Get Your Role On!

Now in my sixth year of nanny life, I’m on a regimented rotation with several families, however in the whole of my nannying thus far, I have had commitments spanning from exclusivity with a single family, to juggling up to five on a regular schedule. Each family has a different dynamic -different number of children, range of ages, spectrum of childcare needs- and so I adapt my Miss Cheryl persona per house accordingly. I walk in the door, ready and in character! Lines memorized, no second takes. Read the rest of this entry »


Beautiful Disaster

As a Supernanny, I uphold a very high standard of household upkeep for the duration of my time with a family. That being said, messes still happen. When I first started nannying for Mr. Man and Big Cat, they were 3 y/o and 8 months. At mealtimes, I was always trying to stay on top of things—cleaning up every spill, scooping every morsel off the floor as it fell, wiping Big Cat’s lips after every bite. But as our days together continued, I learned a valuable piece of mealtime know-how: During meals, let their freak flags fly. Let the proverbial chips fall where they may, and do a clean sweep after. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy and waste valuable energy better spent confronting post-meal hurdles (a.k.a. naptime, the word “no,” etc.). Read the rest of this entry »


Act Like an Adult, Think Like a Child

I was hanging out with my pal Aspen and her 3 y/o nephew, Doc. He loves my fat cat Dixie “soooooo much”, and always wants to see her when he visits our apartment. On this particular day, Dixie was fast asleep (as she is wont to do sixteen hours out of every day) in her kitty bed, on my queen bed. Doc ran into my room, saw Dixie, and immediately started the slow and (as he is tiny) arduous process of climbing up the side of my bed. I immediately started smiling, stifling a giggle. Aspen looked at her nephew then back at me, laughing. “What’s so funny?” she asked, smiling and inquisitive. I replied, “He must really want to see her and pet her! That’s a lot of work for him to get up there!” See, when I saw him climbing up the side of my bed, I pictured myself with a mountain to climb, of that relative scale. What would I put out that effort and physical exertion for? A glass of red wine after a long day, that’s what!

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Less Is Maw

Regarding discipline, I am not of the corporal inclination. If you have good discipline, physical force is a last resort, and for my purposes as a nanny I would never feel comfortable using it. No, when it comes to deterring delinquency in my young charges, I rely on their respect and affection to serve me well. In my long-term charges, some of whom I have been with for over six years, I find that seeking my approval is a very powerful incentive for them to behave. Mr. Man and Big Cat are constantly asking my opinion on all matters, not only the behavioral. Throughout most of our years together, my last line of disciplinary defense has been to say, “I’m not going to say it again.” I think they are terrified of what will happen if I have to say it again. And frankly, their active imaginations can come up with far worse potential punishments than I would ever implement, so I just let them wonder. My mama, an elementary school teacher, used a similar line with her students, my siblings, and me: “If you do that again, I just don’t know what I’m going to do.” Now as harmless a statement as it was for her to make, I know I always imagined her pulling out her hair, burning my toys, etc. so I would hop to when that phrase was uttered!

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