Last week we hired a new Thursday nanny. I interviewed her, called her references, thought she would be great. She brings her 14-month-old son along to all her nanny jobs, which seemed like good socialization for little Sophie. She teaches her son sign-language, feeds her son the same weird non-baby-food that I feed Sophie (tofu & almond-milk & such), and even goes to my same yoga studio. Her references effused about how she’s both playful & responsible. Her references were very, very wrong.
At the end of the day, Sophie’s face was red from crying. Her diaper was crusty from not being changed. Our house was a mess: the nanny’s son had strewn our things all around — even rearranging the soaps in both bathtubs, mysteriously. About the only good thing the nanny did was phone Ben to come home from work hours early, because she was overwhelmed. But she was overwhelmed partly because she was trying to take Sophie along to ANOTHER nannying job that she hadn’t told us about, picking three kids up from school. For forty-five minutes Ben didn’t even know where Sophie was. And by that evening, it became clear that Sophie had a finger-shaped bruise on her face.
I feel incredibly guilty: how did I expose my child to this? The one consolation is that, within two days, the bruise had faded & so had Sophie’s uncharacteristic fear of strangers. Mercifully, she doesn’t have a deep memory, yet.
So now we have hired another Thursday nanny, but the nanny saga continues. I think it may be neverending. New nanny got sick this week, and then my backup childcare (the wonderful Sarah) wasn’t free this week either. So my friend Carrie offered to watch little Soph at our offices. Sophie actually did okay with the hour-and-a-little-more car-ride that is my commute to work, and then Sophie just giggled all afternoon with Carrie, who actually made us a CD of the Jack-Johnson music that Sophie had enjoyed dancing to while I taught my classes. It’s too bad that Carrie already has a career as a professor and can’t be our nanny.