Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nanny Diaries

I never check the weather forecast so it’s not surprising that I got caught in a flash rainstorm, without an umbrella and in flip-flops walking home from work yesterday.  My walk quickly turned into a jog when I noticed a woman exiting a cab, headed in the direction of our apartment several blocks away.  I hurried closer and attempted to take her place and get out of rain.  Unfortunately for my soggy flip-flops, and me, she wasn’t getting out.  Luckily for her, she needed help getting an infant car seat and stroller securely in the cab.

I was carrying my laptop in a mesh bag, and it was pouring, so I slid into the backseat of the cab and secured the baby into the car seat and then the car seat into the cab.  Then the women, whom I learned was the baby’s nanny, asked if I could collapse the stroller since she didn’t know how.  I got soaked trying, but failed since it was a model I had ever used.  Annoyed, I just picked up the whole stroller, unfolded, and placed it in the huge truck. No sweat. Totally wet.

My head was dripping and spinning as I quickly headed home and away from that encounter.   Why didn’t the nanny know how to fold the stroller and install a car seat? At the very least, why wasn’t the baby even secured in the infant carrier before I arrived on scene? Did I just assist in baby abduction? Who would hire this incapable person to care for their child, let alone take him in a car?  God, I’m glad Colette has a great day care. Usually.

Colette’s daycare closes for the last two weeks of August through Labor Day, every year.   Therefore, we’re pretty desperate for free/cheap childcare  but we’re making it work, without diving to the bottom on the nanny barrel.  In order to avoid paying for a babysitter in addition to monthly daycare tuition, we’ve been cobbling together care.  We’ve asked our friends and family to help, taken a few staggered vacation days, and cross our fingers that she sleeps through a conference call, or two.   Both of our jobs are flexible enough, that’s it’s feasible, but it’s takes a lot of coordination and jockeying of schedules.   It certainly makes us appreciate the staff, routine and quality of her daycare.

A rooster, a hen, and a chicken nugget

The week before last, my Mom stayed with us and watched Colette on Thursday and Friday.  Damn, she made us look like losers.   Before I left for work, I gave my Mom a short list of baby friendly activities taking place the ‘hood so they didn’t get bored hanging around the apartment.  I thought they would do one or two things at the most…but they did everything!  My Mom took her to the playground, the park, the zoo and the sing-a-long at the library.  In addition to that, while walking home from the train I crossed paths with my Mom walking to the grocery store. She was going to get groceries to make us dinner.   If she was a nanny, we couldn’t afford her!

She took her first solo steps this weekend!

Nanny Teri

We also appreciate the help we’ve received from my friend Jess, Jeff’s parents Jim and Marilyn, and Sister Shana. They’ve been tremendously helpful and Colette has enjoyed the extra special attention.

PS – In case you were concerned, the nanny I encountered had cash and a handwritten note in her hand, from the baby’s parents, of the doctor’s office, their destination.  I took that as a sign that this nanny was legit and not stealing a baby with my expert assistance.

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