The Pretenders

One of the best things about being a nanny is the opportunity it affords me to act like a kiddo again. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bit of the whimsical about me, and am prone to flights of fancy. I love playing make-believe with my charges, always encouraging them, when it comes to imagination, to Go Big or Go Home. Read the rest of this entry »


What?!

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Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

I’d like to think of myself as an articulate person. I believe when I speak, my words ring clear as a bell. I use language that is easily comprehended by my charges (except when I slip in fancy words to help them increase their vocabulary). Why then do I spend so much of my day repeating myself, time after time, responding to, “What?” after “What?”? After seven years as a full-time nanny, compounding some seven million or more, “What?”s, I’ve come to the conclusion as to where they come from, and how to tame them. Read the rest of this entry »


Help Me Help Y’all

Respons-ability!

Many times when I’m with the kiddos, my primary concern is caring for them, doing things for them, keeping them distracted and happy. In my frantic frenzy to meet all of their needs, I can sometimes overstep and do too much for them. Most times it’s unintentional, but at times it is deliberate, as I know that I can clear the table/ pick up the living room/ or pick out the day’s outfit much more quickly and efficiently than the kiddos can. However, this doesn’t do the kiddos, their folks, or myself any favors in the long run. The old adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” holds true for kiddos as well. It is monumentally important for caregivers to pass on knowledge in the form of responsibility to young ones. Read the rest of this entry »


I Think We’re Alone Now

As much of a blessing as siblings are, there are times when children crave individual attention. I remember as a little girl I loved Tuesday and Thursday afternoons the years I was in PreK and Kindergarten. These days were much beloved because my mama would pick me up from school at 11:30 and we would have the afternoon alone, together. (My sister, Laurel was still in school, and my brother, Buddy was at Mother’s Day Out.) We’d go to lunch, then maybe a store or two, whatever I felt like. I loved having my mama all to myself just to talk to her (she is such a good listener), and to have special time that was just for us. Similarly I couldn’t wait for the annual Take Your Daughter To Work Day when I would get the whole day with my dad to myself, asking him questions, helping him with work, and of course lunching out in style, both dressed in our office clothes. I loved hearing about his job as a petroleum geologist. He is so smart and was very good at explaining things to me. Plus, before seismic computers, he filled in the geological maps by hand, shading the various layers in with map pencils, and would let me color some. (When Laurel was asked in a school questionnaire what our father did for a living, she answered, “He colors all day.” When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up on one such quiz I answered “geologist,” mostly because I really liked to color.) I loved the alone time with both of my folks. As the middle child it was a rare and wonderful opportunity to have each of them to myself. Read the rest of this entry »


Disney Dos and Don’ts II: Solidarity Sisters!

Disney is caught in my good-natured crosshairs once again! Disney movies are rooted in entertainment yes, but also about bringing the family together for movie time, fun escapism, and the development of imagination. Why then, with all this purported purpose of unity and lightness (featured in some of the Disney films), are there so many pervasive themes of pitting people, particularly women, against each other? It seems that in a large number of our beloved Disney stories, it seems to reach climactic crescendos of Womano a Womano. I quote Tina Fey in the ultra-quotable classic Mean Girls when I say, “There’s been some girl-on-girl crime here.”

stepfamily Read the rest of this entry »


Just Breathe

This next post includes nannying/parenting advice from a rather unlikely place (airline announcements), delivered however from a not unlikely source, but from a dear pal of mine, Happy, who, for a time was a nanny herself (In fact she cared for Doc and Rebel before they became my charges). Read the rest of this entry »


Supernanny Icon: Annie Braddock

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Although I made it clear in my inaugural post that this blog “ain’t no Nanny Diaries,” I can’t help but think of that book (by authors, and former NYC nannies, Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus), and subsequent film (starring Scarlet Johanssen and Laura Linney) when deciding on my next Supernanny Icon, Annie Braddock. Read the rest of this entry »