Nothing makes you feel quite like a yuppie douchebag so much as opening your fridge for your nanny and realizing you have 28 assorted condiments with names like Pear Rum Butter and Three Citrus Chutney. Also, more than one kind of pesto.
The adjustment to childcare has been hard in this and other unexpected ways.
(As well it should be. If it weren’t, we’d all be worried, right?)
I’m still learning how to get in the habit of cleaning up for her at night so there’s no mad rush to do dishes and wipe down counters at 7 am. I’m coming to terms with the idea that there’s a new relationship in Thalia’s life, and that there’s someone new who can say things like “one more bite of your sandwich” and she obeys. I’m acutely aware now of Thalia’s routines and our rules for her, since we’re now forced to articulate them instead of just parenting on instinct.
And of course there’s the ultimate challenge of not seeing Thalia for four straight days–especially after two years of more or less working from home. Clearly Thalia’s adjusting to this change too: Saturday she had enough pent-up frustration about her new routine that instead of throwing her arms around me when I arrived to pick her up at my mother’s house, she said, “No kiss mommy. Throw away.”
“Throw away what, sweetie?”
“Throw away mommy.”
I’m trying not to stress about it too much. This too shall pass, as the wise people say.
The one challenge, however, that I never expected with regards to having a nanny is simply saying I have a nanny. I mean is there one phrase that begins with “My nanny…” that doesn’t make you want to punch someone in the teeth?
I’m hyper-sensitive to how it might make me appear, for some reason. (And in fact, I’m really glad that no one made any snotty comments on my first nanny post a few weeks ago, as my old buddy Gray-Matter pointed out. I suppose you just never know when you’re going to be lynched online for some innocuous comment like oh I have a nanny, or oh my Prada shoes are killing me, or oh if I have to spend one more dinner at Soho House listening to Brad vent about Angelina’s sudden weight loss, I’ll simply diiiiiiiiiie. Or maybe just too much time spent on barbarous message boards has made me skittish.)
But still, saying “I have a nanny” (ugh) or “My nanny said…” (eek) or “So when Thalia’s nanny called…” (ack! ack! ack!) makes me squirm a bit. Okay, a lot. It makes me feel like One Of Those Moms. And I’m so not, I swear,
Remember, I’m the mom who doesn’t wash the pacifiers?
But I can see what a slippery slope it is once you have help.
Eventually I’ll stop feeling guilty about having childcare. Then I actually start enjoying it – on the slow work days I head out for a little pedicure, maybe catch a movie or hit the latest exhibit at the Whitney. Or hey, as long as I have my mornings free before LA work hours kick in, I’ll start going to the gym. What the heck right? The next thing you know, I’m losing weight, my abs are flattening, my triceps are toned and I can almost pass for a post-postpartum human again. Which can only mean one thing: Shopping spree at Barney’s. A haircut to match. Some overpriced newfangled hair straightening technique. Did I mention tanning…?
Suddenly–holy crap–I’m that skinny mom in the nice clothes who spends her mornings at the gym and her afternoons shopping while the nanny takes the kids to the pediatrician. God help me.
Maybe I should just stick to worrying about the Pear Rum Butter.