Summer Childcare

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The school year has been over here for two weeks.  The craziness has kicked in.  Summer childcare is always harder than school year childcare.  The school agers are now here all day so there’s a new schedule, another age group of kids to entertain and more importantly, a new pecking order has to be established.  It’s all part of the process and thankfully I’ve been doing childcare long enough to know that each summer starts with boot camp.  Seriously, new rules need to be set.  The older kids need to be reminded that the other kids aren’t babies and can do things for themselves and can even join in the play.  I don’t want you to think it’s all bad…just remember back to when your own kids were home for the summer.  It’s the same thing only a bigger scale.

I snapped a few pictures to show you some highlights.

I have a gal that comes every other week from Fayette County Food and Fitness.  On this day she was planting seeds with the kids.

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Here’s the little guy that is close to Carver’s age.  Normally he crawls on all fours but he doesn’t like grass on his legs so “bear crawls” on the grass.  What a cutie!!

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Ruby is back to her playing days with the older kids here.  The two school age girls are the two who usually dress her up.  Ruby doesn’t look the happiest here but she was okay with it.  She knows that if she doesn’t like whatever is going on, her kennel is her domain and can go there to get away from the kids….I laughingly told one of my childcare moms that I need a kennel to retreat to on some days.

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We spend LOTS of time outdoors.  These two love the fairy gardens.

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We have been doing lots more activities.  It’s easier to do them now as we aren’t dictated by school schedules.  Here’s a fun project we did.  The kids loved it!

We took baby food containers that were cleaned.  Each kid got a half of Hershey’s candy bar.  We broke it into pieces and put them into our containers.  The containers went outside in the sun where they melted.  (Easy science project)

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Then at snack time we had vanilla wafers and strawberries.  The kids could dip the strawberries and wafers into the now melted chocolate.  This was a HUGE hit.  Try it with your kids or grand kids.  They are sure to enjoy it too.

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Here is Carver.  He’s so busy crawling right now that he actually, no fooling, crawled right out of his pants.  See them on the floor behind him.

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He’s grown by leaps and bounds.  He can now do “so big”, “pattycake”, “give us five”, wave and say “da-da” meaning Craig.  He is at such a fun age.  He could be a better napper and better at eating food, but hey, even my grand kids can’t be perfect!!

I have had to do a little adjustment with Neighbor Girl.  I don’t get paid at all for her to be here even though I am responsible for her.  She was coming here everyday, all day.  She ate all of her meals here and even was overnight a few days last week.  I want to be helpful and available but things started to get harder.  She asked me to do her laundry (she didn’t like it when I said my 10 year old kids did their own laundry so if her laundry was going to get done, she’d have learn how)… selected childcare rules didn’t apply to her…I caught her in a couple fibs….she would leave my house without telling me…she would try to dictated meal choices and do the “yuck” type complaining over the food I was serving and other similar things that every ten year old does.  But, those things were eating on me.  I felt no one at her house was taking responsibility for her at all.  No one called and checked on her.  No one called and asked her to come home.  She was at my house for over 60 hours straight and no one checked on, came over or called her.  I was frustrated…Hubby was frustrated that I was frustrated so…we implemented a new schedule.  I am allowing her to come three childcare days a week and that’s it.  The other two days, her family is going to have to take care of her.  Mom works overnights and sleeps during the day but they can figure it out. I am hoping that making a schedule might make them step up a bit too…the weekends she can come and go as she pleases but she eats what we eat or she doesn’t eat here…no special meals for a picky eaters anymore.  (Yes, I had to explain that English Muffins are just the same as toast and aren’t worth saying “Yuck” over)

I am not mad about any of this-it’s growing pains.  It’s her learning about my world and me her world.  I had my own ten year olds and know that this is the territory.  I love her dearly and want to a part of her life.   But I want to be a PART…not her whole life.  She’s welcome at my house but can’t live here.  We know she feels loved here and wants to be here because of that.  I know we are always busy (and not sleeping) so we seem more exciting than her home but still, I can’t do it all-all day (and night).  I have to get things straightened out before DHS places her cousin at her house and I end up with two living here.  UGH.

I’m all okay…child care is going okay…summer is well underway and we’re making the adjustment…Before I know it summer will be over and I’ll be back adjusting to a new schedule again.

Before I go I thought I would recommend some awesome Facebook pages that have fun kids crafts…Easy Peasy and Fun, Paper Magic, and I Heart Crafty Things.  We’ve been doing daily crafty activities and these pages have been making things super easy for me.  With them, planning has been a breeze.  I know many of you have kiddos in your life and might enjoy them as well.

I am happy to report that all is well here and the childcare kids are keeping me hopping which is a good thing!

Comments

  1. Paula S. says:

    I’m glad you’re getting a schedule figured out for summer. I feel for the neighbor girl, however, she is not your responsibility and you are right in setting boundaries. She needs to learn since she doesn’t seem to be taught anything at home. I’m speaking from personal experience here – not being mean!

  2. Dorothy says:

    I have issues–you “are” responsible ? or you “feel” you are responsible? From what I gather from your blog postings–she is a neighbor, not a relative, therefore not your “responsibilty”–yes I understand the “feeling responsible”–but she nor her parents will ever learn anything about being responsible if you do it for them. You have your life, your job, your family, All of that should come first. And along with Paula S. “I am not being mean”

  3. I was happily reading your blog about all the fun and creative things a person can do with little tots, and then I felt terribley sick when neighbor girl was there for 60 hours……and no one checked on her:( She stays in my prayers as do you, because of your care for her.

  4. Donna says:

    Your childcare looks so much fun for the kids! Looks like a ton of work for you! I think neighbor girl and her mom are taking advantage of you! She definitely needs to know how to do laundry! That would help her working mom out too! Not checking on her for 60 hours is outrageous and again mom is taking advantage of your help and hospitality!!! What would she do if you weren’t her neighbor? Have the girl stay home alone all the time??? My husband was involved once in the Big Brothers program. The mom would go on dates when my husband had her son but she would show up hours late and would try to use him for free babysitting! He final had to quit seeing the son because the mom was so hard to deal with! I am so glad you have set some boundaries!

  5. Ruth says:

    Several weeks ago you said that Neighbor girl was allowed to walk in without knocking. It is still Your house and You still control who comes in and who does not. Safety First! Neighbor girl should have to knock or ring and wait for you to let her in, whether the door is locked or not. That way you can meet her at the door and tell her what the plan is for that day. Your decision to allow her there only three days a week means you both have a break and she realizes that being at Your house is a Privilege, and she has rules to obey.
    Hopefully, you met with her mother and talked it all out with her and Neighbor girl at the same time so they both know all your decisions, and why you made the decisions.
    Summertime with kids is both harder and more fun!

  6. Girl in the Stix says:

    Glad you are setting boundaries. So tough, when you know there is neglect at home. Have you talked to her parents? This poor girl is going to have a tough road to hoe–you are making it much better for her, but she still feels the lack of care in her own home. Oh, what a world we are living in! Thank you for all you do.

  7. Jody says:

    I liked the melted chocolate idea for crackers and fruit! Will pass that along to my daughter for her 2 young sons. They will love that! I think all your blog readers (me included) have become attached to neighbor girl. You are wonderful to her but I’m sensing that her Mother is taking advantage of your giving, mothering nature and willingness to include her daughter in your family life. I’m glad you set some boundaries. :)

  8. Linda says:

    I am very sad to hear about Neighbour Girl’s non existent home life. Have you had proper conversations with her mother? I think it’s wonderful that you and your husband provide a “port in a storm ” for her and that she is welcome to pop in and join your family and be taught new hobbies like sewing. But her Mum needs to know she is HER responsibility. Hope your new rules work out.

  9. Linda in NE says:

    I’m glad you’re getting your summer schedule under control. I remember the days when my kids were out of school for the summer even though they are 45 & 40 now. For one thing I couldn’t feed them for what it cost for school lunches! :) I feel bad for both you and neighbor girl that she was at your house for 60 hrs. and her family didn’t even call to check on her. What if she hadn’t been at your house?!? I don’t see how DHS could possibly place a cousin in that home when the child who already lives there is neglected, with a mother that works all night and sleeps all day. I hope they review the situation before placing another child there.

  10. Mary Jo B. says:

    That look on Ruby’s face says “look what I have to put up with” – so cute!

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