Athena - I ended regular care with Athena in July 2013 when she started daycare. I nannied Athena two days of the week from ages 4 months to 15 months; now she's almost two and I just babysit occasionally. When I was with her, she liked destroying Jenga towers, throwing laundry, and playing what I call "Object Permanence!" but most people call Peekaboo. If there was a speed eating contest for breast milk or formula, Athena would drink everyone else under the table. Like most teenagers, she has a love-hate relationship with mirrors. At the park, she spends most of her time staring at the mommy-and-me stroller yoga group in confused fascination. Me too, Athena. Me too. 

Sasha & Ezra - Sasha is seven years old and Ezra is two. Sasha is sassy, stubborn, a movie enthusiast, an excellent delagater, and the best big sister ever. She is totally immersed in a Harry Potter fixation, which is at least 85% my fault. Ezra is cheerful, persistent, good at imitating noises and kicking balls, and thinks Sasha is the most hilarious person alive. He is a foodie in the making. Even hot sauce does little to deter this kid from continually insisting on eating my lunch. I used to take care of Sasha and Ezra three days a week, but now I work at Ezra's preschool sporadically and tutor Sasha in literacy skills one day a week after school.

Jaden - Jaden is four. I babysit him occasionally. I met his family because the internet is a small place sometimes. His vocabulary rivals mine in expansiveness and specificity. He likes science experiments, cars and Cars, acting out the same imaginative play scenario with very little variation for 45 minutes straight, and making noises with his Sonic Screwdriver toys -- yes, he has more than one. His taste in music is far more sophisticated than mine.

Jay & Wren  - These are the kids HB nannied until May when they started preschool. Jay is 3 and Wren is 2. Their family is car-free, so HB pedaled the kids around in their toddler seats on the family bicycle, which always earned them lots of stunned pointing and surprised smiles. Jay is a Perpetual Narrator, and Wren seems to be well on her way. Both kids love the park and the science museum, which HB biked them to at least one of the two days a week they nannied them. I hung around with them from time to time as well. Now HB and I just babysit occasionally.

Annie & Amy - Annie is seven and Amy is four. I babysit for them occasionally, and they live up in the expensive, fancy houses above the city. I love babysitting for them because the girls will cheerfully put themselves to bed (and then talk to themselves for an hour before falling asleep surrounded by books and toys) and they think I'm the best ever, even though I never give them ice cream. As a bonus, their parents pay really, really well, and will drive miles to retrieve me and take me home again.

Molly & Colby - Molly is two and a half and Colby is five. HB and I babysit them occasionally when their parents want a date night or HB wants 60 bucks. The kids tend to pitch long, damp tandem tantrums, which are much easier to ride out if HB and I are both present instead of there being just one of us sailing solo. When any of the other kids we're taking care of are being difficult, we just remind each other "at least they're not Molly and Colby." Yes, this makes us horrible people.

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