By happenstance more than intention, my partner HB landed the dream nannying position. When I first read about the mom online, before we knew the family needed child care, I told HB, "She sounds like you in ten years!" The family is a car-free, cloth-diapering, music-playing, art-making, urban farming foursome a five minute bike ride from our front door. The kids are three and one. The guy that HB is taking bike mechanic classes from rents out the basement. The kids are happy to play in the mud for hours, pausing to chase the chickens around the yard. It's only 10-12 hours a week, so HB still has time for her two classes, her tutoring job, and her two regular volunteering shifts. But she'll make enough to pay rent each month, which is a huge relief on her savings account.
She was nervous her first day, since it's been awhile since she's taken care of kids those ages. She got the baby's cloth diaper on wrong, and didn't feed the kids enough for lunch, but had a pretty good time otherwise. In the evening, I coached her on typical schedules and needs for each age -- how often to check a diaper, how to space snacks -- and she did great the second day. Today is her third day with the kids.
This week was a trial week. HB got an email from the family saying that they interviewed
another well-qualified nanny, but that they would rather HB continue with them.
It's a year-long commitment.
At the end of each day, our ritual is to recount our day to each other. My recitation is typically full of naptime drama, progress toward milestones (Athena just started solid foods and Ezra began crawling yesterday), and Sasha's antics; HB's varies widely depending on what she wanted to do that day. But now we spend an hour over dinner swapping kid stories, comparing the goofy things the older kids said, sharing diapering disasters, fretting over parenting decisions we've made. It's new and different and delightful.
Since we want to someday raise a car-free family ourselves, I'm so thankful HB has this opportunity to practice her parenting skills in a context where she'll have the chance to figure out how to propel the kids to parks and museums and community centers by bike, by bus, and by foot. She's going to learn a lot.
We'll be an awesome parenting team someday.