries, swings her little fists, and screams “no!”
Potty-time meltdowns are a specialty.
And while it can be stressful handling these tantrums, especially when I’m trying to establish a routine that Summer can adapt to, the toddler’s smiling face and giggles are infectious and worth the temporary discontent. It doesn’t take much — a quick tickle, or some snuggling — to turn her mood around.
And to be frank, it makes me jealous. I find myself getting sucked into self-pity and crankiness, and worse yet, I get stuck there. I waste so much time and energy not being happy that I’ve missed countless opportunities to smile, find joy, and feel alive.
While I am thankful I’ve progressed beyond a toddler’s tantrum and the “terrible two’s,” I wish I had Summer’s ability to emotionally move past the bad and onto the good, embracing the blessings I have here and now.
Surviving Nannydom: Adventures in Potty-Training