Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faux Siblings and Such

Since I'm a nanny in the afternoons for two kiddos Ava is getting to experience a little taste of siblings. From 1:30 until around 5:30 Ava is in the company of a 9-year-old boy (J) and a 6-year-old girl (JK). The first few months J and JK couldn't get past the "cute" factor of Ms. AJ. Now that we are approaching the end of our third month the honeymoon is over. The kids have settled into our routine together and this mommy/nanny finds herself depending more and more on the portable DVD player in the backseat. The ironic thing is that the spacing of the three children is almost exactly the spacing between my siblings and me...spooky. (And yes, I have called and apologized to my mother.) Throw in the fact that Ava's nap generally begins around 5:31 and you'll understand that the situation is sometimes quite dicey. Luckily, I have the strange ability to step back from the situation and laugh (inside my head) at most of the shenanigans.

The first Faux Sibling influence I noticed was Ava picking up words and phrases from J and JK, only she didn't get the context. Example 1: "Mommy, these orange jelly beans are so yummy. That's not fair!" She said this with a huge smile on her face, as if to say "See what a big girl I am with my big kid jargon?" Example 2: "Really" Throw it into any sentence for emphasis, especially if you are asking for something. Thank goodness J and JK are nice children, who don't use ugly words.

The next stage of F.S. was begging. Ava had never been the child to continue requests after the first 'no'.

Pre F.S. Ava conversation:

"Mommy, can I have some apple juice?" Ava.

"Not tonight Ava. It's too close to bedtime. I'll pour you a glass tomorrow for breakfast," me.

"Thanks," Ava.

Post F.S. Ava conversation:

"Mommy, can I have some apple juice?" Ava.

"Not tonight Ava. It's too close to bedtime. I'll pour you a glass tomorrow for breakfast," me.

"Please?" Ava.

"In the morning," me.

"Please, really please?" Ava.

"In the morning, Ava," me.

"Please, please, please can I really have some apple juice right NOW?" Ava.
(This request is whine/shrieky with a very staccato,shrill last word.)

"Ava do not ask again. You can have your apple juice with breakfast," me.

Fun, huh? And sometimes this conversation is compounded by the very 16-year-old look in her eyes. Not sure if I can blame F.S. for that part. She's got spunk of her own. J and JK are usually very respectful in their bargaining. The children of two lawyers have learned that they'll catch more flies with honey.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are many positive aspects of having Faux Siblings. She has learned to sing with the radio, and sweetly asks me to 'turn up' her favorite songs. Her vocabulary has increased like crazy. Have I mentioned J and JK are genius kids? They use words like 'thwarted' and 'suitable'. Ava tries to compete with them in their genius.


*I'm reading a book to Ava and JK at the library. It's an Olivia book, where some of the pages are black-and-white and some have splashes of color. The pages with color are more desirable. Oh, and it's a counting book so I was having the girls interact with the simple print.

"One - what's that word JK?" I say.

"Ball" says JK.

"No, I want to say the word," shrieks Ava.

"Okay Ava this page, two - what's that first letter Ava?" I say.

"No, I want a good page to read," Ava demands. Her page had no color.

"The first letter is 'b' and the word is 'bows'," JK answers.

"No, that's my page!" Ava shouts.

After this Ava squirms out of my lap and stands in the floor. She crosses her arms very dramatically across her chest. The arms are so crossed that her elbows are both pointing at me at the front of her chest. Her bottom lip is all the way out. She stomps her foot once and says, "This is just TERRIBLE!"

Yep, sometimes sharing mommy is terrible.

But Ava is getting valuable socialization that I can't give her here at home. She's learning to stick up for herself at the park, and has two emphatic bouncers if anyone questions her. In true sibling fashion, although they bicker to no end, they've got each others' back. Ava loves her time with J and JK. She asks me throughout the day, "Is it time to pick up J and JK yet?" And the best part of Faux Siblings is that they stay at their house and you get to go home. At the end of the day she still has mommy and daddy all to herself.

On Friday Ava and I were J's guests at his Christian school's Thanksgiving feast, (both parents teach a class at noon). We were thrilled to spend the special time with J. Unfortunately we had a severely rude encounter at the feast. So rude, in fact, that I almost felt like I was the spouse of someone on staff at a church again. Yikes! I'm happy to report that Ava, J, and I reacted gracefully. As a reward for our tolerance of hateful people we headed to Starbucks for hot chocolate.

How could you be rude to this little face?



k and c's mom said...

That precious picture of Ava makes me want to jump in a car and come see you RIGHT NOW! Hope you have a great Saturday, Autumn and family!

Hannah said...

I love Ava's little trench and cute headband!

Can't wait to see you all!

TeamRB said...

I loved reading all of the conversations between you and Ava. It sounded very similar though :)
It is incredible how much they pick up around others! Thanks for sharing. It makes me think my life is a little more "normal"
-also, tried out the new soap!! Thanks- So much better than dawn