Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For the Love of the Nanny...

     Prior to having children I always thought I would easily leave my kids with babysitters or even our parents. Then I had Jackson, my thoughts on the subject of child care drastically changed. Don't get me wrong we have the greatest parents on both sides, but I'm his mother! (I say that like I have some previous mother experience. Basically if 2 people were up for this job of mothering, I would clearly be the least experienced and be asking for the largest salary.). And babysitters...I don't know anyone who can care for my child like family. And the gym day care...not gonna happen! To be clear on this I used to babysit for many families growing up and after having my own kids, I'm not sure what they were thinking. I used to love to run on the treadmill and watch people drop their kids off at the gym daycare. I really thought it was hysterical when the door would open and some kids would run loose through the gym or make a break for the front door. And when you walk up to the gym, the kids are lined up in the window with their snotty noses pressed up against the window looking out like jail...hence the reason I can't possibly leave my kids in there!
But I am a working woman and now I am a working mother (deprecating judgements can be made here). Luke's mom generously has been watching Jackson, daily! And let me tell you, she is a retired third grade teacher with the patience of Job. There is no way Jackson would know half of what he knows if I stayed home with him. He might know more about General Hospital and Dr. Oz but he definitely wouldn't know the lunar cycles. Now enters Blake, the baby, and I cannot in good faith ask my mother in law to watch both of the inmates. So she will continue with Jackson and so I will need someone to watch Blake...who?! Who can be trusted? Likely NO ONE...I ask around if anyone has a good nanny...Well, this is a huge deal! I quickly learned if you have a great nanny you do not give her up or speak of her out loud in earshot of anyone publicly. And if you need a nanny you must speak in hushed tones in dark corners to someone who might know someone who is about to have their children leave for college; therefore they may not need the nanny any more. But never will there be any sharing of the black book of nannies with anyone. Finally I just asked our cleaning lady. She is Brazilian and I wasn't sure she understood me, but within a day I had 4 different Brazilian nannies calling me. Wow! How come she doesn't understand when I ask her to clean the fans?!
 So we began the interview process, I was super nervous about this...I had no idea what to even ask these women who wanted to care for my child. What I really wanted to do was hook them up to EKG machines and show them pictures of naked little boys and ask them how they felt about these pictures. And they would have to surrender their passport once they were hired. But these things might seem a bit strange, especially to someone who isn't really up on American culture, or has watched as much Law and Order as I have.
So I just asked them a battery of questions about their lives and their past childcare experiences. And then I asked for they will give you the name and number for families of children they have sold to the international slave trade. But in all of this we found the most wonderful woman, our nanny...I love her! She came for the first time for 4 hours to spend sometime with the end of the 4 hours I asked her to move in and live with me forever. Apparently she has a husband and children of her own that she wants to live with. Her English is a bit shaky but we can communicate and the good news is she can ask the cleaning girl to clean the fans in Portuguese!
She walks into our home and takes my child and then says, "do you have any laundry you need me to do?" or  "go to take a shower, I'll be here" and other similar helpful, magical statements...its almost like I'm paying her! Here is some laundry that she knocked out in about an hour or so!
Jackson and Blake also love her. But listening to her and Jackson communicate is hysterical. Jackson isn't sure why she doesn't always answer him but he has decided talking loudly to her should fix any communication issues. The other day I hear him ask her if she wants chap stick (weird question no matter what language) and she doesn't really get he starts screaming..."YOU WANT CHAP STICK!" And recently I told Jackson to shake a leg; he turns to the nanny and says "that means hurry up". Great I'm sure it will help her tremendously to have a 2 year old as her translator. She says to me one day, "I have a really hard time with the past participle." I thought yea me too when I was in 7th grade, now I simply have no idea what that is. She frequently shows me her homework from English class...I generally don't agree with what she is being taught...I guess I also should not help her with her English!
Everyday Jackson and I spend a good deal of time reading books. And if she is here with us, she listens in...and at the end she sometimes has questions about the things we have read. Fabulous, now I have to actually pay attention to these crazy books I am reading. And I am scared to death she is going to ask me to diagram a sentence for her or ask me who the protagonist is. The good news is if she has a test on characters from the Cars 2 movie, she'll be all set.
Luke thinks she should come everyday, but I only have her come when I am at work. Because otherwise I can be their mom...apparently not, you see Luke says I'm in a significantly better mood when he comes home if she has been here all day. And I likely have brushed my teeth and gotten out of my pajamas!
So I now understand what all these people have been telling me for years...the right nanny can make your life so much better. I love her!...This is the only time you will ever hear me speak of this wonderful woman, because, like the others, I will no longer tell you how great she will try to steal her of this I am certain!


  1. A good nanny is a wonderful thing! I would love
    one just to take care of all my craziness...XoXo

  2. I am very greatfull to be able to work in a environment with lovely and generous people. I love our babies sharon!:)