I’ve Lost My Marbles

Two years ago, I had my first full-time nannying job. Two kids, nice stable family, big house only 10 minutes from my own. The seemingly perfect fit.

It took me three days and I had lost my mind. The older child, Dylan, was a six year old boy with some ahem..behavioral issues, we’ll call them. Dylan was in Kindergarten and seemed to be having a difficult time adapting to coexisting with other human children. Dylan was on the “marble behavioral system” at home (insert eye roll). Allow me to explain. There is a jar full of marbles and a small empty bowl that sits on the kitchen counter at all times. When Dylan behaved appropriately, he would be granted the privilege of moving one marble from the jar to his empty bowl. He then jumped for joy and ran in speedy circles around the kitchen island, shouting at the very top of his tiny but powerful lungs. However, when Dylan had behaved inappropriately, he had to watch in agony as I removed a hard earned marble from his beloved bowl and placed it back its original home in the jar. Cue: Meltdown.

This was a much more common occurrence than a marble being ceremoniously added to the happy bowl. You see, Dylan was fond of biting; I am not fond of being bitten. As I had the final say in the discretionary allotment of the precious marbles, this transaction typically didn’t work in Dylan’s favor. It was disastrous and in my opinion, ultimately futile because little Dylan never quite grasped the principle of not acting like a maniac to avoid having marbles taken away, though I explained this concept to him in painstaking detail on a daily basis. Some people are beyond the marble system. Don’t get me wrong- it’s cute, it’s pinterest-worthy, but it surely does not seem to suit everyone. Just one person’s opinion.

The second child, whom I much preferred to his older brother, was mute. Again, I’m not saying this to be funny. The kid was silent. Although driving him to speech therapy three times a week was a knee-slapping good time for one and all, it seemed to be about as effective as Dylan’s marbles. I truly hope he’s flourishing now (and according to his parents, Dylan spoke very late as well, so I’m sure everything turned out fine), but I will say that a silent toddler was sort of a welcome change of pace. And I only lost him in the house once or twice.

I did not last too terribly long with the Marble Mutes, but I genuinely hope that they are living joyous, fulfilling lives with more love and laughter than you can imagine.

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