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.



Blogger phoebe said...

I'll sign up for some playdates with you and O! It looks like I'll be nannying this summer a few days a week for Mr C. and also a day for Miss M. and her new baby brother. No one I'd rather hang out with than MOMP and her charges.

3/3/08, 1:00 PM  

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