I think this might be less painful as a bulleted list.
I hope I reach the end…
I hope I forget one or two…
I fear I will not.
Here we go!
Note: the first YEAR – yep 365 days – that we instantly had two and then three(six months later) children…we were either working or with them…all year. Mostly this worked…I missed them after working all day and couldn’t wait to snuggle them up…but still!!!
My first thought was continuity, right? Yes?
One of the girls at the daycare center was a former student. This brings us to nanny #1.
1. ok for awhile. then…hungover…then, boyfriend on the phone…then, did she drink the vodka? BYE
2. By then, we had switched daycare centers…great girl…LOVED my kids – no worries, right?…for awhile…unitl she was texting while the kids tore apart the house…and then there were the prescription meds she took from Mr. Z…I shit you not!
3. I have to say, for a long time she was AMAZING – came in and took over – dreamy – lots of experience and a real go getter…until she spanked MC…and then yelled at me about some payment confusion – BYE BYE (btw I was correct, it was documented, and it was only $15 – really??? not that I have a thing about being right or anything)
4. She was in nursing school – a bit timid but it seemed ok – went ok I guess – I was a bit put out the day I heard her crying and telling my two year old to never bite her again – really??? he is TWO – I get that it hurt – but you just totally waved a big red flag in front of his face…good luck with that…she found another job…just as well (now he is 5 and he really doesn’t bite very often – not me anyway – I am quick!)
5. I will call #5 a few nanny service girls sent in emergencies..they ran together…everyone was safe…no fires..gah!
6. Super nanny from the service – she rocked! She was a teacher – looking for a job – I knew she would be snapped up – and she was 😦
7. Education and equivalent experience ARE NOT the same! Med student from KU – a bit quiet – but nice…husband came to the interview – ok – he was nice – good answers – give it a whirl – yes? NO! Day 1 – house is a wreck…CNN says, “MOM! boys were SO BAD!” and moms at bus stop say, “WHOAH – she had no control”…I give her one more day – BIG MISTAKE! I am thinking, I will give her a very detailed script to follow – surely this will help? NO…I will fast forward to when Mr. Z calls me in the middle of my evening class to let me know that he is home and when I get home WE NEED TO TALK – shite! turns out, he came home and found her on our computer (searching for a job) and her husband playing with the kids…she says to Mr. Z…”Isn’t he great with kids???” what? oh Sure…what??? all the strings on my living room blinds had been cut – they were hanging – but are now immobile and it turns out after BB did this with scissors, he was running around talking about cutting his “you know what” CNN says – damn girl – my kid could have bled out – AHHHHH…here is the kicker…I call her to let her know that it is not working out and SHE WAS GOING TO COME BACK???? ummm…no.
8. She was a student at UMKC – not an education major, but she seemed really on the ball…the kids liked her…she did really fun activities with them…there were a couple days where she was late, but it seemed like she had family she was helping and that was out of her hands some of the time…I can roll with this…this is an admirable thing, right? then, I loan her two of my books when she says she is studying for a biology exam…and the next day…she doesn’t come back…ever…I was really worried…I kept leaving messages…my nanny is awol…now, I did notice that the messages would be cleared, so I am sure she was ok, but she took off with my books…if you know me, you know she might as well have spanked a kid – this is a very wrong thing to do – and then…the kids start talking about their time with her…we are driving and they will say, so and so took us here…what? oh yeah, and we went here too – she was driving my kids all around this town…and then, she would take them to the park and stay in the car while they got out to play! Oh.MY.HELL! she is lucky she disappeared!
9. One of my education students filled in once or twice…this does not count…just fooling myself…it will certainly end in complication, because eventually they are in my class and then they need to be with me when I need them with my kids…amazing group of possibilities not even an option. This blows.
10. This little girl was very different from all the others. She was a bit goth, very low key, but it worked. She had just finished cosmetology school but didn’t want to style hair, so she was working at a coffee shop while she figured it out. She had trouble waking up on time…I would call ahead and get her up…I LIKED her! She was calm and sweet with my babies…then she had some medication issue, this is not good…then she left her fake id at my house…in her sterling silver case of clove cigarrettes – ummm, bad idea – but your choice I guess…I so wanted to root for her, to have this work…when she was on her laptop, I just told her nope – take it home – I was working through the stuff with this one, but when she called and said there had been a problem and she couldn’t drive in Kansas, yeah this was the end of our enabling relationship…bye bye conflicted 20something quirky girl. I wish you well, really I do.
11. Enter temporary out of work engineer super girl…able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! She wanted to give me and my life a makeover…she talked about better food to feed the dogs, had her husband clear my laundry room drains, scrubbed my laundry room from top to bottom (not kidding – I totally baked her a cheesecake!)…the problem, was that she was a bit edgy…and she liked to battle with MC…in some small part of my brain…I thought here we go – this is the ace in my pocket – oh really, MC, well, how about I call mean sitter girl and see what you say then, huh? NO, I can’t do this…it was ok, for awhile…I am not ready for a complete overhaul and MC does deserve some peace…I do still have her number!
12. I was really beginning to think that I might just stop doing the bit of teaching my schedule consisted of…it was too hard…really? Can no one take care of my children like me? Am I so amazing? I guess so…:) Anyway, right when you think you are lost…that is when the way appears, and appear she did. She was wonderful. Our own disney princess. CNN says she let the boys get away with too much, but I didn’t mind. She was wonderful and beautiful and perfect in every way. Her family fosters children, so she gets it. I could not even be mad when she told me why she had to go. Sad yes…mad? oh no. She applied to this school in Ohio to study to be a missionary because she wants to work in an orphanage in Haiti or India…seriously. She got accepted to the school and that is where she is right now. We have her address and will keep in touch and support her journey. Love.this.girl. AND her roommate might be our number 13…lucky, right?
So that is the list…I am sure I forgot someone…man!
Along the way, there were all the interviews…I learned about this. The ad I posted was very important. I tried all sorts of things. By the last time, I posted the letter Jane and Michael Banks wrote to their future nanny from Mary Poppins…I think this was the best of all. The girls who said I was a really awesome writer? BUZZ – thanks for playing! Then came the interviews finally after I gathered my list of maybes. I got very tired of this process. At first I would meet them at a coffee shop. Then, it just got too intrusive. I met them at the house. Test one was if they could find their way here – we are tucked back in here – many did not make it. After awhile I moved the interviews to the front porch – too many strangers in and out and I wanted to send the freak shows on their way quickly. This worked. Odd girl with creepy guy waiting in the car had about three minutes of my time. The girl who’s behavior management strategy was to give my kids gum? not so much…high heels girl didn’t stand a chance…princess from out south, well I don’t even know why she drove this far north…there was a Mary Poppins in there, I was so glad to visit and get to know her, I might want to be her when I grow up, but alas, that was not meant to be…
So, through all of this…I have learned a few things. Here are my assumptions when I hire someone: if I don’t know you or your references, the pieces of paper mean nothing and I am apparently a horrible judge of character. I will give you one hour with my kids…know there is surveilance and they yell really loud, oh and my baby is strong as hell. We have three dogs (the city thinks there are two) please do not let them run free or ignore pee on the floor. I don’t care if you like dogs, but Mr. Z says this is important – faking it is fine. My kids will sing like there is no tomorrow all about what happened while I was gone, so I will know pretty soon how things are going.
I have also realized that all the childrens books with crazy child behavior in them are not fiction. This is just not possible. These authors are writing about their children, or maybe their neighbor’s children, nieces, nephews…these stories comfort me…it isn’t just my kids:) They are amazing, and brilliant, and loving and kind and they will smell your fear and know your weakness all within the first 5 minutes of meeting you. Their grandma says they only listen to their mama. If only that were true all the time…
I look forward to the day that CNN is old enough to watch her brothers…I think they have this coming…and I KNOW she can handle them – and her daddy! HA!
I must go lay down.