As I sit waiting for a tow truck to take me and my decrepit car to a garage, I am dedicating a post to expound on the subject of Gaby.
She is the care giver for my 2 midgets and has been since they were 1 and 3 years old. I met Gaby because my nanny had quit without notice, so I called another care giver who lived on our street. She gave me Gaby’s number.
Some of my friends question whether she exists, because she is perfect in every way. Gaby takes care of a bunch of kids, varying ages. In the mornings during the school year she waits in front of the school for everyone to arrive. The school kids are handed their lunch (unless they are meeting up with her for lunch) and the little ones stay with her. (During the summer she greets everyone at her home.) While all of this is going on, she receives last-minute instructions from parents, updates on health and activities, plus calls and texts about the same. She sincerely fusses over each child.
After the school age children are shuffled off to class, Gaby takes the others to the recreation centre for some play time. At lunch time if the weather is fair she takes everyone to school and they have a picnic lunch at one of the picnic tables. Either she already had the picnic with her, or her husband drops it off. If the weather is not conducive to eating outdoors, the kids know to meet up in their pre-arranged pairs and walk over to the rec centre together. Lunch is always homemade and delicious, and she always remembers who likes what food. Keep in mind there are usually 8 – 10 kids to feed, from infant to grade 3 or so.
After lunch all the school kids (including the afternoon kindergarteners) go back to the school. Gaby takes the little ones on the bus back to her home where they will take their naps.
At 2:50, Gaby gathers up her smaller charges and takes the bus back to school to be there in time to pick everyone up. Of course she has the after school snack with her as well. And a double stroller and a few other small hangers-on. In bad weather, again the school kids know to pair up and walk to the rec centre, where Gaby has a room set up with snacks, toys, and an age-appropriate movie on a small tv.
Around 5 pm the calls and texts start again, from parents updating Gaby on pick up times.
When my kids are sick, Gaby takes them until I can get home from work. When my kids are having behavioural issues, Gaby lets me know (after dealing with them on the spot). Gaby doesn’t put up with any back talk or misbehaviour from anyone. My kids are polite, courteous and helpful, largely due to the weekday influence of Gaby. She teaches them to always say hello to the bus driver and to say thank you when getting off the bus. One day I was out with my midgets and my boy told me to say hello to a passing stranger. Um, unlike Gaby I don’t know every person in our neighbourhood.
In short, she’s amazing and I don’t know what I would have done without her. My midgets no longer need her to provide before and after school care, and they make their own lunches now too. However, as of this week girl midget is having lunch with her 3 days a week. She and Gaby are thrilled; they really missed each other. Small price to pay to have a little Gaby in our lives.
Gaby and her husband Lui were in our wedding party when my second husband and I married. I love her so much. She has great advice and is a huge help with my children even though they are no longer small.
So yeah, she really exists.