I used to be a nanny. Yep, I got paid to play, watch and love kids. It’s probably my favourite job that I’ve had in my varied work experiences. It definitely helped prep me for Mommyhood but of course every child is different and every situation shades how you react and what you choose to do in response. I figured I would tell you a little about my experiences at ‘The Nanny’, and yes, people used to call me that.
I have fully potty trained two boys and help potty train another boy and a girl. I’ve helped deal with a teenaged boys hormonal tantrums and flights of fancy and was there while the little girl , Z, was so sick she nearly died.
The first set of kids I looked after were 6 months and 19 months when I first started and both little blond blue eyed boys with huge smiles. They were only being introduced to english as back west their parents spoke french in the home to help them become bilingual. I barely can say ‘I don’t speak french’ in french and here I was having to pick up the odd french phrase in the negative to get these two littles to understand me. I started out only watching them on weekend nights over the summer while their mom worked a bar. Slowly it became more and more frequent until I was with them 6 days one week and 7 the next. I was still in high school and it got to the point I finished class only to head to there house right after and most nights spend the night. Their mom started to party.
I was the one to completely potty train both boys and teach them their ABC’s and colours. I was the one to teach them the beginnings of proper public etiquette and manners. I’m the one who had to dole out disipline and hugs and good-night kisses. I finally had to stop when they called me ‘Mommy’, that I couldn’t do, I couldn’t let two little babies call me Mommy when theirs was around and just lazy. It took a few weeks to sort a working arrangement out but I finally got the family into a situation where I left safe leaving them and moving on without feeling like they were at risk from negelect.
The next family lived just across the street from my Dad`s and we met while their Mom was pregnant with baby 3, Roni. The kids were Conman 11, Z who was 2 and Roni in the belly. Again it started as an after school thing while Mama was still working. I have to admit, they`re my favourite family. I still visit with them and keep in touch almost 9 years after first meeting.
The first time I did more then an over night was when the took me to Blue Skies Music Festival with them. A four day blue grass music festival where you camp out and have fun with the whole family. Roni was just 6 months old. I spent the weekend playing on swings, taking a face paint workshop and slinging a pudgy little baby around sharing my manderin slices with him.
Over then next few years they took me with them to Blue Skies a total of 4 times and to Florida and Disney World 2 times. Imagine getting PAID to go on holiday. It`s awesome! I helped teach Roni to walk and ride a bike and helped hold Z down when we had to cut an infected earing out of her ear and comfort her afterwards. I was there for teeth being lost and first recitals. I got to help comfort all three was their parents tried so hard to save a failing marriage and then be there when it completely fell apart.
So anyways, I started with them occasionally and finally worked up to full time Monday-Friday 7:30am to 6pm. It was great. I love those kids like crazy. Even after I moved back to Toronto and in with `C` I brought Conman up for a March break to show him around with out his much younger siblings tagging along. I love these kids and it shocks me to see how much they`ve grown and become whole people with varying personalities and quirks. It`s amazing to still see some of the things I taught them still so very much in play in their characters. I am so glad I got to be there right up front for a defining chuck of their lives and still get to witness the great people they are becoming.
Being a nanny is hard and not for everyone, you are always walking a line when it comes to what you find acceptable and don`t while still honouring a parents choices for their children. Some of my favourite memories are with these families and I`m so glad I got to spend time with them. I learned a lot about myself and how I wanted to raise any future children I had and so far the things they helped teach me have come in handy and I`ve been able to stick to my goals as a parent. I know this won`t always be the way it is but at least I know what I`m made of where kids are concerned and hopefully it will help me be a better parent. So THANK YOU Les and Family as well as babies Gabe and Cabe for the oppertunity to help watch you and your families grow.