(author name withheld by request)
7:58 arrive at work. Employer glances at clock and rolls her eyes. She thinks I've cut it too close and she's in a bad mood having spent the past half hour having to care for her own children.
7:59 boss leaves kitchen.
8:00 boy and girl cry for their mother.
8:15 children settled and eating breakfast.
8:16 mother pops back in, grabs a post it and leaves kitchen.
8:17 children crying for their mother
8:20 children settled back down and eating breakfast
8:21 Father comes down. He wants to know what all the racket is. He looks at me, both to try and read me (and why I might be neglecting my duties as a nanny) and to get a better view of my silhouette in this form fitting tshirt.
8:24 father leaves
8:25 Mother returns. Asks what my plans are for the day.
8:26 I say nicely, "I haven't made any plans". I don't say, "every time I make plans you fuck them up"
8:27 Mother informs me that the kids are going stir crazy and should be out today. Mother suggests that Maybe I can "kill a few hours at the park". Mothers asks me if I have seen her lambskin wallet. What? I shake my head in the negative. Mother asks me if I can drop off some film for her at the photo mart, pick up some dry cleaning and pick up some groceries. I agree. Anything to get away from her. She hands me her credit card. She eyes me with what must be a warning. I take the card and get the kids ready.
8:40 Both kids are ready. Dressed with their teeth brushed. Shoes are on. Mother appears in hallway. Son says, "I want you" to mother.
Mother says, "why are you wearing that" to two year old son.
I ask, "is there something wrong".
Mother answers, "No, not wrong, just an odd choice".
8:45 I back out of the garage. 3 year old girl is crying for her Mom. I tell her we are going to ----- an indoor playspot in the morning. She begins to show signs of happiness. Outside of the garage the mother is suddenly standing. I hide my look of annoyance.
"Did you forget something" I ask.
"No, but you did" she says hurtling dry cleaning through the window, "you might as well drop these off since you're going to be there anyway".
I smile, back up and drive off.
11:15 AM I have run all of the errands and am sitting watching the children play at toddler section of indoor playspot. Incoming call from the Mother. I answer.
"Oh my God, I thought something happened" she screeches.
"What, what would happen?" I ask.
"Well, where are you. You've been gone all morning" she asks.
I re chronicle the morning for her.
"I don't want them eating fast food" she states.
"They are not. We will be home for lunch at twelve"
"You mean at twelve or before" she suggests. (Lunch must be served at twelve in her head).
"Before" I acquiesce.
11:44 AM I am in the kitchen cutting up cantaloupe and making grilled cheese sandwiches. Mother rolls through kitchen. Son cries for a hug. Mother looks at my pan, "kind of greasy" she says to no one in particular. She rifles through a cupboard for a vitamin c tablet which she begins chomping aggressively. Ignoring greetings from both her kids, she leaves room.
11:45 Three year old girl is crying.
11:54 Both kids happy and eating their lunch.
11:55 Mother strolls in kitchen and eyes clock curiously. She goes to pantry and grabs a bag of Jalapeno potato chips and a diet coke from the refrigerator and plops down at the table with the kids.
11:56 Both kids crying for potato chips.
11:57 Mother huffs away exhausted with the demands put upon her chips to eat at her desk.
11:58 Both children crying.
12:38 PM I am on the floor building with giant blocks with the kids. They are happy and laughing. Mother rolls through family room. She glances at clock and shakes her head at me. "I think they need to go down for a nap, I need them to sleep tonight".
"I usually put them down between 1245 and 1:00", I say (as I have done this for four months).
Mother looks at me, the wall clock and her watch. She shakes her head. "I'll do it" she says with exasperation.
12:40 Mother is back in the family room. I wonder how it is even humanly possible that the kids could both be in bed."What are you making for dinner?" she asks. ( I cook for the children)
"I was going to make fish and green beans" I say.
"Fish and green beans" she says repulsed. She stares at me. She opens the refrigerator and stares at the refrigerator. She opens the freezer and stares at the freezer. She sighs with exhaustion. "I can't even think about this now".
She walks away, disappearing in to some hall in the house. I spend the next two hours organizing playroom and washing and folding children's laundry.
2:30 I am in the girl's bedroom getting her up from her nap. Mother comes to doorway and scoops up child. Mother gives daughter a big hug. Mother invites daughter to grocery store. Daughter hugging mom tightly.
2:35 Mother and Daughter depart for grocery store. Mother looks at me and says, "can you get ---- up? I don't need him sleeping all day".
3:05 ---- and I are in the family room playing with firetrucks. Mother rushes in. "I've got bags, bags" she hollers. This is my cue to go and fetch bags.
3:08 Boy is crying out to me trying to chase me. Mother puts foot out to stop son from going after me. He trips and falls on the hardwood floor. Boy begins to cry. "Are you tired or do you need a time out" she asks her two year old.
3:14 I have retrieved 8 bags from the car and they are on the counter. Together, the Mother and I sort through the bags while the children fight over a Dora toy. Mother produces a package of ground turkey. "Here", she says, "I was thinking you could so something with this on the grill". I smile. Mother reaches in the refrigerator and pulls out the containers of milk. She dumps them in the sink. "I'm taking the kids off cowmilk, I want them only to have soymilk". I smile.
3:45 I am outside playing with the children on the swingset. Mother summons me inside. Her blu ray player for her bedroom has arrived and she wants it set up now. "Can you help me" she asks?
4:00 I am in her bedroom setting up the blue ray. The children are touching her linens, her curios. She is screeching at them, "Stop, please stop, you are driving me crazy".
4:11 Blue Ray installed. Back outside with the children.
4:30 Barney DVD on in family room. I am preparing to grill ground turkey and corn.
4:35 Mother comes in family room. Flips DVD player off. Turns on Fox News. Complains about Japan. Feigns horror over scenes of destruction.
4:38 Children are all over the place. Boy is at my legs asking to be picked up. Girl is standing on the sofa. Mother yelps, "what is WRONG WITH YOU TODAY". Then she abruptly leaves rooms.
4:39 Girl is crying for her mother
4:45 Barney back on. Both kids settle down.
5:00 I am sitting down at the table eating with the kids.
5:01 Mother takes phone call from friend and starts raving about "fat fucking whore". Children eat quietly.
5:25 Dinner is over. The kids have eaten. I am cleaning up the kitchen. Mother asks, "What, did they not eat?"
"No, they ate" I answer.
"Did they drink their milk" she asks.
"---- (girl) did, ----- (boy) didn't." I say.
The kids are about to leave table. "Oh no you don't", she says to two year old. She plops him back in his booster. "You do not leave the table until this is gone".
5:28 Son is crying not drinking.
5:38 Son is crying, not drinking.
5:45 Mother abruptly removes son from booster and plops him on the floor. "I CANNOT TAKE THIS" she bellows to no one in particular.
5:46 The kitchen is cleaned up. I go to grab my purse. "Wait, can you just take them upstairs? I just need a minute" Mother begs.
6:20 Mother arrives upstairs, expresses exasperation.
6:21 I give the kids hugs and say goodnight. "I'll see you tomorrow" I say to them all.
"At eight" the Mother asks.
"Um, yes" I say. (I always arrive at eight. I never start work at any other time).
Downstairs I pass by the father in the den. He looks up but says nothing. "Goodnight" I call out.
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at 10:53 AM