By Lisa Cucinotta
All of my blog posts so far have been a bit on the intense side, so today I bring you a moment of levity.
Nanny dynamics are interesting, to say the least. I have TONS of very dramatic, intense stories about nannies that I will share in the future when I am ready. But recently I had a very comical, yet serious exchange with my current nanny, who has only been with us a short time.
“I need to show you something” she said to me, her face concerned. Cue instant panic. I did not like the sound of this. It’s like a boyfriend that says “We need to talk” or a doctor who says “We found something”. It’s not going to be that she found a thousand dollars in the closet or that my daughter is able to recite the declaration of independence by heart at five years old. I tried to stay calm. The best I could hope for was that maybe she had broken something that was not expensive and/or we didn’t care about.
“I found it on Friday, but I wanted to wait until I could show it to you, because, well, here it is.” She went to a shelf and picked up a small plastic packet. Inside were a number of smaller plastic baggies, each filled with a white, powdery substance. I immediately knew what they were, but from the look on my poor nanny’s face, I realized what she thought they were.
I started to laugh, which might not have been the best move. She looked at me wide eyed as I started to explain. No friends, we didn’t have baggies of cocaine hanging out in the kids playroom. That’s the good news. The other good news is that while I knew what the baggies were, I’m not quite sure what they are made from, so it was still best to get them into a safer place (ie. away from toddler hands). I realized with a bit of paranoia that there is still a chance she might not believe me. I tried to stay calm because while I knew I was telling the truth, my keeping her as my nanny really depended on whether she believed me.
These mysterious baggies are actually part of a fairly complicated art project Julia received for her birthday called Aqua Illusions. You fill a tray with water that you mix with this white powder. It creates a gel base that you can then squirt and drag paint over to create a design. You then make a print of the design by placing a piece of paper flat onto the water and pulling it out carefully with plastic tongs. It’s quite the commitment for a five year old, but we tried it a few weeks ago with one of her friends. It came with extra bags of powder, and when we put the project away that day bags must have fallen out of the box.
But imagine if you found tiny baggies filled with white powder in someone’s house. Wouldn’t you assume it was drugs? That poor woman must have been worried that not only were my husband and I cocaine users or even worse, drug dealers, that we had left the cocaine out in our children’s playroom.
The nanny relationship is one that is based on trust from both sides – and that can be really hard for both parties. You need to feel a strong level of trust in the person who is taking care of your kids every day, and they need to trust that you’ll give them a stable and secure environment to work in. Considering we’ve only had her as our nanny for a few months, I’m glad she at least asked me instead of quitting on the spot or reporting us to child services! So, while I have plenty of CRAZY stories to share with you in the future about the complexities of childcare, at least this one ended in a laugh.