Wow. Almost a year of working as a Nanny - or 'Manny' as is the popular term for a male in this role. In the space of a year I have learnt a tremendous amount about myself and kids in general. I have one daughter of my own, but looking after somebody else's children is an entirely different ball game all together - especially when boys are involved.
What have I learnt?
The complete obsession around the snack cupboard has been confirmed as universal around the observable galaxy
These small humans gather in herds around a high, out of reach place every few minutes. Their lips moist, tongues wagging and their index fingers pointing toward the treasure chest of sugary delights. My daughter is the same, which has confirmed for me that humans elsewhere in the galaxy are likely to possess a similar trait. "My" boys have certainly mastered their trade.
Boys have more energy than the sun
When you take them to a soft play arena, 99% of the noise and energy emanates from all boys present. The girls make their way around these play areas with dignity and decorum. The boys tend to adopt a more jungle mentality of sprint-scream-jump-fart-bounce-hop. Hilarious, but exhausting.
The mess accumulated during meal times is similar to that generated at a local tip
Astonishing. Crumbs, half-eaten carrots, broccoli storks, wipes, Cheerio's (how are they still there?!), chewed pasta - you get the picture. When it's me and the two boys at mealtimes, your attention has to be one of a meerkat - constantly moving your head abruptly to the slightest noise or potential disruption displayed by one of them. "Concentrate on your food" is said between 100-500 times.
It takes the eldest boy 126 requests to finally put his shoes and coat on
I have not been able to confirm whether this is also universal, as my daughter has not yet reached school age, but once she does, I am 99% ...no, hold on a minute, 100% certain this will be the case. We generally leave the house for school on time, but not without coat and full on shoe-gate.
Take your eye off them both for 2.3 seconds and one is about to squash his fingers in an opened drawer and the other is pouring his drink over a book
You know the score, parents: you turn your head for a split second and meltdown airways has just arrived. One cries, then the other hops aboard the domino plane to get in on the action. And you only turned your head to pick up the post. Both cry for one minute and 23 seconds and then ask for a snack.
The bond made between myself and the boys is priceless
On a serious note, it is so comforting to see both boys feeling safe in my care as they have both clearly bonded with me. The youngest has started saying my name and gives me cuddles when I arrive through the door first thing in the morning. The eldest loves a piggy back and enjoys role play games with me. It is also comforting to know that their parents feel the same. I can't believe it has been a year!
Andy Robinson, Working Dad and Tinies Manny
Find more child and parenting related articles on Andy's Huffington Post page.