It’s that time of year, folks. We’re done playing the Hung
over Games of Spring Weekend. The birds are chirping, the sun is out, and herds of students are swarming into the SciLi for study hibernation. But the “time” I’m talking about isn’t reading period. I’m talking summer. I’m talking to those poor unfortunate souls who didn’t get that great internship, or even that okay internship. I speak to those poor Brown students who have been sentenced to the dregs of summer employment: childcare.
Yuck, you’re thinking. I didn’t go to Brown so I would have to live out my nightmare as a suburban housewife! We didn’t come to college to get no M.R.S. degree (or male equivalent)! Plus, Ivy League nannying feels like the plotline of a B-list feel-good movie: clueless over-privileged Brown student nannies kid, kid ends up teaching Brown kid valuable life lessons, Brown kid teaches younger kid to be hip
ster and play nice with the other kids on the playground. Blah blah blah. Ew.
But it pays. It pays good. But it comes at a price.
When it comes to nannying, I consider myself a veteran
war hero caregiver. When I took medical leave this semester, I found a job I thought would be easy: nannying. I was wrong. So, so wrong. And now I have a few words of wisdom to impart:
1. The cuteness is just an act. Don’t fall for it. Babies are only cute because if they weren’t, you’d kill them because they’re so. bloody. annoying. It’s evolution. Only the cutest, chubbiest babies survive. Charles Darwin said something about it in The Origin of Species.
Take the first kid I ever nannied, for example. When I first met him, he gazed up at me with big, beautiful Bambi blue eyes. My uterus literally skipped a beat. This is going to be such fun! I thought. Why am I even getting paid to do this?
As soon as his parents left the room, he grinned devilishly, dropped trow and took a huge dump on the floor. He then proceeded to gnaw his Pooh’s head off. I almost strangled him. I have never been more frustrated.
But then he looked at me and giggled. And just like that the uterine palpatations began again! Awwww. I couldn’t kill him.
2. Potty training is the worst. Luckily, I’ve developed a sixth sense for when poos arrive. Kids get these confused scrunched up expressions like they’re in Orgo p-sesh. Once you see that, drop everything, grab the kid Peyton Manning-style and hike — run to the bathroom and pin them over the toilet until they go.
You must do this. Trust me, you never get used to poop.
3. No biting from the baby. Oh, it’s funny as hell at first. Don’t encourage it. Pretty soon you’ll be covered in mini hickies and bite marks. And there’s nothing more pathetic than having to explain those.
4. “Call Me Maybe” does not count as a lullaby. Apparently they don’t appreciate it as much as we do.
5. Playground = Lord of the Flies. If you’re not watching, the little boys will beat each other to death with sticks. It’ll be okay though — your kid isn’t Piggy.
6. Befriend the other nannies. Nannies are the cattiest group of women I have met since middle school. We sit around the playground and bitch about the other nannies. Au pairs get it the worst. Who does that German think she is?! She probably sunbathes topless…slutty, slutty.
Befriend the Queen Bees of the playground. Some day they’ll lend you a clean diaper.
7. Remember: The kid is constantly trying to off himself. You’ll turn around and he/she will be sticking a wild mushroom in their mouth or leaping off some complicated piece of playground equiptment. Sometimes they’ll even start hitting themselves for fun. Children are idiots.
8. You will find yourself unexpectedly, irrevocably and totally in love with this child. I don’t know how it happened. One minute you want to lock them in a cage and be done with them, but as soon as they fall down, you rush over and start kissing their little snotty faces with total abandonment. New words creep into your vocabulary: You start calling all cats “kee kees” and bruises “boo-boos.” When another nanny starts bragging about how her kid is now reading at a 1st grade level, you jump in with, “Oh yeah? Well, Johnny drooled on my copy of The Economist this morning!”
What can I say? I’d throw myself in front of a car for the brat. I succumbed to the plot line of the B-list movie. I’m not getting my M.R.S. degree, but I’m definitely N.A.N.Y. certified.
As for this summer? Good luck, suckers! You can nanny, I’m going clubbing.