Well, it’s a good thing I got you all up to speed because now I need to talk.
I came home slightly later than usual last night and A said, “Pow [nanny pseudonym] quit.”
I guess I’m not completely surprised. I’d even been wondering if it was time for us to move on. Since the move, it seems like we’ve been accommodating her various needs more than the other way around, one of the results of which is that the kids spend a lot of time in the car. But, you know, the unknown. I couldn’t imagine firing her over these relatively small things in exchange for a total stranger.
Apparently, she started the conversation by criticizing Ella. She’s the most difficult two-year-old she’s taken care of. (There were three others, plus her own son, before Ella.) We spoil her. (by picking her up too much!) Not sure what else but I love A super duper extra much for coming up with the exact right response: I will not sit here and listen to you criticize my daughter.
She backed down a bit at that and said she’d asked Gatito whether Ella cries all the time with us and he’d said no. Good lord, people, my daughter has been crying all the time with her nanny? I feel awful to think about that. But I tell myself it can’t be all true. I know how it feels when she is crying/complaining a lot. It’s like I cannot remember a time when she wasn’t. It feels like it’s all the time sometimes, but Gatito says it’s not! And Ella is happy to see Pow in the mornings. Bouncing in her seat with joy, in fact, so can somebody please tell me this means she wasn’t being too badly damaged?
[Maybe this deserves another post but, while sometimes difficult and frustrating, I can assure you that Ella is well within the realm of normal for an almost two-year-old. As one example, Pow said she knows Ella knows how to share but just won't do it. Um, no. She may get the concept on some level but 2yo's do not share willingly. Sorry. Also, can you please pick up my child-- most of the time-- when she wants to be picked up, for god's sake?]
Pow moved on to her other reasons, which basically come down to the distance from the move– the miles on her car, the time away from her 11-year-old son. I wish she’d just stuck with those totally valid reasons and left her feelings about poor baby Ella out of it. We could have ended on a much friendlier note. I could have given her a reference. I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life wondering about the quality of Ella’s care over the past 14 months. Gah.
She gave us until September, which is a decent length of time to find someone, but now I feel like I want her out of here as soon as possible. It was hard to be civil when we exchanged Ella in the parking lot of the dojo this evening.
And we have a problem, because our new house is a lot less geographically desirable for nannies. The last time I posted a job on the nanny matching site where my company has an account, I had 15 applications within 24 hours. This time, four. A couple of them seem worth a phone interview (and a Facebook/high school friend may have someone for me when the nanny gets back to the country next week) but we may have to give up on the Spanish-speaking thing. Gatito has not spoken Spanish since the nanny switch/he started Kindergarten last year, but he still understands it. He does the typical immigrant kid thing where Pow talks in Spanish and he answers in English. Ella is fairly equal in Spanish and English, as far as I can tell, and it will be a bummer to lose that, but I guess it’s not the most important thing.
The other problem that is so minor but is making me ill is Gatito’s karate dojo. It’s in our old town, about a half hour from our new house. But it is in between our offices and home and was on the way home for Pow, as well. So she was still taking him there and we would pick both kids up there 2x/week on our way home and it was no big deal. Karate is the one activity Gatito never complains about going to. He loves it and he is always practicing at home. He’s been there for over two years and has his purple belt. There are at least four dojos than I know of in my new town, but the current dojo is a very special place. They love and understand him there. He is so comfortable and at home there. And I wanted so much for him to have that one consistent thing, at least for a little while, at least until he got settled in to his new school. But the nannies that have applied so far live North of here and the dojo is South and it seems unreasonable to send whoever it is so far in so completely the wrong direction at the end of the day. And so I may need to take this special place from Gatito and I feel sick about it.
I am well aware that all this is small in the grand scheme. And I’m firm on my reasons for working but this stuff is hard, hard, hard. I didn’t sleep all night and I can barely eat. (This, apparently, is what it takes for me to make a weight loss break-through. Sigh.) I know (I hope?) it will all work out in the end, but I don’t handle change well, even on behalf of my kids.