Lately I’ve realized something new about myself. When someone tells me something critical, I literally cannot even hear anything else that is said. I once had a review at work that included some critical stuff along with some unbelievably great stuff. It was a written review, but I couldn’t even see the positive stuff mixed in, despite the overall result being positive, because I was so distressed by the critical stuff. It wasn’t until a week later at least that a second (maybe third) read helped me see the good things.
The same was true when A told me Pow quit. Yes, she did start by saying that my daughter was more difficult than any other two-year-old she’d taken care of, and she did move on to the length of the commute and the time away from her son (totally valid), but the part I completely missed for, like, ten days, is that she’s not planning to be a nanny anymore. She’s going back to school and she wants to get a job with shorter hours in an office, maybe as a receptionist. I don’t know why she had to lead with the shit about my baby, but the fact is she is making a major life change and, okay, she might be relieved to get away from my little complainer, but don’t we all feel that way sometimes? I think we do.
I suppose one never truly knows what goes on when one leaves their child with someone else, but I am pretty darn sure she took excellent care of both kids. I’ve had strangers and friends alike stop to tell me that. And Ella loved seeing her every morning and asks about her at night. And so it is what I will believe, and I will wish Pow well, and I will offer her a reference, and we will all move on.
It’s easier to feel that way because we found a new nanny. She starts Monday (Pow’s last day is Friday) and I think she’s going to be terrific. Now that we have it resolved, I can view the search as the high comedy that it really was.
There was the candidate who, when asked what she was looking for in her new job said, “Parents who don’t work from home.”
Then there was the one who said she was looking for a new job so she could be closer to her dog and followed with, “My current contract says I’m supposed to give a month’s notice but ha! That’s not going to happen!” Pause, then, “So, do you guys do contracts? Because having a contract is really important to me.”
There was one who I could literally hear punching rates and hours into a calculator as we spoke. And this was at the beginning of the conversation. She agreed that our salary was enough because Gatito is five and would therefore take direction. Then followed up with an email that she’d done further math and discovered it was not, in fact, enough.
We were almost taken in by one woman who asked for so much money, but realized afterwords that, while was more appealing to us as adults with her promise of cooking and keeping the house neat, she didn’t interact with the kids at all. Oh come on, like you wouldn’t get momentarily distracted by the idea of someone making your life easier, kids be damned!
The woman we hired (pseudonym forthcoming) is a career nanny. She started taking care of other kids, in addition to her own, when her son was born 18 years ago. She was a cub scout and girl scout leader for years. She has a bachelor’s degree in studio art and loves doing crafts with the kids. She grew up in the area and knows it well. She brought her 11-year-old daughter with her to the interview and the daughter and Ella totally bonded. Ella cuddled up to her on the couch, then brought her book after book after book to read. I told the nanny she could bring her daughter on school vacations and encouraged her to bring her the first two weeks in particular. She and I agreed that having her daughter around to play with Ella will give her and Gatito a chance to bond in the remaining two weeks before school starts.
As for the dojo, she is willing to take him there, which means I do not have to rush, but it will still be my intention to move him up here by the end of the year. I want to give him a chance to settle in to his new school before yanking the last remaining familiar thing out from under him, but ultimately I’d rather he spend the hour round trip playing, reading, or doing homework than sitting in the car. I talked to the owner of the dojo and he was going to do a bit of research into options up here for us. He trained way back when with the owner of the dojo that is closest to our house and said that, at least a decade ago, they had similar philosophies. So I am hopeful.
In other news, you guys would be so proud of me. Class lists came out (1o boys, 10 girls), and I thought about picking a couple at random and trying to set up introductory play dates, but you know what assholes people can be about scheduling stuff, especially if you’re not available during the week. I came up with the brilliant plan of inviting all the boys in the class to a backyard playdate the weekend before school started. I figured I’d just pick a time and people could be there or not, yo know? It was way less scary to me than making phone calls. A thought it would be too much work but I figured 90 minutes, balls, ice pops, and watermelon, what could go wrong? So far I have two yesses, one no (traveling) and one probably not (tonsillectomy 4 days before), with five outstanding. Even if just those two come it is enough for him to have a couple of familiar faces on the first day. And I feel like it will make a difference in terms of future play dates if people can meet me, especially since I won’t be available for mid-morning PTA meetings or whatever (and our new nanny, who has agreed to come), at the beginning of the year. I shall let you know how it goes!