The Amazing Race

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest My boyfriend has an affinity for those competition based reality television shows where they make you eat really gross things and do really strange challenges while the clock ticks. Sunday nights this past fall he would muse while we watched “The Amazing Race” that we could totally compete as a couple, and we, The Carpenter and The Nanny, would surely kick ass all over the planet, and I would think, Yes, perhaps, if the challenges involved herding toddlers through a crowded grocery store with a debit card with a set limit, rules that you could only purchase what was on the list no matter the pleadings for surgery items placed at four year old eye level and only twenty minutes to get in and out the door. Oh, and you would get points removed from your total score for each item any child knocked onto the floor. I would dominate on that sort of challenge.

The first time that I thought my work life was exactly like a reality TV challenge was the day that I forgot to order the pizzas for the forth grade end of school party. I realized that I had totally spaced ordering the pizzas (and arranging their delivery) when my Mom Boss called me to thank me for ordering the pizzas. I said,

“Yes. It is good that I remembered to do that.”

I was driving girl baby to pick up boy baby at preschool with the swim bag to meet Mom Boss at her office to hand over the toddlers so she could take them to swim class. I had to meet her in a half hour. And I had to rustle up two pizzas, deposit them at the forth grade class and then proceed with the rest of our set plans in our set time limit. I whipped out my phone and dialed 411 for the phone number for the closest pizza joint at the first red light. Ear buds in place, I sweetly asked for curbside delivery and gave my credit card information over the phone. The girl baby and I smiled flirtatiously at the large man with the grease-stained apron who handed the pizza boxes through my passenger window and thanked him profusely. We pulled into the school parking lot and I then carefully balanced the baby on my hip, the pizza boxes flat on the palm of my opposite hand and walked slowly to the school gate where I was confronted by the keypad. Dammit! I turned to the baby and said,

“Press three.”

She gurgled, made a grab for the pizza boxes and then pulled off my sunglasses.

The clock was ticking. I had to get this done. I leaned towards the keypad and pressed the proper unlocking sequence with the tip of my nose. I entered the fourth grade classroom celebrant, pizza boxes held aloft to cheers of small children. Everyone else got delivered on time. Rebecca Nelson Lubin, you are the first team to cross the finish line!

Seriously, care giving for small children is like a wacky game show where all the contestants are equally egocentric and demanding, albeit really short. The two babies and I were in the market two days ago and it was like negotiating one of those “Survivor” mazes that they string up on one of those exotic locations with Jeff Probst shouting through a bullhorn as the clock ticks your remaining time away and you try frantically to find your way to the finish line. No one wanted to ride in the cart, which would have cut a good seven minutes off of my overall time. Both children demanded soup samples. The soup was hot and drippy. We left carrots and bits of rice in our wake. We had six minutes to get checked out, buckle everyone in the car and pick up the oldest child. I imagined Jeff yelling, “Clean up on aisle four! That’s gonna cost you points!”

I remembered I needed to bring back coffees. The man at the coffee stand took a look at my sticky, drippy crew, grocery laden cart and said laughing as he handed me two hot coffees on a tray,

“That looks like quite a challenge.”

I smiled at him, and at my small charges and said truthfully,
“I love this challenge.”
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at


Joy said...

I too rock at time management while on the job. Off the job however, I'm the worst procrastinator ever and it can take me hours to do simple tasks because oh look, shiny thing.


This was boring and each time I come to this blog I am going to check the little box at the bottom that says dislike ! Didn't you have any affairs with your boss, that would be interesting!

Jane Doe said...

If you are not a fan of her writing, just skip it! Many people enjoy her columns.

My 2.5 cents said...

If there was a box at the bottom of each contributor, I'd click the "Out of Touch" one beneath Monkeyshine EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Rebecca said...

Oh Monkey, Monkey Monkey...
Why is The Monkey so obsessed with diddling her employers? Can we all demand a guest column from her titled something like "I gets my meat where I gets my bread" explaining to us the allure of crossing that huge taboo of a boundary? Are these long term jobs/ affairs? Has she slept with all her employers? Male and Female? Canine? Is it something that is discussed at her interviews and put in her contract?
Seriously Miss Monkeyshines who must mock all contributors and boast of being such a rocking bad ass: I hereby double dog dare you to write a column of your personal/ sexual/ work experiences, slap your REAL name on it WITH a photo and let us be your audience.
Put your money with your mouth is Babe and come out from the comfortable cloak of anonymous commenting.
Do you dare???

Rte66Nanny said...

Ha! I totally agree with you, Rebecca. Come on, Monkey, do it!

nycmom said...

Excellent comment, Rebecca. I personally have a rule of NEVER responding to Monkey Shines. I am bending it this time by responding to you instead :).

MS seems not so bright and very insecure, thus the need to perseveratively introduce her past employer affairs into EVERY post. It seems that her affairs have literally defined her identify and become the focal point of her career accomplishments. It's actually kind of sad because she really seems to be an unhappy, insecure, washed-up woman who desperately craves the attention she received as a pretty young thing. Since that's no longer possible, she is trying to recreate it by constantly bringing it up on here and, if anyone asks her to stop going off topic, she simply accuses us of being jealous or clueless.

I'm going to resume my prior policy and not respond directly to MS. I think that is best for all of us. Responding to her is *never* constructive. It doesn't help her gain insight and it just derails posts which is her goal. I've seen her write the occasional semi-normal post and people have tried to give her positive reinforcement, like a child, but it doesn't improve her behavior. I think it's best to view her like a small child having a tantrum: simply pretend MS posts do not exist and hope the behavior extinguishes itself.

mOnkeyshines said...

Hey NYC mom, thanks for the dime store pysch evaluation.
Why dont you stay home and watch your own kids!
Be a real Mom!

"I gets my meat where I gets my bread" nice racist comment!

I thought I was being nice, I never mentioned what a zmugly face you have, the only way anyone would sleep with you is if they paper bag over your head!

Rebecca said...

"You don't get your meat where you get your bread" is not a racist comment but a well known saying. I would never say anything racist as I find racism, as well as infidelity to be an appalling concept.

I will, however, mention the paper bag to my boyfriend.

monkey see monkey do said...

Lol, totally not racist (nice try MS), but definitely utterly hilarious. I love Rebecca's posts and I have to say, her response to the "horny monkey" honestly did make me laugh out loud:
"I gets my meat where I gets my bread" explain to us the allure of crossing that huge taboo of a boundary? Are these long term jobs/ affairs? Has she slept with all her employers? Male and Female? Canine?"
I second MS writing her own "educational", oh SO "exciting" post . . . with a photo of course.


A wad di rass clot yuh a chat bout ?

Sorry why would my guest column be titled " I get's my meat where I get's my bread " isn't that bad english?
Shouldn't it be " I get my meat where I get my bread"

I could be wrong but the way you pluralized get I kinda thought it was racist like the way some black people talk you know what I am talking about, like in a " Uncle Tom" like manner, you know exactly what you meant in your original comment, you can't go back and edit it so you worded it differently in your most recent comment.

Affairs between a Nanny and boss happen a lot and it hits home with a lot of moms and nannies who frequent this blog. Moms start wondering about their husbands and get upset and I am often attacked on this blog, and they over analize my comments to suite themselves so they feel better, it is just human nature when you are threatened

Rebecca said...

Monk - I was indeed TEASING you as your comments often are grammatically poor, and more than a little boastful of your sexual exploits, but trust me, it was nothing more than that.

But seriously, if you think my columns are boring, shake things up!!

PS - my boyfriend says thanks for the paper bag suggestion. He said he didn't think he could take my "zmugly-ness" much longer.


sharon said...

Delightful ! Ms R !! (thank you to ISYN for the fun columns - i look forward to them)

Ms R - it's true - you and your boyfriend could win a million - get going!!

Marypoppin'pills said...

If you think clicking dislike is going to make us withdraw Rebeccas weekly column you are sadly mistaken. Especially since from now on we will assume each one is from you.

We would however, welcome one written by you. I know I would get a kick out of hearing about your torrid affairs. But alas, you've been challenged once before and I have yet to receive anything from you.

Personally, I think you should put your money where your mouth is or shut it.

URL said...

Rebecca--no offense, but you should probably know that it's 'fourth' grade. Not forth...

MS, if you thought that was the way black people talk, then you are the racist one. Hate to tell you.

Danielle said...

I think everyone should ignore MonkeyShines, since attention is clearly all she wants and is getting it.


If my grammar is off it is because I speak Patois and Fon and I usually smoke a spliff at the end of the day when I am on line.

I am truly sorry my comments upset so many! I am not looking for attention, I have had different experiences than most nannies and just contributing, too bad there are so many small minded people who live in la la land and don't want to hear about things that go against the norm in nanny land!

Lila said...

I enjoy Rebecca's articles. As a parent, I would have said no to the soup, however, I know it is harder for nannies to say no to their charges. Rebecca, maybe you can do an article about that sometime?

JustPeachy said...

Perhaps if you stopped having affairs with the married men you work for, you would find the people on this site would "attack" you less. Besides the fact that it's wrong on so many levels, it shows your lack of self worth and class. It certainly shouldn't be considered an accomplishment to be known as the town whore.

I love your posts. They are always enjoyable to read and I look forward to many more of them. I will never click the "dislike" button on you. :o)

yardgirl said...

Hey monkey
why you wasting your time over here! these women are clueless and I get what you say about the comment

HungryCollegeStudent said...

Did EVERYONE miss where MS said "analize" rather than "analyze"?????? I near about choked to death, I was laughing so hard.

I think I shall now refer to MS as dirty monkey in my know, the one who gets her meat where she gets her bread. (Sorry, couldn't resist the rhyme or repeating that AWESOME phrase.)