As some of you know, I work outside of ABP as a nanny. At the beginning of the year, I went from working as a full-time nanny to working only three days a week so I could open the shoppe more often and grow the business. Though I was searching for a permanent nanny position, there is little demand for a nanny who wants to work only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; so I took temporary assignments for kids who were sick and could not attend their regular daycare; subbing for nannies who were sick or on vacation; etc.

At the beginning of April, the agency I was working for asked me to take an assignment that was meant to only be two days, but the family asked me to stay on for several weeks until they were able to hire a full-time permanent nanny. The dear little one I worked with was 2 years old and had some special needs that made communication very difficult for her.

Anyone with toddlers knows how tiring the days can be. Sometimes even downright maddening. Those cute little tots can exert big wills that some days even a whole lot of coffee just can't reckon with. In those moments, I've learned that a little perspective change can help me. Here is a journal entry I made on May 1, which was such a day.

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In the midst of tantrums, sometimes it's good for me to stop and consider what's really happening and celebrate the progress we are making.

Yesterday and today the little princess did not hit, pull hair, kick, or bite me when she got mad. I never would've ever imagined myself celebrating a tantrum because it was absent of physical outbursts of rage; but here I am. Almost giddy.

Just like anyone, I'd like to be tantrum-free, but imagine being fully cognitive of what you would like but unable to communicate what it is. An excuse? No, but I've not yet thought of a way to help her express disappointment that communicates she is unhappy but that is still socially acceptable. I'm still working on that aspect. But I've told her, "That hurts me. Please don't [pull my hair, hit, etc]." when she takes her fury out on me, and, "I understand you're disappointed. That really stinks, doesn't it? Crying doesn't change it, but I do understand the frustration. We'll work to find a way for you to express that."

Because I'm still lacking the "how," the tantrums haven't gone away, but I see her self-managing the expression. And I'm delighted!

The other big step forward today was that she allowed us to put shaving cream in her hands at art class. Honestly, I dread "messy play" because she has sensory issues. Messy hands freak her out. But today she actually played with the foam for several minutes before I took her to the sink to wash it off. She also sat on the carpet with the other kids for the final circle time.

So today is a big, big reason for happiness in this nanny's little world!

toddler days, perspective change, adulting, nanny life

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I need to implement a perspective change in my life more often. It's unbelievable how something that could be cause for a bad day can become a source of joy by just stepping aside for a moment to view it differently.