Intro to The Grownups
We are Sandy and Woozle*, two close friends trying to raise 3 kids (one of them autistic). We are somewhat overwhelmed by the responsibilities of just being ourselves, most of the time, and having to raise any kids at all – let alone three, let alone these particular rather high-energy units – is... well... even more overwhelming. (The kids are Sandy's from a former marriage, and it's a long story).
|*officially known as "Nick", but Sandy and the kids use "Woozle", as do a number of other people|
We are also both phone-phobic, so we're trying to minimize the amount of phone calling necessary. If you are a potential sitter who is comfortable making arrangements via email, IM, or IRC, that is a definite plus. :-)
We need childsitters for a number of different reasons:
- Someone to watch the kids when we need to go somewhere when they aren't all in school (with 3 kids, each at a different school, this happens on a regular basis)
- Someone to watch the kids when we don't actually need to go somewhere but just want to have some uninterrupted time to concentrate on our work (most days after 4pm and all weekend)
- One or more autism specialists ("qualified" and otherwise) to help with Josh's training (we may be able to get some services from the city to help with this, but so far we keep running into obstacles every time we try to get this started; see Josh and The System)
- Childcare for Earlham College trip: this went successfully. Unfortunately the sitter who covered this trip is out for the summer; she's probably back in August but her availability at that point is uncertain.
Getting a bit technical
This part may be just baffling to most people (hopefully it won't), but being a programmer I tend to think like this so feel free to ignore this section if it doesn't make any sense. I'm hoping that it will help me figure out what we need.
Requirements which come into play depending on the task:
- Josh: must be comfortable with possibly needing to clean up the posterior of an autistic 12-year-old after he uses the toilet
- driving: must be comfortable driving a minivan with up to 3 kids (if Josh is included, then you have to be prepared to deal with the possibility of Josh being in a mood and attempting to whack Benjamin; fortunately this comes up less and less) and picking them up from various locations. (They almost never get picked up from any of the same places, so you always end up managing two of them while picking up a third.)
- overnight: must be able to put kids to bed (read bedtime story) and stay in the house overnight with them (alternate locations are a possibility, if Sandy approves them)
- daytime solo: must be able to prepare meals (no serious cooking required; reheating of frozen dinners, making sandwiches, etc.)
- daytime assist (basic sitting where we are available for consultation): much like regular sitting; we can handle Josh cleanup if needed, and can also make suggestions for meals & snacks
Part of the idea is that if we can't find one person who is able to cover all requirements for a given task, we might be able to cover the various parts of it with different people – e.g. one to do the driving, someone else to cover afternoons & dinner, and maybe someone else for the overnights; whatever is needed.
|Sandy & I out of town for about 36 hours, one overnight. Reachable by cellphone (except for England trip, but we will still be reachable by phone for that).|
|watching kids so we can work||daytime assist||This is just so we don't have to get up at random intervals to attend to the kids. Woozle does work which demands a certain amount of concentration, and breaking that concentration costs more than just the 5 minutes it might take to make Benj a sandwich or whatever. We also might want to go on errands around town, but can be reached by cell phone should an emergency arise|
(This list is a work in progress)