Oh the Places Y’all’ll Go!: Exuma, Bahamas

Exciting new sporadic series: OH THE PLACES Y’ALL’LL GO!

Though the life of a Supernanny may not afford me the same standard benefits of other jobs such as insurance, PTO, etc., it more than makes up for it in the invaluable advantage of making my own hours. Because my fiancé “Mr. Luke” is only home six months out of the year (he works one month on, one month off) we make the most of his time home (spending weekends together and when possible taking trips ranging anywhere from a weekend to two full weeks). For my nannying schedule this means that every other month (when Luke is offshore) my schedule is jam-packed while I try to work as many hours as possible and fill the families’ times of need and then some: working weekends, overnights, 16 hour days going to up to 4 different homes; the alternating months (when Luke is home) I tone the workload down to a respectable 40 hours per week and take weekends off to be with my man, family, friends, and then some vacation time. When coming up with my schedule (which fills up months in advance) I keep in mind this vast discrepancy between months, and the families are well aware of my unusual couple’s calendar. I end up traveling about six weeks out of the year. With any other job this would not be possible, however the families I nanny for value me, and appreciate the long hours I work the months when Luke is on the ship, and are therefore understanding of my needing weekends/time away with him when he returns. I am grateful for their flexibility and so I, in turn, am sure to give the parents 4 to 6 months notice prior to taking any vacation. This gives them ample time to prepare for life sans Miss Cheryl: call in the reinforcements (aka grandparents/relatives), take time off work, or take a family vacation at the same time. We now have the Miss Cheryl’s sabbatical-taking down to a science!

Miss Cheryl & Mr. Luke in the Exumas, Bahamas:)

And so with the childcare logistics squared away months before I take off on adventures, I’m free once en route to enjoy the much needed time with my love, content knowing the kiddos will be well cared for in my absence. With this clarity of mind, and freedom from stress, I’m able to fully enjoy my trips, and usually learn a life lesson or two to bring back to the kiddos when I return.

My recent trip to the Bahamas was no exception. Luke and I flew to Exuma, and spent a glorious week in the sun, sand, and surf: finding isolated beaches, gorging on delicious fresh caught fare, and learning the Bahamian way of doing things. The Bahamian lifestyle really caught my Supernanny attention and I discovered that all of the kiddos have one Bahamian quality or another, and that as their Supernanny, I could afford to get on the Bahamian boat.

Bahamian Code as lived by the Kiddos:

Smile: When it comes to smiling, no one does it bigger, brighter, or more often than Captain Awesome. He’ll smile from behind his little hand, over his mama’s shoulder, when he’s proud, when he’s guilty, whenever! It’s a contagious expression, one that others catch constantly in his presence, and one that the Bahamians would truly appreciate.

Make New Friends: On the making new friends front, Blue Eyes is the reigning champ. I have on occasion combined him with Princess, another time with Jammer, no matter the companion, he manages to part from him/her at the day’s end having formed a kinship. He doles out sincere compliments, makes jokes, shares, who doesn’t want a pal like that?

Try Everything: When it comes to adventurous spirit, Doc, is my front runner! Whenever her hears about anything novel, he immediately wants to know any/all information about it and whether or not he will have the chance to experience it. Upon my return from the Bahamas, I was telling him all about my experience swimming with nurse sharks. He was interested in every detail from how many there were (about ten in all), what their skin felt like (sandpaper, or as I explained to him, “Like your cat, Cookie’s, tongue.”), if they were nice (very), did I get pictures( “You know it!”). I also told him about how Mr. Luke and I had fresh conch salad, and described the process by which it’s made: a big conch shell is pulled from the water, a snail-like creature is yanked out of the shell, it’s head is cut off and thrown to a hungry sting ray, it’s body chopped up into itty bitty pieces, mixed with veggies and lime juice and served in a bowl. Though he may not be an adventurous eater just yet, I can see him, giving conch salad the old college try someday. It’s his curiosity that belies a brave spirit.

Miss Cheryl swimming with nurse sharks:)

Take Your Time: The art of not rushing is mastered unequivocally by Big Cat. This child cannot be rushed, believe me, I’ve tried (and failed). Big Cat takes his time getting ready in the morning, walking places, picking out toys/books, you name it, he does it…slowly. It is through his due diligence in dawdling that he has encountered much opposition, from those in charge (myself on occasion included), whose intentions are good as we are only helping him develop time management (y’all recall my specific tactic towards tardiless.), though in Exuma, his blasé attitude towards punctuality would be commonplace, and even commended!

Look Around: Rebel is constantly observing, and because of his super keen hearing, and noggin’ swivel reflex, he can catch the tiniest movement, hear a plane overhead long before he can see it, notice the smallest insect in the corner of a room, he’s very observant of everything, drinking in any sensory experience. He’d be enthralled by the Exumas!

Relax: Here’s one that all of the kiddos know how to do…and how! Some of the greatest nannying days I’ve had, I couldn’t tell you what the kiddos and I did. We weren’t jetting around from one activity to the next, didn’t take a field trip to a museum, park, store. Just played around the house, in the backyard, laid around reading, talking, listening to music (These are Bob Marley/Thievery Corporations kinds of days…) These days’ sweetness emphasized by small, “nothing” moments: Big Cat resting his head on my tummy while we both read books in outstretched arms, Rebel hiding under a blanket talking to himself then popping up to see what he missed, Doc holding my hand and sighing contentedly. I love times like these because they remind me that sometimes it’s awesome to just be. And so against my usual spirit of , “Let’s {enter fun activity here}!” I say, “Do nothing, it’s really something.”

We can all stand to take a cue from the Bahamians, and when we can, live life at a slower pace, giving ourselves the chance to drink in all the paradise in our every day from the clear skies, to the verdant parks, to the bright smiles on kiddos’ faces, there is so much to enjoy, slow down and you’ll see.

4 Comments on “Oh the Places Y’all’ll Go!: Exuma, Bahamas”

  1. Robin Perlmutter says:

    Love this one:)

  2. […] taking multiple jobs (at times going to four houses in one day!), I sometimes overextend myself; no one’s fault but my own-I do make my own hours. But on these days I’ve found that the kiddos and their parents alike, are very sympathetic to my […]

  3. […] of the nanny love, one of my top criteria is whether or not a family and my schedules match up.) I am always very careful to let families know about my unusual schedule with Mr. Luke and my travel… I give advanced notice anytime I cannot make a day of work. In return, I expect that if my hours […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s