penelope and bumblebee

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Nanny McAwesome

Once I had been back at work for about two weeks, most of the guilt I was feeling about leaving my not-quite-one-year-old had dissipated. Sure, there’s still a gamut of emotions that I confront on a daily basis, as well as so many that I embrace, enjoy and cherish, but guilt about working isn’t one of them.

The reason? Our nanny, S. First of all, she is a cool person. She watches two 1-year olds all day (see below for explanation) and remains chilled out in a way I will never be. She has a real name, but she goes by her ‘play name’. She flips bee upside-down, producing the best sound in the world – a baby’s laughter. She sometimes wears a do-rag. She is strong, like ox. She loves my kid, and my kid loves her.

Here’s the deal; a mommy friend (her son and my daughter are two days apart; our hubbys went to college together; we all hooked up again at pre-natal classes; we had the same midwives) and I started stressing out about going back to work when the babes were approx. 2 weeks old. I know there are some great daycares out there, but I really didn't want to go that route, and she didn’t either. We came up with the idea of sharing a nanny, worked out the logistics, started our search and eventually found the wonderful S. We knew right away that she was the one. It was child-care love at first sight.

I am lucky to be able to afford this situation. I know it. I appreciate it.

Things are going great. From what I’ve heard, even our ‘transition’ was great. As with bee’s first vaccine, I was way more upset than she was. I was worried, and I had cause to be – for the whole year I was home, I was pretty loosey-goosey with a schedule, and I cannot even tell you the number of hours that I’ve logged with bee asleep on my lap when most parents would have found a place to put their kid down long before. I thought my high-maintenance sleeper would be a challenge. I thought my lack of schedule (and crib sleeping) would be a problem. I thought my neuroses about what bee eats and my vehemence that she never be left to cry anything out would be a problem.

No way, man. S. has it down.

Bumblebee took to a schedule like a pig to shit. No choice really; S. keeps the kids so busy and their days so full that bee is tired by 9:30 EVERY DAY and wants a nap. And she wants another one ALWAYS at 1:00. And then she wants me to put her to bed RIGHT AT 8. And she wants to sleep (almost) all night. Really, I have been put to shame. Put. To. Shame.

True, with two babies at my house all day and somebody else’s mother looking after them, I’ve had to let go of some of my control issues, but that’s a good thing. Most importantly, my baby is in very good, capable hands when I’m not there, and bee is fine with it.

And, tho I expected to, I have no jealousy issues. Even when I was holding bee and she held out her arms to go to S. I was relieved, actually. Imagine how awful I would feel if I was leaving her with someone that she DIDN’T want to go to. I was even more relieved to hear that, while I had company one day last week (I wasn’t home from work yet), bee wouldn’t go to anybody else but S. Now, I’m not trying to saddle my sisters or my mother with rejection issues, but I am really glad that S. is her safe person when confronted by a room full of people that doesn’t include me or her papa.

I feel like bee is really lucky to have two very different female influences. S. plays with bee way differently than I do. She has taught her things (besides how to sleep) that I’m not sure I would have, knows songs that I don’t, and takes her places that I never go. This not only exposes bee to so many additional, wonderful things, but it helps keep us separate; something that even the least jealous back-at-work mom needs.

In many ways I wish that I could stay home, or work part time, but with our circumstances the way that they are, we decided that the best choice was for me to go back to work. And don’t freak out at me, folks, I know it was a choice, and I know what some people think of that choice.

I’m not sure at times what I think of it, but one thing I know for sure – I could not have done it so painlessly without S.

And I want a play name. I think it should be Theodosia. Or Lady Fantastic.


  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Village Mama said…

    oh!oh! I vote for Lady Fantastic! Can we all have play names? Seriously though, didn't I tell you how much fun coming back to work would be (huge, monumental amount of sarcasm there just in case that wasn't totally clear!)

    I too struggle with leaving my petit bum-bum in the arms of others. As a matter of fact there are days when I drop him off that I debate all the way to work whether or not I should just turn around and go back and get him and spend the day hanging out with him. We really need to have more sick days!

  • At 11:46 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    So, I gotta say, just found your blog, scrolling back through so posts, lovin' it.

    And you must go with Theodosia. You must.

  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger metro mama said…

    I'm gonna vote for Theodosia too.

  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    Count me in for Theodosia! I heart my home care provider as well. My kids are the only ones she has aside from her son, so she's like a nanny, only at her house (and waaaay less expensive). It's all good!

  • At 1:43 AM, Blogger KILROY_60 said…

    hmmmmmmmmm...... somehow it feels like your nanny is channeling my Grandmother.


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