Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Babysitting Instructions

TV Directions:
There are 2 remotes that control the TV. One is black and silver—this turns the TV on and controls the volume and if you want to switch to the DVD player. The other one is silver and has colored buttons. This controls the channels and anything that is recorded on the TV.

To turn the TV on, push the red button on the top right corner of the black and silver remote.

If the TV says ‘press the select button’, then push the big round blue button that says select. Now you should be able to watch TV. There is a small blue button that says ‘guide’ this shows you all of the channels and what is on. Use the arrow buttons to scroll up and down to different channels, or the right arrow to see what’s coming on later.

If you want to watch a DVD, turn the DVD player on (with the small black remote). On the black and silver remote, push the ‘AV’ button until it says AV 2 S video on the screen. Then use the small black remote to start the movie.

If you are done watching a DVD and you want to watch TV again, then turn the DVD player off, and push the ‘TV’ button. It will say ‘TV3’ on the screen and then use the colored remote to scroll through the channels.

If you want to watch something that is recorded on the TV, use the colored remote. Push the DVR (gray) button 2 times. This will give you a list of the shows that are recorded. Highlight the one you want to watch by scrolling up or down, then press the select button.

Fruit, veggies, pretzels, goldfish, cheese, yogurt…
No matter what Joy tells you, I do not let them eat candy and sugar all day long AND she has to sit at the kitchen table. Marlo sits in her high chair and she has to have her seat belt on. She also likes to toss the tray when she’s finished, so prepare yourself—it makes a loud noise!

Marlo drinks the Vitamin D milk (red cap), Joy drinks the 2% (blue cap). Don’t mix them up—apparently the difference in taste makes everyone gag!

There is left-over turkey in the fridge. There are left-over mashed potatoes in the fridge outside. (There is also stuffing and sweet potatoes outside, but Marlo doesn’t like the stuffing. She might like the sweet potatoes. I don’t know if Joy likes either one of them.) They usually eat around 6 pm. They might want another snack right before bed, but give it to them before they have brushed their teeth.

Baths are entirely up to you. They get a bath every night so if you want to skip it, then don’t worry about it. If you are feeling adventurous, then this is how I do it:
Get the pjs and diapers ready while the tub is filling up. (Just keep the bathroom door closed because Marlo loves to try to fall in.) When it’s about halfway full, you can undress Marlo and put her in her bath chair. Joy can undress herself and get in with Marlo. Joy can wash herself. (Don’t worry about washing Joy’s hair…it takes forever and she may or may not want to cooperate.) I don’t use soap on Marlo’s face, but I wash her hair every night because she likes to use it for a napkin after every meal. They are supposed to pick up the toys before they get out. Joy uses the pig towel. Marlo uses the white with green trim. Don’t mix them up because it causes a tug-of-war game. Marlo usually wins. Joy gets out first and goes into whichever room they are getting dressed in. Then get Marlo out. Get Marlo dressed first, then help Joy with her diaper. (Diapers are cheaper than pull-ups. I really don’t think she still needs it, but she is hesitant to try just BGPs at bedtime. She can get dressed herself.

Marlo goes to bed around 8pm. I read ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ (on the floor in her room) to her, then (with the lights out) sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her, then I put her down. She might cry, but it’s OK (unless it sounds like she’s hurt…then you can check on her, but don’t pick her up…she never cries for very long.) Joy goes to bed between 8:30 and 9. I usually read her one or two stories. She will probably be asleep within 20 minutes but might want you to lay down with her. Otherwise it could be 2 hours.

The Park:
If you want to take them to the park, they will ride in the wagon. Marlo has to have a seatbelt on. Marlo does not play on the equipment by herself, so you will have to help her. Make sure that Joy stays where you can see her. She likes to play with the other kids, but if they run around to places where you can’t see them, she’s not allowed to do that. Joy should also go to the bathroom before you leave. If she has to go while you are there, please go with her to help her—they are not the cleanest in the world.

Playing at Home:
I don’t like Marlo to run around downstairs. She’s not very steady on her feet yet. If you let her, please keep her in the family room. (The kitchen floor is dirty and the living room has too many sharp corners.)

She plays really well in the loft. I just keep all of the bedroom/bathroom doors closed so she doesn’t get into anything she shouldn’t and doesn’t get hurt.
If you need to go to the bathroom or do something where you can’t supervise her, you can always stick her in the Pack n Play. She will be mad at first, but she will get over it.

Ok, these were the directions/notes that I left for the babysitter, otherwise known as the woman who is to Hubs what Gigi is to me. (aka, M-I-L) Is that cryptic enough?
Anyway, Hubs and I were gone for about 5 hours. Marlo was asleep. (Not in the sleeping attire that I left out for her to wear, mind you…the reasoning was, “She was warm at bedtime.” Never mind that I live here and know that her room is freezing during the night!) Joy was still awake. (Hmmm…several hours after bedtime, no less.)
The “babysitter” told me that the girls were great and had a blast running around in the garage and playing. Hold the phone! The garage? I know I didn’t specifically leave notes regarding use of the garage as a play zone, but I didn’t specifically leave notes about not playing in the street, either, or eating cleaning products, or playing with cutlery. I love her dearly, but maybe my Babysitter Screening Process needs to be a little bit more rigorous…or my notes need to be a little less suggestions and a little more mandatory…or maybe I need to be a little less controlling and a little more trusting. After all, the girls were happy and healthy when I got home. (OK, scratch that last idea. I don’t need to be less controlling and more trusting! I am the Mom!) I will just have to stand my ground, be tough, put my foot down, and tell M-I-L that what I say goes! Yes, that’s what I will do next time. If there is a next time. She is now officially on Babysitting probation. That will set her straight. I am not afraid of her. My house, my children, my rules.
(Good thing M-I-L doesn’t own a computer!)

Dear Gigi: I have a new-found respect for your rules growing up—and for your babysitting finesse. Your adherence to The Rules is duly noted and greatly appreciated. I know it can be irksome at times, but after all, I am my mother’s daughter!

Posted by The Editor for Busy Body

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