I’m at the point where I have to run to keep up with my two-year-old charges, Danny and Lucas. Lucas is my friend’s kid whom I nanny and who has become a second son.
As luck has it, the two boys are opposite zodiac signs, so I often manage conflicting personalities. Don’t be mistaken though, the two boys are inseparable and are known throughout Southeast Baltimore as DannyandLucas. There’s not one without the other and they’re rarely without me.
Lucas says he’s “fast like a cheetah” and a superhero whose five powers include “build[ing] castles and dumping.” He’s quite accurate with the latter. Lucas can ransack a room in no time flat. He’ll do it while making the room seem like a parkour park too—the kid can jump, tumble and dash with ease.
His undisclosed powers are his deafening and charming voice, his limitless and happy energy and his heal-all laughter. Run into him on the street and he’ll likely say, “How you doin’, lady?” or “What’s up, bro?” My man Lucas knows how to work a room and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the kid.
As for my other superhero, Danny, his powers include eating, whining, loquaciousness, a megabrain and tranquility. Danny eats. He eats and he eats and he eats. Currently his favorite foods are our homemade fruit popsicles and steamed carrots. Not a single day goes by that he doesn’t have either one. It’s a good thing we have 30 popsicle molds in our freezer because the promise of a popsicle is just about the only thing that stops the kid from crying and whining.
My new mantra is “Use your words.” The kid cries and whines at the drop of a hat due to his sensitive nature. Poor kid and poor me! Other than his whining and crying, he’s a chill dude who loves to sing. Run into him on the street and he’ll likely sing you the National Anthem with the “O’s!” right on cue, or he’ll ask you how to say baby in Spanish and Swedish. How can you not love him?
I love them both dearly, but I also love when it’s their naptime. The two of them make me smile more than anyone else, but keeping up with them is mentally and physically exhausting.
Lucky for me they go down easily. Lucas runs up the stairs, enters his bedroom and jumps on his cot—I cover him, kiss his forehead, tell him to sleep well and that I love him. I then cross the hall to Danny’s room. I put Danny in his crib, cover him, tell him to sleep well and that I love him. As I exit, Danny says as he always does at this time, “Bye. Sleep well. See you in the morning when you wake up.”
He hasn’t figured out the difference between nap time and bedtime, but he does know that all superheroes should rest.