Sunday, October 9, 2010
I have been looking for a nanny since our wonderful nanny moved back to Honduras in May. As such, we have had a half dozen trials. I utilize these trials so I can assess the nanny's compassion, work ethic and common sense. Keep in mind these nannies come in to my home to in essence try out for my nanny position. They have been told in detail what is expected of them in advance and the choice to partake in a trial is of course their own.
I may be recalling these out of order, but allow me to try. The first nanny boasted of her education, she had a bachelors in sociology and five years nanny experience. She presented clean and ready to work, dressed appropriately in jeans and tennis shoes. She greeted the children warmly and set about playing with them just out of site. She was very good with children as I have an ear for such things. I let them play uninterrupted for nearly 90 minutes before poking my head in. When I did, I realized every single toy and art project was out and strewn all over. The nanny met my expression with shock with a huge smile and said, "they showed me everything". I suggested I take the children in to the kitchen for a snack while she straighten up the playroom. She stated that the children would be helping her. I explained to her that the playroom was ogranized by a professional organizer and everything needed to go back just so. She stood there and argued with me and stated she was not a housekeeper. I tried to calm her down but she asked me repeatedly, "is this how it's going to be, is this how it's going to be". I explained to her that my children were only three and five and yes, I would expect her to pick up after them. She stood up and put her hand out. I said, "what's this?". She said, "this won't work, let's just end this now". I said, "If you feel that way.." Well to make a long story short she threatened to call the police if i didn't pay her. I told her that her trial was to last until three and she had barely been here two hours. I never saw her again.
The second person I recall had no formal education but eight years of nanny experience. During the interview she was soft spoken and conservative. She arrived at my home dressed in skin tight black jeans and a crop top. She had earings hanging from her ears the size of hula hoops. Again, I let her play with the children in the playroom. The children were setting up a train track. The nanny could barely bend over in her tight jeans to help. I saw her at various stages of bent and it was obscene, never mind I woudln't want to be liable if one of my children ripped one of her earings out of her ear. I paid her for the day and kindly let her know 'it wasn't a good match'.
One of the others I had arrived on my door step with a kind smile and a black eye. She explained that her niece kicked her in the head while roughhousing. She started at lunch time and begaan by helping with lunch. She talked to the children the whole time, sang songs and after lunch began playing chutes and ladders at the kitchen table. I noticed her cell phone go off repeatedly, upon closer examination it was a texting alert. I asked her if she could please silence that during the rest of her trial. She politely apologized, did so and continued playing games with the children. About twenty minutes later, there is banging on my front door. I go to answer it and it is an angry looking young male demanding to see the nanny. I explained that she was working. He insisted he needed to talk to her, that it was an emergency. I alerted the nanny and she stepped outside on the stoop to speak to him. I heard him yelling at her for not returning her texts. Turns out he was parked three houses down just waiting for her because he had some weird trust issues. When the nanny came back in, she apologized. I told her I could not have these sort of scenes in my home around the children and asked her if she needed help. She assured me she didn't. I paid her for the day and she left, with the boyfriend who was now standing outside my door.
I hired on girl for a trial who seemed like a good fit, lots of experience both as a nanny and daycare provider. She started her trial a week after the interview and hand to God, it was like she hadn't showered in all that time. The smell was nauseating. This was in July in NY and her perspiration was immense and thick like onions. I feigned a change of plans, paid her for the day and ignored her calls.
I hired a manny because he was well reccomended and the idea seemed appealing. Well he was a marvel with the children. I can't complain there. I noticed he caught his reflection every chance he could. I was okay with his narcissm, what I was not okay with was what appeared to be a very serious eating disorder. When he took off his sweater, I realized just how thin he was. He was midway through a one week trial when I realized I cannot have this behavior in my house. Although he worked from 8-6, he never ate and our home is stocked with nutritious food. The only thing he would drink was hot lemmon water. I began to grow concerned that he would have the children out somewhere and simply pass out.
And still another nanny I hired for a one week trial had taken my children out with the promise she was taking them to a park and taken them instead to a residence where there were atleast two males. My five year old revealed they sat and watched (what I deduced from his explanation) were daytime television shows like Jerry Springer. The children were given whole cereal boxes and allowed to just eat handfuls of cereal from the box. When I asked the nanny about this, she flat out denied and assured me they had been at the park. When I demanded to know which park, she stated "Thomas Greene" which makes no sense as we live between Prospect Park and JJ Byrne. I fired her on the spot and paid her for two days, although she had worked two and a half days, I told her I wasn't paying her to take my children to unfamiliar neighborhoods and hang out with strange men!