Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Nanny Drama-o-Rama: When My Life Imitates My Art
Hi Meltingpot Readers,
So, I wrote novel last year, called Substitute Me. The story is about a young woman, Kate, who places an advertisement in the paper for a nanny for her young son so she can return to work after her maternity leave. The ad she places begins :
"Substitute Me: Looking for a nanny who will take care of my six-month-old baby as if her were her own...."
Zora, a 30-year-old woman who has yet to find her purpose in the world, answers the ad and soon becomes the perfect nanny, a perfect substitute for Kate ... in more than just child care. And drama ensues.
So, here I am one year later, in Kate's position. My maternity leave is about to expire and I must find someone to love babygirl as if she were her own. And I'm as freaked out about the prospect as I was ten years ago when my first son was born and the idea for Substitute Me was hatched. Only this time, I've written the damn novel and gave life to my worst fears and imaginings.
I'm looking at my life now and laughing at the existential life imitating art imitating life scenario I find myself in. Can you imagine my hysterical giggle fit when my nanny candidate list came down to hot Brazilian student versus African-American grandmother from my church? You can guess who I'm rooting for, right?
At the end of the day, I just want to avoid the whole issue of hiring a "nanny." I don't even like the word nanny. Back in Milwaukee, where I grew up, we didn't have nannies. We had babysitters. The only nanny I knew was Maria from The Sound of Music. Oh, wait she was a governess. So, yeah, nannies don't sit well with me. The woman I hire, will be a care giver. I will hope that she loves babygirl and I hope I can love her in return for that precious gift.
I'm just so thankful that the job I have allows me to be home for long summers and at least one day during the week. I know I am lucky. And if the care-giver thing doesn't work out, babygirl will just have to sit under my desk.
What about you meltingpot moms? Did you or do you use a nanny? Did you have any fears about hiring someone to care for your child? Do you love your nanny? I want to hear about it.