Took the kids BY MYSELF this morning to the pool. And I was successful! Which basically means no one, including me, vomited or turned into a screaming lunatic. I've discovered that things in general go so much more smoothly when I prep Frances--tell her how long (or how little) we're going to stay, explain why we won't have more time, and ask if she'll be a big helper and come when I ask and help us get into the shower when I ask and help us all get dressed. Sometimes I have to promise big rewards like yesterday when we went to Michaels and I told her on the way that we weren't going to buy any toys or any candy but if she was a helper and minded well she could have some bubble gum at the end. Which I was more than happy to provide considering that things had gone surprisingly well. So I have a new tactic. Yay me!
I just a few minutes ago waved to the kids as they rode off in their sitter's car. She's great--our sitter. She's been with us nearly a year now, two afternoons or so a week. She works a regular full time job until 4pm so gets here around 4:15. Some days she plays with the kids at home while I run errands or whatever, but more often she takes them to her folks' house. They play and sometimes swim in the pool and she feeds them dinner and gives them baths and then brings them home in their pjs. She's got two sisters also, one still in high school, so the kids get to be a part of another family, have their world grow a little, see the dynamics of how a different family works. Her parents have apparently gotten really attached to the kids and see them as a regular part of their lives. All of which is fabulous fabulous fabulous. I don't have any plans today for what I'm going to do with my sitter time (past this blog post, anyway) and as they were driving off I thought about that. Usually I would have a lot of anxiety around wasting my sitter time--I would feel pressure to accomplish things, errands, stuff--but when they go to her parents' house I don't. I think it's because I don't feel like this time is for me (though of course it is...), but is for them. I feel it's so important to them--they just love it--especially since we don't have any family around here. So even if I accomplish nothing it's worth the money.
Now off to accomplish something.