Halloween Safety

There are a lot of myths surrounding Halloween and the dangers of trick o’ treating.  The story most of us are used to is the razor blades in the apples.  This year’s flavor is fentanyl in candy.  The reality is all of these stories come from urban legends or vaguely related news stories.  In fact, a study in 2000 found that since 1959, there have been 80 cases of Halloween candy tampering in the United States.  All but 10 of those were found to be hoaxes.  Of those 10, the children only had minor injuries.

While we don’t need to Xray our candy, precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of all the kids out and about on Halloween night.

Porch Light

An old-fashioned rule that still holds true!  When the porch light is out, they are out of candy.

Be Seen

Always bring a flashlight or glow sticks for your children to hold.  You can also make sure your kids are lit up with reflectors on their costumes or light up shoes.  The majority of us will be taking our kids out during the night time.  And it is far too easy for kids to be in dark costumes to not be seen by oncoming motorist.

Careful of Candles and Jack-o-lanterns

A lot of costumes may include wigs, tool, or other very flammable material.  We know there will be jack-o-lanterns out on Halloween night.  Make sure to have strict rules with your children so they know not to go near an open flame on someone’s front porch.

Stay Away from Homemade Treats

While a nice gesture, homemade treats can contain allergens or ingredients that your children may not be able to eat.  Always go for packaged items.  And no, it is not possible to inject drugs into candy with a needle without you noticing.

Remove Makeup and Adhesive Before Bed

Between the excitement and the candy, getting your kids to wind down at the end of the night can be a challenge.  But we know, once they crash, they will crash hard!  Make sure you use makeup remover to get rid of all makeup or body paint before they collapse in a heap on their beds.  Many costume adhesives can also cause rashes if left on for too long.

Stranger Danger

There is a hilarious bit of irony for telling your children not to take candy from strangers, but then have an entire holiday dedicated to doing just that!  While we encourage interacting with strangers on Halloween night, stranger danger is still very real. A good rule for Halloween night is “no entering a person’s home.”  If their home is set up as a haunted house, they must enter with a parent. 

Keep a Cell Phone for Older Kids

Kids reach that certain age and they want to go out and get candy with their friends.  If this is the year for your child, it is always a good idea to make sure they have a cell phone.  See if your phone has a location app on it so you can track where your children are in the neighborhood.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween!  Stay safe and enjoy the sugar high!

A Trip to Rock ‘N River Water Park

It is hot as Hades these days in Central Texas! With lifeguard shortages and high prices, it has been a little tougher this summer to stay cool.  Since I have never taken the kids to a water park, and after checking the absurd pricing at several other water parks in the area, we decided on Rock ‘N River Water Park!

The water park is located in Old Settler’s Park.  It was pretty easy to find with the GPS.  We went during a weekday and were able to park very easily.  I imagine on the weekends it can get a little more complicated to find parking.  Even on a Friday there was a line to get into the water park.

The water park itself was exactly what you would want for the ten and under age group!  The eight-year-old was able to do almost every single waterslide, and the five-year-old was able to do the majority of the water slides.  There are two large baby pools, one has a large shaded canopy over it.  There is a large splash pad area with a climbing structure, slides, and a huge spilling bucket!  There are two separate pools near the back that have a basketball hoop and a swim up snack bar!  And of course, there is a lazy river!

Because we were lucky enough to go on a weekday, we were able to find two nice chairs under an umbrella.  There are a lot of beautiful seating areas.  They have cabanas, loungers, pavilions, and umbrellas but unfortunately, they have to be rented.  Once all the rental spaces are gone, there aren’t a lot of places to sit in the shade.  There is a large grassy area with several trees.  But if you don’t plan on renting a seating area, your best bet is to bring your own picnic blanket.  If we are ever to go back on a busy weekend, renting a seating area is a must!

Once we had saved our seats, the kids were able to run wild!  It can be hard to keep track of the kids, but the water park is small enough it is easy to find them.  Despite the shortage, there were a lot of lifeguards and I felt like the kids were being watched.  The only area that was cause for concern was the lazy river.  It is very small, but between all the tubes, the people, and how fast the lazy river moves, I would only have child in their unsupervised if they are able to stand with their heads above the water.  I can very easily see a little one getting stuck underneath the water and not being seen. 

There are big bathrooms on either side of the park including several family bathrooms.  The bathrooms are your standard pool bathrooms.  There is a really cool swim up snack bar!  I’d recommend bringing some quarters for kids to get snacks.  A credit card or cash in that area would be asking for disaster.  There are several food trucks also available.  We decided to bring in some Chik-Fil-A for ourselves, but we did enjoy some snow cones before we left!

The kids had a blast!  My favorite thing about water parks are how tired kids are at the end of the day.  They climbed, slid, splashed and swam around until they were completely pooped!  We really enjoyed the whole day!  If there is one negative thing about the water park it is the noise!  Not only is there the noise of splashing water and screaming children, but they play music over loud speakers.  It is impossible for the kids to hear you unless they are standing next to you. Make sure you have a good meeting spot!    

I cannot recommend this water park enough.  It is perfect for the younger crowd.  We did see some teenagers and middle schoolers there as well.  They looked like they were having a really fun time, but this place is tailored to the younger kids!  Book a cabana, grab some coins, the sunscreen and enjoy!

Summer on the Cheap

Summer is here!  We all made it through another school year and another year of uncertainty.  It is time to have some fun!  Luckily in central Texas, there are so many cheap and fun ways to keep your kids entertained for the summer.

Movies

For all the movie lovers there are so many fun options.  Many of our cities offer movies in the park on Friday nights, movies in the pool if you need to cool off, and of course Alamo’s Kids Camp that allows you to see movies for only a few bucks!

Concerts

There are always a lot of outdoor concerts this time of year!  To fully enjoy the experience without feeling like your melting into a pile a goo, here are some good things to keep in mind when attending these concerts. 

Pack a picnic with all the snacks and food!  If you are going to bring cold items, freeze them before you head to the outdoor show.  Of course, don’t forget to bring lots and lots of water! 

Bring another activity to the show like bubbles or a football.  Sitting and waiting for things to start, has never been a child’s strong suit.  Make sure you always know where the bathrooms are, and have a meeting spot in case the kiddos get lost in the crowd. 

Story Times and Summer Reading

Every library in central Texas has weekly story times as well as crafts to do during.  It is a great activity to head to the library once a week, and check out books for your kids’ summer reading.  There are a ton of great summer reading incentives through HEB, Pizza Hut or create your own reading chart for your kids!

It really is amazing all the things local libraries plan for kids over the summer. See what is going on in Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander and Austin!

Splash pads

The number of pools and splash pads around the central Texas area is amazing.  Because of the lifeguard shortage, many of the pools are limiting their hours.  Splash pads do not require lifeguards and are on most hours of the day. 

When visiting a pool or a splash pad it is always a good idea to have kids wear water shoes or crocs.  Splash pads are pretty good at keeping the area clean, but it only takes one stray rock to ruin the day.

Crafting and Baking

After quarantine I am sure most of us feel like we have done every craft there is to do!  But there are always more craft activities to keep your kids busy.  Check out this great website, or enjoy scrolling through Pinterest for easy crafts and baking projects. 

Make a day of it by going to a craft store or a grocery store, have the kids get all the things they need for their project, and then go home and do the project!

Hitting Milestones

Summer is the perfect time to work on important milestones for kids.  Stay inside during the hot afternoons and work on potty training.  With more time in the morning, you can get the kids used a to a morning routine that includes more chores like making their bed or making their own breakfast. 

If your child is interested in playing a sport in the fall, summer is the perfect time to spend time and practice swimming, basketball, playing catch or any other activity your child may want to improve.  One of the first things I worked on with my nanny kids during quarantine was helping them learn how to ride their bikes! 

Embrace Boredom

There are only so many hours in the day that we can fill with activities.  It may seem like you have to fill up every single second to keep your kids busy, and get them tired at the end of the day.  But boredom can be a very helpful thing for kids. 

It helps encourage creativity as well as time management.  Don’t be afraid to tell your kids that you need to take care of something and they need to think of something to do on their own. Let kids know it’s okay if they have nothing to do.  Sometimes enjoying the quiet without screen time can be refreshing for a young mind.

We wish everyone a happy and safe summer!

Earth Day with Kids

Today is Earth Day!  Every year we remember the ways we can help make our planet a greener and more beautiful place to live!  One of the greatest things about Earth Day is that it is very easy to get kids involved.  There are so many wonderful ways kids can learn to take care of the planet and make our Earth a little better and brighter.

Start a Garden
After quarantine, most of us probably have a garden we planted to help avoid cabin fever!  While the internet is littered with DIY garden projects, you and your children can actually make a simple garden with some dirt, seeds, and pots!  Head to Lowes or Home Depot and let the kids pick out what seeds they’d like to plant.  Make it their job to water the plants every morning.  You can also paint the pots and make a whole project out of it!

Park Clean Up
We have so many beautiful parks in central Texas and many great park clean up projects.  But even without an officially project, heading to the local park to pick up trash is a great activity!  Get your kids a fun grabber and a trash bag and make it a contest!

Meatless Mondays
How do pancakes for breakfast, Peanut butter and Jelly for lunch and mac and cheese for dinner sound?  It sounds vegetarian and kids friendly to me!  Eating fewer meat products can help reduce greenhouse gases.  While many of us love Whataburger way too much to go full vegetarian, Meatless Mondays can be a fun alternative to limit animal consumption and experiment with healthy meals for the kids!

Bird Feeder
There are so many different ways to make birdfeeders.  You can go simple with a pine cone or an apple and some peanut butter.  You can get some popsicle sticks or even be more advance and try a beginner bird house! 

Visit Farms and Farmers Markets
Central Texas has so many wonderful working farms to visit.  Many of them also allow you to pick fresh fruits and vegetables to bring home.  The farmers’ markets around central Texas are also a great activity to do with kids.  Supporting our local famers is a great way to help the planet and teach kids about where their food is from.

Camping and Hiking
Getting out in nature is a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty the Earth has to offer.  Check out the many great camping spots nearby. While Texas weather is unpredictable, now is one of the best times to get out of the house and spend a night under the stars! Many of the camping spots in central Texas offer great fishing, swimming and hiking. Your kids will have to work really hard to muster up an “I’m bored” in some of these camping spots! 

Earth Day Films and Shows
I could probably write an entire blog post featuring all the amazing movies and TV shows that talk about Earth Day! Disney Plus even has an entire section of their streaming service dedicated to all their movies about the planet! There is so much great content out there for your kids to enjoy and learn from.

A Trip to Monster Mini Golf

We needed an activity to get us out of the house without having to worry about what mood the Texas weather was in that day.  Monster mini golf is an indoor, glow in the dark mini golf course with an arcade and laser tag room.  I grabbed the five-year-old and the eight-year-old, and with zero expectations or planning, we went to minigolf! 

The location itself is fairly easy to find, but it is in a long business strip center, and it can be easy to zoom by and realized you missed it.  But GPS liked us that day and we found it with no issues. 

The inside is really cool.  The whole place is dark, but wonderfully lit up with black lights and murals of some of our favorite Austin celebrities!  We started with laser tag since there was a wait for mini golf.  Laser tag was a blast!  It is a fairly small room, so it wouldn’t work for huge groups.  But there was enough room for the three of us to run around and try and get each other.  They have vests for everyone to put on with the laser guns attached.  The vest was too heavy for the five-year-old, so she just ended up being on my team, and we hunted down the eight-year-old together.

Finally, after laser tag, we were able to start mini golf.  They are really good at spreading people out, but you still feel a bit like you are rushing through the course so you don’t hold up the line.  I kind of wish they had let us make it through a couple holes before allowing the people to follow behind us.  Mini golf is designed to be frustrating.  Combine that with kids (and sometimes adults) who can’t control their emotions, and mini golf can turn sour real fast.

Mini golfing itself was very fun.  You get to pick a glow in the dark golf ball!  There are creepy statues and haunted looking objects all over the course.  It’s another reason why I wish we hadn’t felt so rushed, because it is fun to look at everything around the course.  We finished the whole course in about 45 minutes.  If we weren’t getting close to our meltdown time, I bet it would’ve taken an hour.

There are a few arcade games at the front of the course.  They are your basic arcade games.  And while there is a good amount, it’s not like going to Pinballz or Dave and Busters where they just have rows and rows of games.  They even have some prizes at the front like they do in arcades.  But you should consider the arcade games and prizes to be a side dish and not the main course. 

It was a great little outing.  But we only spent an hour and a half there.  We probably would’ve spent more time if we had played arcade games and took our time on the mini golf course.  But in reality, this place isn’t an all day or even a half day activity. 

In terms of food and drink, they have some basic snacks for sale at the front counter.  But the only tables available are in private rooms for birthday parties.  This wouldn’t be the type of place where you would pack a lunch and spend the day.  It would be the perfect place for a birthday party!  Grab a group of 10-year-olds and cross your fingers they don’t decide to sword fight with the golf clubs.  This location also offers date night packages, which would be a really fun idea!  Leave your kiddos with a sitter from Wilco Nannies, and go enjoy celebrity zombies in the dark!

Rock Rose Scavenger Hunt

Get outside this weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather, before Texas remembers it’s winter time. Rock Rose is a great street in the Domain. There are lots of fun shops to explore and some great restaurants to take kids. While you are exploring, take this scavenger hunt along and see if you can find everything on Rock Rose!

Level Easy

  • Someone walking a dog
  • Someone wearing a hat
  • Red flowers
  • Shoes in a window
  • Someone pushing a stroller
  • A cross walk sign
  • Ice cream
  • A playground
  • A cookbook

Level Medium

  • A ping pong table
  • A birthday card
  • A book about superheroes
  • Austin FC logo
  • Three mannequins in one window
  • A “now hiring” sign
  • Candy bigger than your hand
  • An indoor tree

Level Hard

  • A bear
  • Three murals
  • Four barrels
  • Red umbrellas
  • A water bowl for dogs
  • A white tree
  • A red car, blue car, and yellow car

Nanny Job Red Flags

With COVID shutting down schools and daycares, nannies have never been in more demand.  With such a high demand, there is an opportunity for nannies to have options when choosing a job.  The time of the $10 an hour nanny has long passed.  It is important for a good position to fit for your schedule and your budget, but also fit your desired work-life balance.  Here are some red flags to look out for when job searching!

They want you to start without an interview.

Desperate parents are nothing new.  School gets cancelled and parents with full-time jobs have to figure out what to do with their children.  New apps like Bambino have made it easier for families to get someone to come to their home quickly.  While occasionally sitting for a family without meeting them is normal, it should be a big red flag when someone is hiring a full-time nanny.  A parent who is ready to hire a nanny without interviewing them, asking for a resume, or wanting to call references is a bad sign.  If you ask them to do these things and they refuse, this should make you uncomfortable.  While you know you are a good, reliable person, for a family to assume that site unseen, raises serious questions as to what the position actually entails.

They want to pay you a salary.

In the state of Texas, household workers must be paid no less than minimum wage on an hourly rate basis.  Many families will offer paying you $400 a week or $50 a day.  In actuality, that is a huge red flag and against the law.  Many families may have a set schedule during the week, but life happens and nannies need to work late, parents go on date nights, etc.  Guaranteeing that you will be compensated for all the hours you work can only happen if you are paid an hourly fee.  Families not willing to consider paying someone hourly, most likely means they want to try and squeeze as much work out of you as possible, for as little pay as they can.

They only want to pay you under the table.

Many of us grew up babysitting and are used to being handed a wad of cash at the end of a Saturday night.  But working as a nanny, it is important to have a record of your payment.  There are great payroll services out there for parents to use.  Even if your employers decides not to use a payroll service, direct deposit and Venmo allow you to keep track of how much and how often you are being paid.  It is important to have a record of your pay for your taxes as well as filing for unemployment.  If a family only wants to pay you using cash, it may be a sign that they are trying to find ways not to pay you as much. 

They won’t sign a contract.

Wilco Nannies provides a Work Agreement for all families and nannies to fill out.  These agreements simply allow nannies and families to have their hours, pay, and job duties on record for all to see.   You can also easily find contract templates to use online.  A family unwilling to enter into a contract or work agreement with you, is a bad sign.  Contracts do not mean you are “stuck” in a position for a certain amount of time.  They help dictate the parameters of your work.  If families are unwilling to consider a contract, it is very easy for them to not to pay you on time, ask you to do household chores you did not agree to, or make you work longer hours than originally agreed.  Always, always, always have a contract!

They trash their old nanny.

Nannies and families decide to go different ways for many reasons.  While a nanny and employer can end on bad terms, how parents speak about their former nanny can be very enlightening on how they view the nanny position.  If they speak about the nanny with small complaints such as “they were on their phone all the time”, this can be read as they simply did not get along and it wasn’t a good fit.  If the complaints become more personal, “she was lazy” it can be looked at as not having respect for the person they employed.  If you ever hear of a nanny suddenly leaving a family with no call and no explanation, this could be a sign that something bad happened in the home and the nanny needed to leave immediately.

Above all else, as a nanny you have been hired to do a very important job.  Finding a family that you have a good rapport with, is just as important as having a family that respects you as a professional.

Finding Your Unicorn Nanny

Hiring a nanny for your family is a weird task.  You are not only hiring a professional you expect to do a job, you are hiring someone to be a part of your family.  You want an employee with a good personality match.  You can’t hire a nanny who is great at her job but that you don’t like.  Likewise, you can’t hire a nanny with a great personality that doesn’t have the experience you want.  Here are some tips to help you find the right nanny for your family.

Qualifications

Qualifications for nannies can range from a career nanny with 20 years of experience, to a high school student who is the oldest of a lot of siblings.  The reality is that the qualifications you are looking for, directly reflect what you are willing to pay.  If your budget can only afford you to pay a nanny $15 an hour, your nanny will most likely be someone who only has previous babysitting experience.  If you are able to pay $20 an hour or more, you can expect to have someone with several years of experience.  Once you reach $25 and over, you will have nannies with years of experience and several certifications to their name.   

At a minimum, all nannies should have an updated CPR certification.  CPR certification only lasts two years.  Career nannies know this is part of the deal.  A lot of high schools do a CPR and first aid class for their seniors.  If you find a nanny you really like but they are not CPR certified, the Red Cross has many classes they can take.

Resumes and References

Career nannies will be ready with all the information you could ever need.  Resume, certifications, references, whatever you need they have it ready at a moments notice.  However, for a nanny who is less experienced, or new to being a nanny, it may not occur to them to make a resume.  All this to say, don’t be surprised if the nanny you hire does not have a resume.

References on the other hand are a different story.  Even if you are talking to an 18-year-old who has never worked a day in their life, anyone applying for a nanny job should have at least three references.  If they do not have work references, teachers or coaches are always a great option.  For nannies with a bit more experience, ask for references for the past five years.  Nannies may still have a close relationship with families they worked for ten years ago, but people change and grow over time.  The more recent references are the better ones.  Your nanny’s references are your best asset.  It is important to ask the references how they know the nanny, and what responsibilities the nanny had when working for them. 

The Interview

The interview process is a good example of the complicated relationship you have with a nanny.  The interview should have two parts, the professional questions and the personal questions.  The professional questions are the ones you find on forums all over the internet.  “How long have you been taking care of children?”  “How much are you looking to be paid?”  “Are you flexible with work times?”  It is always good to make sure everyone is on the same page with job expectations. 

But these informational questions are only one part of what you need for a nanny.  The other questions should help you get a sense of the nanny’s personality.  My favorite questions to ask nannies are: “What is your favorite movie to watch with kids?”  “What is your funniest kid story?”  “What is your favorite place to take kids to play?”  What is great about these types of questions is it give you an opportunity to see if you relate to your nanny.  Can you guys laugh over your love of Disney movies or cringe over shared potty-training disasters?  It is so important to have a personal connection with the person you want taking care of you children. 

Finding the right nanny is looking at a balance between the professional and personal side.  When you are lucky enough to find that balance, you will have a lasting and wonderful relationship with your unicorn nanny.  And your nanny will have found her unicorn family! 

Hanukkah Movies and TV Episodes

Finding a list of favorite Christmas shows is as easy as finding your identical princess twin in a Hallmark movie.  Looking for Hanukkah movies or TV episodes for kids is like trying to find an A-list actor in a Hallmark movie.  As a 90s child, there was an episode of Rugrats that talked about Hanukkah.  Then in 2002, Adam Sandler’s film Eight Crazy Nights came out and earned Sandler a Golden Raspberry nomination for “Worst Actor in a Film”.  Fortunately, there are a lot more options for families celebrating Hanukkah who would like to see their holiday represented on the TV.

Full Court Miracle

This is my favorite Hanukkah movie to watch with the kids!  A young Jewish boy, Alex, wants nothing more than for his terrible basketball team to win a tournament.  They find a down on his luck former basketball player who is willing to coach them.  The film takes place during Hanukkah, and creates a really simple allegory for kids about Juda Maccabee and the oil meant for one night, lasting for eight.  Mix in a little Mighty Ducks style sports movie, and you’ve got a pretty good time!

An American Tail

While not exactly a Hanukkah movie, 1986 An American Tail follows a family of Russian, Jewish mice as they travel to America.  They hope to find a land with no cats and roads made of cheese!  The opening scene shows the family celebrating Hanukkah together.  Most of us remember the rest of the movie as Fievel is separated from his family, and must sing sad songs until he finds them again.  A lovely movie that still holds up with its great music and sweet story.

Love, Lights Hanukkah!

If you feel your kids must get their Hallmark fix, there actually is a Hallmark Hanukkah movie!  The 2020 Hallmark movie tells the story of a young woman named Christina who finds out she’s half Jewish.  She decides to reach out to her Jewish relatives and finds a family and, of course, a secret twin.  Just kidding, it’s love, she finds love!

Rugrats Hanukkah Season 4 Episode 1

“Hanukkah is that special time of year, between Christmas and misgivings when all the bestest holiday shows are on TV!”  The Rugrats Hanukkah episode features Tommy’s grandparents reading the story of Hanukkah.  It is told in such a charming and classic Rugrats way!  While Rugrats Passover episode is most remembered and (rightly) praised, their Hanukkah episode deserves just as much credit for it’s silliness and storytelling.

Elena of Avalor:  Festival of Lights Season 3 Episode 18

I’ve had the theme song of this show stuck in my head for about three days.  Feels only right that I give it some recognition for its Hanukkah episode.  In this episode, Elena helps Princess Rebecca throw a Hanukkah party.  The episode doesn’t feature any back story on Hanukkah.  Elena doesn’t get on her flying jaguar (yes, a flying jaguar) to go help the Maccabees defend their temple.  But we get a Jewish princess, classic Hanukkah imagery, and a new song to get stuck in your head for a few days! 

Nina’s World:  Nina Save Hanukkah Season 1 Episode 27

In this episode, Nina and her friends go on the hunt to find oil for their Hanukkah recipes and their menorah.  It once again is a very simple story.  They focus more on the symbols of Hanukkah then the actually history of the holiday.  Which can be perfect for the little kids who mainly associate Hanukkah with presents and chocolate gelt!

I’m happy to say there are so many more Hanukkah themed TV episodes.  I’ve not personally seen all of these but there is a great list below.  Get the family together and enjoy some Hanukkah stories with your kids’ favorite characters!

Bad Words

It’s bound to happen.  As many times as you try to say “shoot” not “s***”, or “fudge” not “f***”, you will inevitably use some bad words in front of your children.  Which your children will inevitably use in the worst place possible (school, church, visiting grandma).  I have taken care of a lot of kids and had some pretty fabulous moments listening to kids drop some word bombs! 

While kids will sometimes throw out a word they hear because they are looking for a reaction, the best times are when kids actually use curse words correctly.  Once while taking care of a four-year-old, she very sweetly asked me if she could carry her ice cream into the living room and eat it in front of the TV.  I told her that was fine, but walk very slowly and use both hands.  As she slowly approached the living room, being very careful to take her time and watch her step, she carefully placed her bowl on the table and it slipped off the edge and crashed to the floor.  The four-year-old let out a heavy sigh and said “well, s***”.  I stifled down a laugh as hard as I could and corrected her, “we say shoot”. 

Cursing is pretty easy to correct.  If you don’t make a big deal about the word they used and substitute it with an age-appropriate word, you can clean up your kid’s potty mouth.  Some of my favorite replacements are “shoot”, “fudge”, “oh my gosh”, “hot as hades”, and my personal favorite “cheese and rice” for Jesus Christ.

What is interesting is when kids use normal words that for some reason just rub me the wrong way.  Like “shut-up”.  Not a bad word, but when you hear a little one say it, it feels just as bad as cursing.  One of my little boys went through a “shut-up” phase around age three.  I was concerned because he had started pre-k and I didn’t want him telling friends or teachers to “shut-up”.  I had asked him to replace “shut-up” with “hush” and then went to talk to the teachers.  I walked into the three’s classroom full of boy wrestling and saying “you shut up”, “chair shut up”, “door shut up”.  I asked the two teachers “so when did this shut-up become a thing.”  The poor sleepy-eyed teacher said “I have no idea how this became a thing.  It has taken on a life of its own.”  One group email later, all parents agreed to try help our poor teachers out by recommending “hush” to all our shut-up-saying boys!

Another word that surprisingly rubbed me the wrong way was “whatever”.  For some reason the five-year-old came home and responded “whatever” to everything I asked him to do.  He still did everything he was asked but it was like he had a “whatever” tick now.  Finally at the end of the day I decided to squash the “whatever” use.  I asked him to please not use that word anymore.  He nodded knowingly at me and said “is that a grown-up only word?”  Yes.  Yes it is.

Once you have control over the inappropriate words and the annoying words, then you have to be ready for the potty words.  Good lord help me once kids start potty training.  Then everyone is a “poop-head” or a “pee-pee head”.  Then they start learning the proper terms for their body parts.  Once I picked up the four-year-old from pre-k.  He was in my car, buckled and ready to go.  As we were driving away, he spotted one of his little friends from class.  He asked if he could roll down the window and yell bye.  I said of course, and the four-year old proceeded to roll down the window and shout “HEY CHARLIE!  YOU’RE A PENIS!”  Charlie, unfazed and to the horror of his nanny screamed back, “YOU’RE A VAGINA!”  I quickly rolled up the window and sped away in shame.

We do the best we can!  We unfortunately can’t ask all adults to watch their mouths as we are out and about.   We also can’t expect all the videos they watch will be age appropriate.  You just have to do the best to keep it clean.  If there is any advice I could give about keeping kids from using bad language it would be DO NOT LAUGH!