Month: March 2012

The Big Bang Theory of Nannies

It happened. Out of the blue. (People always say that, but it’s a cliché for a reason) In just a few words, and my happy mommy train was knocked off the track:

“I’m I going to be happy with this money after I count it?”

This simple sentence, uttered by my nanny, imploded our system of supply and demand. What she was supplying, I wasn’t buying anymore. Namely, her services.

All over the amount of her Christmas bonus. A bonus. A gift. Not a given.

As a writer I take words more seriously than civilians. So, when my nanny made that simple statement, there was no going back; her greed, her ingratitude, now exploded into the Holmes Family universe.

So, from the last of December when I informed her that “ I wouldn’t be needing her services in the New Year,” and the search for a new babysitter began, lasting until the third week in January, thanks to an assist from my Mom who came from Michigan to help care for Julia, with my sister in law in the wings, while I worked and interviewed new child care workers on the side, I thought of the gift my former nanny had given me.

For a long, long while I believed the goal in life was to get all my ducks—or sippy cups— in a row, with all the tops matching then everything would be ducky. Once Julia came home, I thought my Mallards looked marvelous. I’d hired a great nanny. My job was going well, grad school too. Things seemed to be going along swimmingly until that sentence was launched from her mouth, when she revealed her true self. And in that Big Bang, I understood, there’s no perfection. No time when the machine runs without a hitch. There’s always, a Big Bang, waiting to expand the universe, stretch it, pull it into a new definition of life.

Change is eternal in life, but especially in the Big Bang Theory of Life, and Nannies.

Childcare workers are people. And people, are complicated creatures, but an email reply from another mom from my Upper Westside Mom Yahoo Group put it best,” This is the person who’s giving your daughter examples to live by when you’re not around. Get rid of her.”

Life as a money-grubber is not on my example list for my daughter.

Madonna: Single Baby Mama #1

Just as the dust settled on whether Madonna put on a good, great or God awful half-time show at Super Bowl XLVI ( I’m still pondering why Aerosmith can keep pimping their musical wares to the public right up until they qualify for Medicare, and beyond judging by their tour circuit of late, yet  Madonna gets heat for performing in her fifties.) Now The Material Girl has given the world something else to ponder, a quote from a British newspaper.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/03/madonna-on-single-motherhood-im-not-going-to-lie-its-hard-work/

“I’m not going to lie, it’s hard work having four kids with all the work I do,” the news anchor who quoted Madge said, snickering. Then added, “ I doubted that Madonna was a single mom like other moms, I’m sure she has a lot of help.”

No doubt. However, what that teleprompter-reading-talking-head did not know, could not know, unless she also walked the same ground as Madge and me—and clearly she does not from her comment— is this: No matter how much money a mom has, how great her childcare coverage is, how deep her confidence and energy, as a single mom you carry the weight. The whole weight.

While my married girlfriends love to remind me that an equal and present partner is not a guarantee with matrimony, they do have someone to nudge in the night when your child sickens, when every bad made-for-tv movie motors through your mind, when the question becomes do you bundle up the baby, bolt from the apartment, into a cab, into the darkness, to an emergency room, a place populated, largely, with the citizenry who frequent such places in the Manhattan’s dark hours, folks Toni Morrison once called in a novel,“guns and knives people,” thanking God you have health insurance but full of fear. Or, pray the barking cough doesn’t worsen before dawn, before the pediatrician’s office opens, before you can get help from a familiar, reliable physician.

Still, Madonna’s wealth can afford her access to an army of nannies and chief-bottle-washers; a cook and a housekeeper. However, at the end of the day,  when she’s up walking her super-luxe-hand-polished-floors in the still of the house, as her children nestle in their beds, Madonna’s mind whirls too, wondering if her children are happy and whole. As a car alarm chirps in the distance, while  her single breath cuts the atmosphere, in every sense, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone is as alone as every single baby mama in the universe. But, at least, we all have more company.

The Big Bang Theory of Nannies

It happened. Out of the blue. (People always say that, but it’s a cliché for a reason.) In just a few words, my nanny knocked my happy mommy train off the track:

“Am I going to be happy with this money after I count it?”

This simple sentence, uttered by my nanny, imploded our system of supply and demand. What she was supplying, I wasn’t buying anymore. Namely, her services.

All over the amount of her Christmas bonus. A bonus. A gift. Not a given.

As a writer I take words more seriously than civilians. So, when my nanny made that simple statement, there was no going back; her greed, her ingratitude, now exploded into the Holmes Family universe.

So, from the last of December when I informed her that “ I wouldn’t need her services in the New Year,” and the search for a new babysitter began, lasting until the third week in January, thanks to an assist from my Mom who came from Michigan to help care for Julia, with my sister-in-law waiting in the wings, while I worked and interviewed new childcare workers on the side, I thought of the gift my former nanny had given me.

For a long, long while I believed the goal in life was to get all my ducks—or sippy cups— in a row, with all the tops matching then everything would be ducky. Once Julia came home, I thought my Mallards looked marvelous. I’d hired a great nanny. My job was going well, grad school too. Until she launched that sentence from her mouth, when she revealed her true self, things were going along, swimmingly. And in that Big Bang, I understood, there’s no perfection. No time when the machine runs without a hitch. There’s always a Big Bang, waiting to expand the universe, stretch it, pull it into a new definition of life.

Change is eternal in life, but especially in the Big Bang Theory of Life, and Nannies.

Childcare workers are people and people complex creatures. But an e-mail reply from another mom from my Upper West Side Mom Yahoo Group put it best,” This is person who gives your daughter examples to live by when you’re not around. Get rid of her.”

Life as a money-grubber is not on my list.

The Big Bang Theory of Nannies

It happened. Out of the blue. (People always say that, but it’s a cliché for a reason) In just a few words, and my happy mommy train was knocked off the track:

“I’m I going to be happy with this money after I count it?”

This simple sentence, uttered by my nanny, imploded our system of supply and demand. What she was supplying, I wasn’t buying anymore. Namely, her services.

All over the amount of her Christmas bonus. A bonus. A gift. Not a given.

As a writer I treat words more seriously than civilians. So, when my nanny made what she considered a simple question, there was no going back; her greed, her ingratitude, now exploded across the Holmes Family universe.

So, from the last of December when I informed her that “ I wouldn’t be needing her services in the New Year,” ; the search for a new babysitter began, lasting until the third week of January, thanks to an assist from my Mom who came from Michigan to help care for Julia, with my sister in law in the wings waiting to provide coverage, while I worked and interviewed new child care workers on the side, in the evenings, I thought of the gift my former nanny had given me.

For a long, long while I believed the goal in life was to get all my ducks—or sippy cups— in a row, with all the tops matching, aligned then everything in my life would be ducky. Once Julia came home, I thought my Mallards looked marvelous. I’d hired a great nanny. My job was going well, my grad school thesis, accepted.  Things seemed to be going along swimmingly until that sentence was launched from my nanny’s mouth, when she revealed her true self. And in that Big Bang I understood, there’s no perfection. No time when the machine runs without a hitch. There’s always, a Big Bang waiting to expand the universe, to stretch it, pull it into a new definition of life. And reality.

Change is eternal in life, especially true in the Big Bang Theory of Life and Nannies.

Childcare workers, like all people, are complicated creatures. An email reply from another mother from my Upper West Side Mom Yahoo Group put it best,” This is person who’s giving your daughter examples to live by when you’re not around. Get rid of her.”

Life as a money-grubber is not on my Julia list.