Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Era

Since we returned from the beach 2 weeks ago, my mother in law has started her new role with us. Previously, Caroline and Bryce went to preschool/daycare 5 days a week and Piper went to Ms. Teresa's 3 days a week. My mom and MIL filled in on Mondays and Wednesdays. But back in May, my MIL (Sandy) decided she was ready to leave her job and really wanted to help us take care of the kids. We were hesitant at first because we know what a big (and hard) job it is and we wanted to make sure that was what she really wanted to do. She did and we figured out all the details. So my mom has all 3 kids on Mondays and my MIL has them Tuesday through Friday. However, for the summer, Caroline and Bryce are continuing at the place they had been from 7:30am to noon since it's a preschool program and getting them out of the house for some structure and other kids is good for them. Once Caroline starts kindergarten next month (!), Bryce will continue a 3 day a week/half day schedule.

So far it's working out great. My mom gets her love tank filled up with the kids on Mondays and then my MIL comes the rest of the week. She's been helping out with some household tasks too even though Jason and I insist that it's not necessary. But we also don't want her to get bored. The kids seem to really enjoy seeing grandparents every day too.

My only concern? Well, that would be my childrens' behavior. Prior to this, just one day a week with Nana/Big Dad was fine in that it was still a novelty and the "grandparent good behavior act" was holding true. But now that it's becoming more routine, the shine has come off the apple a little bit. Not that my MIL didn't know my kids had the potential to be real pickleheads from time to time, but I don't think she'd had to deal with it as much. Well, I think Friday was a bit of trial by fire for her. I felt terrible hearing that they'd been so trying all day long! (Apparently the playroom cleanup saga was par for the course that day!) Jason assured her that we would go over our normal discipline scenario with her since she wants to be consistent and do what we do with them. Maybe I'll have to prescribe a few episodes of SuperNanny for her because that is what always motivates me.

My biggest worry is that they're going to wear her out and make her not want to see them as often. Yes, they can be very nice kids but they are normal kids who have good and bad days. I'm hopeful that Caroline starting kindergarten will help too since I've been finding that the Caroline/Bryce behavior combo is really problematic. When they are both crabby they work together. And if they are both in silly moods, the same is true. It's no fun.

So I hope my MIL can survive her first month of taking care of the kids and not want to check herself into Shepherd Pratt. We appreciate having her here and know they are getting lots of love and care that they couldn't get from any non-grandparent. I'm glad my mom is continuing to do Mondays too since I know how much they love time with Bertie too.

So Caroline, Bryce and Piper, PLEASE don't screw this up. Mommy and Daddy can't go through another childcare search again!!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Oh, I can so relate to a lot of your post. We also have the oldest/middle child bad behavior combo. I really hope this works out for you, and that they are little angels for your MIL. I'm sure your kids are great and perfectly normal acting; it's just an adjustment for anyone to go to watching three kids that age! And they're bound to test the waters a bit, too, as they would with all new caregivers. Hopefully they just don't test them TOO much. ;-)