01 August, 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, I have a timeline. For the end of my current job, that is. I go at the end of August, right before school starts. So that means all I have to do this month is find myself a replacement and train him or her. Most likely a her. I imagine mannies are hard to come by in Provo.

I am going to miss my kids. A lot. But at the same time, I know that the time is right for me to leave. I love these kids so much. I miss them when I don't see them during the weekend. It's intrinsically a good thing that I love these kids, because that means I take good care of them. But on the other hand, I am very attached to them, especially the babies. I spend more waking hours with them than their mother does. They cry for me when I'm not around. That's bad.

Allow me a rather dramatic illustration. Have you ever heard of how some toddlers hold their breath when throwing a tantrum or when really upset? According to my mother, I never did this. But it's not totally uncommon. The baby, who will turn two in a week or so, never does this as a way to manipulate, but sometimes when he injures himself in a way that is frightening (like falling, for example). It scares me but never lasts that long.

Anyway, on Friday my employer was home briefly and the baby was playing in the other room. We hear crying. My boss said dismissively, "You can get him." I go into the formal room and see Jake standing on the couch, with his little finger caught in the wide wooden blinds. I remove his finger and its not swollen or broken or anything like that. But I think it scared him to be trapped like that all alone, even for a second, and he started doing the holding the breath thing. But this time he didn't start crying right away. He turned blue.

I didn't panic, but I was definitely in shock, so I was just holding him and sort of staring at him in horror when my boss came in. I guess this has happened to her before, so she took him from me, and he fainted in her arms. She laid him on the floor and started hitting his chest and blowing in his face. He came to and started crying. Both I and my boss were kneeling over him. And then he turns .... and cries .... "Li-saaaa..."

Crap, kid. Not the best way to wrap up a near-death experience. For once in your life, can't you cry for your mom?

It feels great to be loved, I'm not gonna lie. But I know that love should not be directed at me. I'm a domestic employee. A great one, but I won't be sending them to college. I won't be talking them through their first dates. I won't even be around to potty train them. I don't think it would be best for them to bond with a long -term nanny, either, to be honest. This whole nanny thing is contrary to human nature.

I will raise my own children. And I suppose I knew this was coming with my job all along. Permit me an excerpt from the international best-seller the Nanny Diaries.

"Just how does an intelligent, adult woman become someone whose whole sterile kingdom has been reduced to alphabetized lingerie drawers and imported French dairy substitutes? Where is the child in this home? Where is the woman in this mother?

And how, exactly, am I to fit in?

Ultimately, there would come a turning point in every job when it seemed that the child and I were the only three-dimensional people running around on the black-and-white marble chessboards of those apartments. Making it inevitable that someone would get knocked down.

Looking back, it was a setup to begin with. They want you. You want the job.

But to do it well is to lose it.

Hit it."

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