Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Suggestion and Implication

Usually when I receive criticism about my job performance, it's silent and purely perceived (the Mom v. Nanny syndrome), and it comes from outside the family circle.

Well, this morning was an eye opener.

I was underneath a velvet wrapped falling anvil. Dropped by Mrs. Boss's mother.

She drops in every few days, when she and Mrs. Boss's father aren't traveling, and stays to play with O for a while. It's nice. She plays make-believe with him, she indulges his skewed three-year-old sense of humor. It gives me a few minutes to do the laundry or the dishes, or to tidy up.

Sometimes, she subtly lets me know that she feels I could be doing something differently, but I mostly just tuck her suggestions away pleasantly and ignore them. I may not be the perfect nanny, but I've got three relatively well adjusted little humans that speak to the fact that I'm not the worst nanny out there, either.

Today, she says, out of the blue,"Do you take O on many playdates?"

He's three, he doesn't have friends yet, outside of his preschool class, whom he already sees for three afternoons a week.

I replied, "With who?"

She then basically went on to to tell me that I should be arranging playdates with O and the little boy who lives down the street, and also with all the kids in his preschool class.

The woman who filled in for me, we'll call her K, while I was on maternity leave was friendly with the mom of the boy down the street, and she took him over there all the time, but for her, it was social, and K helped the boy's mom with their new baby, as well.

When I countered with the fact that I don't really know the mom of the boy down the street, and would feel awkward cold calling her to come over and hang out with me (because that's what "playdates" are when your kids are three years old, she replied that I should have just the boy over to play. So, she feels that I should be singly trying to supervise two three year olds while taking care of my four month old son? How is that benefiting O?

The implication was that somehow I was neglecting him by not arranging for him to have structured playtime. It's always been my opinion that kids need to be kids, especially kids who already have preschool three afternoons a week, plus sessions with their speech therapist twice a week. He's already plenty well socialized, and he thoroughly enjoys hanging out in his jammies in the morning, playing with Felix and his trucks, and talking and playing with me.

I prefer to let "playdates" evolve organically. For example, I'm getting to know the nanny of one of his preschool friends, and when the weather starts warming up, we'll take the kids to the playground together, which may eventually lead to having someone over to play.

I realize that Mrs. Boss's mother's opinion doesn't actually have any bearing on me, unless said opinion is sanctioned by Mr. & Mrs. Boss, but it still gets my dander up when she "suggests" things as if she's the only woman for the job. Furthermore, I'm confident that if Mrs. Boss wanted O to have more structured playdates, she's let me know herself.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Devoured by a Gnu?

A friend recently wondered if my absence from the blogosphere meant I'd been devoured by a gnu. I am writing to say, I have not. I fear gnus. How can you trust an animal with a sneaky silent letter in its name?

Where have I been?

I've been lurking about, reading blogs, scarcely even commenting. I've been knitting. I had my wisdom teeth extracted. I've been swamped with the daily business of raising four kids. I've been superbly lazy.

I apologize.

I will do better.
I will do better.
I will do better.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Indecision Decided.

I posted yesterday about my indecision.

I voted this morning. I thought long and hard all last evening, and much of the early morning. Part of me wants to embrace the youthful ideology of the Obama camp, take a long swig of the koolaid, and jump on the bandwagon of charm, charisma, and change. Part of me craves a woman at the helm of this country. Part of me knows that "ambition" shouldn't be a four letter word when it's applied to a woman, but a trait you look for in a man. Part of me just sort of trusts the war hero in John McCain. A smidgeon of me thinks Mitt Romney just looks Presidential. Most of me is a afraid of a Baptist preacher running the country.

I voted this morning. And I felt like everywhere I turned there was someone who would scorn me for my choice, should they be able to see inside my head and know which way I voted.

Then, hours after my vote was cast, I read this article, courtesy of this blog. I'm not embarrassed (I regret that I was) anymore.

I voted this morning. I voted Democrat. I voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And I don't care if you don't like it. I probably don't like the way you voted either. Ain't democracy grand?


Monday, February 04, 2008

Going to the Candidates Debate

...and here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...

OK, so it's the primary, and not the debate, but that's the song in my head right now.

I've been on the fence for so long, I think my spine has fused with a post. I can't decide whether to announce myself Democrat or Republican, and even if I could, I can't find a candidate in either party to soundly endorse.

I'm a moderate kind of gal. I feel the way I feel, regardless of traditional party lines. I fall somewhere between idealism and the reality of my own family life. I worry about illegal immigration, since cheap, illegal labor cuts into the market for both my own and my husband's services. That said, neither of is directly threatened as of yet, so I'm more concerned at this point about seeing that folks are documented and set on a path to citizenship, complete with all its privileges, including taxes, etc...

I worry about the planet. I try to do a little myself. I drive a smaller, high mileage car. I recycle and compost. I use compact fluorescent lights where I can. I keep my home around 65 degrees in winter to reduce heating oil use (and cost, these days!). I teach teach kids not to litter, and not to waste resources (sometimes tough in a home that is heated, air conditioned, and lit up 24/7, but I try. I'm not sure that the Federal government should be controlling the expansion of alternate fuel use, but I do think it should be providing research grants, and perhaps business incentives to those who would push us away from fossil fuel use, both foreign and domestic.

I worry deeply about the mixing of extremist faith (from the Taliban right on through to seemingly nice guys like Mike Huckabee) and broad political influence.

I hate that one of my favorite cousins has to leave his family in Georgia and drive trucks for the Army in Iraq, just because he wanted to join the Air Force five and a half years ago. (As an aside, I hate that he cannot wear the decorations he has earned, because he earned then under Army contract, but wears an Air Force rank and uniform.) I hate that my brother-in-law will be shipped over there in about six weeks. I want them home. I don't think we ever belonged in Iraq, and I feel like we need to get the hell out. To those who say there's too much invested, I say, perhaps it wasn't a wise investment, and we should cut our losses before we have to hand over our shirt. This is a war we can never definitively win, and even if we could, what kind of victory would we face?

I dislike the mismanagement of my tax dollars, especially when I could be putting that money to just fine uses at home. I want to waste less of my life searching for the best deal in health care. I want these at every level: town, county, state, federal. I would like to think that my parents, myself, and my children will have access to Social Security benefits, since I imagine we will have all paid it in over our lifetimes.

My ideology is largely Democratic, but I recognize the rightish leanings I have on certain subjects. So where to cast a vote tomorrow?

I just took the quiz on the Washington Post's web site. I took both quizzes, looking for some direction. I've been reading blogs, news articles, watching television coverage, and still, I'm undecided.


What Happened to WBOS?

I know the rest of Boston is sad about the Pats lying down for the Giants last night (I blame Gisele for distracting Tom - now Jessica can relax, she's not the only star girlfriend to wreck a guy's game), but I'm sad because where one used to find WBOS's web site, they now find this.

Yes, I listen to my iPod a lot in the car, but every few days I like to tune in to the radio, especially in the morning, and catch up on new releases, etc... To get the Beastie Boys and STP in the first five minutes of my morning was not what I expected.

Some of the new programming is stuff I listened to in high school and college, so that's cool, but it's not well thought outor organized, there doesn't seem to be any focus on new artists (so far, maybe they'll surprise me...), and there are no DJs. Normally, I'd say that was a good thing, since bonehead disc jocks are a scourge here in the Hub, but I liked Dana Marshall. I liked George Knight. They knew and cared about the music, and sharing things they knew. They hyped local small shows, and intrigued me about regional artists - even some that they didn't play regularly.

Now, I've switched the dial to 92.5, The River, but I lose their signal as soon as I get close to the Charles River (oddly coincidental). That's a solid third of my commute, so where else am I going to find the music I like?

Greater Media, you suck. This was like giving me a flat tire. Totally deflated my drive in to work.

And, as I posted here, does anyone know where George Knight and Dana Marshall landed?