Received Wednesday, June 10 - Monday, June 15, 2009
Why do employers of nannies continually think that their nanny "wants" to take their children to the pool? This is not "fun" in the least bit. I dread it summer after summer. It is in no way enjoyable to drag your kids to your "club" and have to put on a bathing suit and get in a pool while your kids claw all over me. No, I don't feel "privileged" to be using your "club" and your "pool". No, I don't actually get to "sit out in the sun" because I am having to entertain your children. Please! Stop sending me to the pool with your kids! If you think it's so "fun" then YOU do it! And if you insist I take them, at least stop making it sound like you are doing me some huge favor. I hate taking your kids swimming!
I don't like going to the beach. I told you this when I started. But I agreed the beach would be fun and so I go to the beach with the kids. I pack a lunch or stop and buy a lunch. It never matters because whether I am eating Oscar Mayer & American on white or tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella on french, all I taste is the sand. The children don't care whether they eat or not. They are content to run around like maniacs, kicking sand in every one's face, while I chase after them with a can of bullfrog and a baby faces stick. I'm from the West Coast, near Monterrey. The water there is beautiful and blue. The water here is brown and murky and full of frightening things and body parts. I know I'm the nanny and I get paid to do this, but how does turning the television on for your children all day Saturday and Sunday make you a parent? Today I was standing five feet from boy #2 and watching for waves, not to protect him but because I wanted to see him get knocked over. I want one of them to get bit by a jellyfish or see a shark or find a floating arm. Anything so I can take this off my things to do list. It's only June and I'm SICK OF IT. The lot of it, the prep for it, the parking, the main event and the after prep. I've sand in my nether regions as I type this!
I don't know if any other nannies go through what I am going through, but I would like to hear back from you. My employer gave me a guest membership to her club; basically it guarantees my right to be on premise with the children. The first two times I went to the club, I went with my employer and the children. She sat in a lawnchair and read a book while I played chicken with the children in the shallow end, strapped on goggles and dove for pennies. When we sat down to have lunch, the youngest had an accident that required me not just to take her to the restroom but to give her a quick shower. By the time I got back to the table, my employer had pushed her plate away. I sat back down and the children said, "can we go back in the water, please". The mother said, "let your food rest" but the children begged and she said, "okay, what could it hurt". I ate two french fries and one bite of a grilled chicken sandwich. Believe it or not, running after the children and swimming for four hours a day makes me hungry! The mother now sends me to the pool and she thinks she is doing me a favor. I don't get to sit and eat like she did or sit and read, but here is the tough part- she isn't a mean person, she's super nice and considerate, she really doesn't get the difference between being me and being her. She really thinks it would be the same for me. She has made comments like, "I bet "Jan" (my best friend) is jealous that you just spent your afternoon on a chaise being tended to by Maurice, (a cabana type boy). The other problem I have is that when I work on Saturday, I always end up at the pool and I am surrounded by a bunch of sex starved, pasty old men with receding hairlines, and soft tummies and they leer at me all day long. As a nanny, I see it as part of my job to play with the children, but everytime I bend over, I feel- it's so uncomfortable and the wives all glare at me like I am doing something wrong. I'm not a showboat. I'm not immodest. Isn't there a happy middle ground I can attain? Do any of you nannies ever sit in your chairs and let the lifeguard supervise the children? I don't know how to mesh all of these worlds. I have friends that are envious of me because they think this is a charmed life. No matter where I go, whether it is Dance class or a child's show and tell, none of the mother's ever speak to me, but the father's are friendly. I'm 22 and a really nice person and I want to do a good job. I just want time to take off my wet suit before we leave the club. There have been days, I have been stuck in my suit all day.