So you see, my demands were extremely reasonable and simple.
My plan was to get an Etsy shop up and running. I couldn't think of any other income-producing thing that would meet my list of "requirements" for my family time. I had just been praying about what God wanted me to do...understanding that "unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1). I wanted to stay home and build my Etsy store. But I didn't want to do it if God had something else in mind. And in August, a friend of mine called me to see if I'd be interested in taking care of her kids during the day; she'd just gotten a teaching job. So that's...no nights, weekends, summers, holidays, snow days, sick days...plus I could even bring the piggie-doggie with me if I wanted to. AND, it was a guaranteed paycheck, unlike the uncertainty of how much I could earn on Etsy, and how long it would take to even get that ball rolling. So I agreed to do it.
(Did I mention that my friend has 7 kids? Oh, and the oldest one is 7. They got married and had a baby every single year for 7 years.)
It is probably one of the most challenging jobs I've ever had, actually. I tell people what I do, and almost 100% say, "are you crazy?" (which by the way I think is kind of rude...but I know they don't mean it that way.) When I've been out with only a few of the kids, people ask me the things I hear actual moms of lots of kids talk about, like..."are they all yours?" and things like that. And I think, ha. You think 4 is a lot? I've got the rest of them stashed away at school right now...just wait till they get home. THAT'S a lot!
It did take me the better part of the ENTIRE FALL to get used to handling all 7 at a time. My whole perspective has changed. I now think that having "only" 3 kids in the house - the baby, toddler, and preschooler - is a piece of cake. (In what kind of world-gone-mad is that a piece of cake???) And being at home with my own two school-age kids? Absolute luxury.
Well anyway, I always enjoy having a job where I have lots of stories to tell over dinner. With this job, I am never at a loss for a funny story. Here are some snippets from the last several weeks...
[With a great deal of urgency] "Do you know what, Miss Rachel? There's a kind of ant that can eat your skin."
[Amidst the din of 7 children running all over the house] "Miss Rachel, could you please be quieter? I'm trying to practice my piano."
"WAAAAH!" What's wrong? "I BIT MY HAND, WAAAAH!" Well, maybe you should take it out of your mouth. [Indignantly] "NO!"
"MISS RACHEL! CanIgooutsideandplayinGod'sbeautifulcreation? Pleeeeease?"
[After seeing my little white dog run downstairs with several green marker lines down her back]...Um, [6yo], why did you draw on Maggie? "I didn't. I was leaning on her while I was drawing on a piece of paper and the paper slipped." (Incidentally, the green marker also "slipped" onto her bedroom carpet, forming the words "I Love Maggie" with several hearts around it.)
[While explaining why kids aren't invited to girls' night out]..."Is it because you need some chill time with other adults?" Yes. How do you know about that? "Mom says that to Dad a lot." I'll bet she does. I'll bet she does.
[Me, to the 2yo]: Did you get to sit on Santa's lap? Yes! And what did you ask him for, for Christmas? [Forcefully, with great conviction] a PWESHENT!