The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

What is good enough? June 15, 2010

Filed under: Space Detritus — anditron @ 12:00 pm

Stormy day = perfect day at the beach

I’ve said it before, Nanny M is ridiculously awesome. Easily the only person I want taking care of my little Bot if it can’t be Bob909 or myself. But we hit an interesting snag… see the week I started my job, Bob909 got laid off. It was shocking, but not surprising. However, as I said, in Chicago, we simply can’t be a one-income family, and once you’ve hired a nanny, your unemployment isn’t just yours; it could be someone else’s unemployment too. But, as you read in our post about kitties, this is about family, and Nanny M is already like family to us. Not to mention the fact that if we let her go, what would we do when Bob909 did get a job? There’s no way in a million years we’d ever find someone who even compares to her.

That said, we’re making it work while Bob909 busts his butt trying to find work. One of those ways is to do a Nanny Share. It’s not a bad way to go really. I like the idea of the Bot getting socialized with another child and it’d ease the cost of having Nanny M while paying her more than she was making with just us – obviously a win all around! So we posted for a family and waited to see who contacted us.

The first family that contacted us lived 2 blocks away and apparently found a different share before I even had a chance to reply to her email. Then we heard from a second family. From the start they weren’t a perfect fit, their daughter is almost 2 while the bot is only 5 months. I wasn’t sure what I thought of that. The Bot plays with a 2 year old almost daily already because Nanny M and a fellow nanny spend a lot of time together. But I was thinking more of a child closer to her age partly because we don’t want to have to childproof before we need to. Partly so she has someone on her development level to play with. So I churned it in my head a bit before mentioning it to Bob909. And inspite of the woman using a Her&Him email address (seriously, how old are you? You can’t have your own email and cc your husband on the communiqué?) I decided to at least set up a meeting and see.

It was a rainy Saturday morning to meet up in a park. They drove to meet us and we walked to a coffee shop to sit down and talk about our needs. They needed a part time nanny, just 3 days a week and didn’t want to host as the dad worked at home. They were your typical parents. The daughter was a typical kid. They use TV a lot to entertain/babysit her and they are dog people. After a bit the mother said they needed to get going, they were hitting the end of their meter time so we adjourned, planning on a tentative visit by them to our house to meet Nanny M and see where their daughter would be spending her days.

As we walked away we thought, well, it’s not great, but it’s not the worst, and maybe it could work out. So I talked to Nanny M, determined the time to meet and emailed them some options. We didn’t hear from them for a week, not until late the night of our tentative 2nd meeting. It was a passive email that felt like a teenager throwing together a paragraph blurb for an assignment due at the start of his next class.

Mid week we had already moved on in our search, broadening the spectrum to craigslist and leaving it to Nanny M since she’s done this before and we haven’t and she knows our usual availability for a meet-up.

But we started to thing about that meeting and it’s funny, Bob909 is sure that the mom made up the thing about the meter being up. He’s probably right. Maybe I didn’t put on the best “face” for these people. Afterall, my arm tattoos were boldly showing, my lip ring was in (why wouldn’t it be, I never take it out), I had my hair punked out a bit and I was carrying a kitty Pop Brolly for the rain. At least I didn’t have the Bot in one of her halloween-type outfits. We were ourselves and that’s pretty laid back – a rarity it seems for first time parents. So yeah, I’m betting this lady probably saw all those things and judged that we weren’t good enough for their daughter to be around. Having no idea that we live in a beautiful place, don’t use TV to babysit our child, are highly physically active, go to museums, are passionate about music, and active in our community policing and neighborhood clean up. We don’t take ourselves to seriously and believe that laughter everyday is the most important thing (at least that’s my belief) for a happy life. And they… well, I couldn’t tell you anything interesting about them at all. They were khaki. They might not have been wearing them, but they definitely were unremarkable.

And you know… I don’t think they were good enough. Where was their personality? And I hate to say it, but where was their daughter’s? I’ve seen shy kids who still radiate but their daughter was like a zombie – and I don’t mean the cute way that our Bot chews on everything. She sat there pretty zoned out, especially considering they just came from a music class. I can easily imagine their home, it’s probably got lots of beige and tan and brown and cream. I don’t even know what people like that spend their days doing?

I’ll admit, I’m annoyed at my first instance of the Parental Holier-Than-Thou judgment. While I know the kids weren’t a great fit, I don’t think that’s why they didn’t want to do the Share. I think it had to do with us and that ticks me off.

C’est la vie, though right? Time to move on and hopefully Nanny M will find a great family without lame hangups and a child the perfect age and personality to really have fun with our girl.


4 Responses to “What is good enough?”

  1. CC Sue Says:

    I’ll happily nanny-share with you!!! Oh, wait… baby Mimi and I are in Minnesota. Shoot. >_<

  2. Moira Says:

    Hey there! You know, you two sound like awesome parents and very cool people. I figure you probably won’t be offended if I note that I find uninteresting people often also raise zoned out-looking pets too. There’s just something about the eyes — you know that they ( kids or pets) don’t get a lot of fun challenges in their home life. Anyway, love the blog and I’m so glad you’re updating more and more.

    • anditron Says:

      Thanks Moira, and welcome to the Pregonaut! It’s hard not to have a thought on what you see going on around you and I try to not judge a book by it’s cover, but when I’ve spent a bit of time with the people and see their kids seeming so vacant, I feel bad for all involved and hope they can find more joy in their family.

  3. […] I’ll be honest, I think I’ve got the perfect set up, but as you know from previous posts we had a rocky start at finding the right fit. It took four families to find one that was just […]

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