the ferrell kitten

Today Deeder and I met Jason. And his mom who is due to have another baby in January.
On the phone Jason’s mom told me that if I got the job I could bring Deeder over to play, that we could spend all of our time there–“Jason has plenty of toys and there’s enough room for them to both sleep here too. He loves other children!” Great!
I invisioned a well acclimated child–good social skills, schedule, preferences, personality and just zest for life…something that you might expect from a child of 18 months.

The reality: They just moved here from NY, they lived there for five months, before that they lived in California for three months, before that they lived in the UK. Yes, the UK. They’re from England
Have you ever met a 18 month old who has done that much moving? The first child he ever saw was on an airplane, it was a girl sitting two rows up across the aisle. Jason’s mom told me how the two infants smiled and laughed for eachother nearly the whole flight.

Jason doesn’t talk, just grunts. He’s only just started on infant rice cereal.

His second encounter with another child was here. A little neighbor girl, three years old. I guess she was a pretty mean kid because she’s not allowed to come over anymore.

Politely trying to make conversation I asked about Jason’s delivery. Had he been a hospital birth? Oh no. “I don’t believe in having hospital births, they’re too invasive.”
She had a home delivery…

A home alone delivery. No one attending the delivery–Except for herself, well herself and a 10 lb 10 oz Jason. She has no friends, she’s seen her mother only twice since leaving England– Jason has never met his two aunts and one uncle, his mom hopes that one day he will. I don’t know how long she’s been married, but I assume that this moving began when her marriage did.

How could I not take the job? My heart broke for her. Clothes all over the floor, books scattered, broken toys on the stairs landing. This big playroom was smaller than Deeder’s bedroom. There wasn’t furniture or a storage bin for toys–there were three toys that were new, the rest were broken. Cds and binders, newspaper clippings and photographs covered a dresser against the wall adjacent to the entrance. She’s a writer.

I asked where Jason sleeps. (Remember she said that there was plenty room for two children.) She shrugged and said, “Oh he sleeps with us.” Uh, ok.

I had to take the job, she needed a nap–a nap without her little ferrell kitten.
I wanted to say that I’d watch him forever and not charge. I wanted to buy him some new clothes and give him a bath.

I start Monday.


A corner of my kitchen counter taken last night. Those dying flowers are from Darren–they’re more beautiful than the day they were delivered!

And don’t worry…if Deeder starts grunting and eating only rice cereal I’ll quit the job. This is going to be tough, people. I don’t drive and I don’t have a double stroller. The idea of watching two kids in a small messy apartment is out of the question.
But I have to help somehow…
Ideas would be appriciated!

6 Responses to “the ferrell kitten”

  1. Gramma Momma says:

    This sounds worrisome, Sweetie. Almost CPS worrisome. What does this person write about anyhow, when she hasn’t got the basics of nurturing her dear little one down. He sounds seriously neglected. What does Darren think about this?

  2. Kathie says:

    I found your blog through Renee’s Bakers Dozen, and hers through snap-ez, but that’s another story. My son is just a little younger than Deeder, so it’s fun to see what another little guy is up to. Anyway, we have a dear friend babysit for us- she found a double stroller on craigslist. Or could you put Deeder in the Ergo and Jason in the stroller? Obviously this little one needs the nurturing that you can provide, but I must agree that it’s a bit worrisome. Good luck!!

  3. Laura says:

    Darren’s idea is that I get to know Jason, without Deeders there so that it wouldn’t be overload for this child who is used to having no one in his world besides his mom. I need to figure out what to feed him and get him napping before I can have him with Deeder for twenty hours a week! We’ll give it a one week trial run.
    That’s a good idea, Kathie about using the ergo and stroller. The problem is that the indoor play place that I was thinking of taking the boys to is now some stairs, steep stairs! And what about snow? Winter will be here soon. If I could train him to be quiet I could watch him here in Deeder’s clean organized environment…I didn’t realize how nice Deeder and I have it until we met Jason and his momma.

  4. Pam says:

    I agree with everyone else… odd situation. I mean one or two things, sure not a big deal. But then combine them all and yikes. A non-talking, non-eating, co-sleeping, non-communicating 18 month old — and I think that just touches on the wierdness. Wait ’till you REALLY get to know them. How will they handle the social interaction of you in the house.

  5. Tammy says:

    Hey Laura,

    From what you’ve written it sounds like you will have a hard time working for this woman. It doesn’t sound like you respect her for her childrearing choices and I think that this will likely lead to a poor working relationship as you may find yourself trying to mother her child instead of baby-sit him. Mothers notice this, mothers get defensive and jealous (as if I’d know, I don’t have kids! ;)), just imagine yourself in her place for a moment with a child care giver judging your parenting.

    Something that may help is to try to come to terms with the idea that her choices of parenting are not invalid in and of themselves. The fact that the baby can’t talk yet doesn’t necessarily stem from any of them. I know a few “normal” mothers whose children have speech impediments, even at the age of 4.

    I know a lot of mothers who nurse their babies that long, it’s not unhealthy even according to Drs, and she is clearly making an appropriate change now (beginning cereal) as she can’t fully support the nutrition of two babies at once.

    I know mothers who co-sleep with their children, especially when still nursing, this doesn’t affect their children negatively; there are many studies that have been done that show this as well.

    And regarding messiness; as you did, I would see that this girl needs help! She needs that much needed rest that you can provide her with.

    If you can view her practices as valid and OK, then I think that you will be able to help this weary mom through her pregnancy and make some money along the way, and perhaps promote development in both her son and yours.

  6. […] then there was Jason, remember him? I wrote about him Sept 20th, thru Sept 23, 2007. We never did see him outside of his […]

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