She’s Either The Perfect Nanny Or A Kidnapper In Training
I have no business having such a perfect nanny. But perfect she is. And that’s the problem.
After my family moved recently, we set about finding a nanny. I used one of those expensive services that does background checks on interested home employees. But I also put an ad on Craigslist. I’d found our previous nanny that way. Sure, I had to dig through dozens of emails that ranged from merely ignoring basic items I asked for to mistaking my request for an NSA ad. Yes, many emails came from people with such a lack of command of the English language that I couldn’t even understand them. But I had found a great nanny who my children really enjoyed.
So we tried it again. Same deal. Tons of emails from people who mentioned — in their freaking response — their criminal past. But in the midst of all that was one shiny response from a woman who seemed too perfect to be true. She was new to the area, and newly married, and well educated and cheerful. All of the words in her email were spelled correctly. There was no hint of a criminal past.
We asked her to stop by. My husband said she seemed like Mary Poppins if Mary Poppins had been a sorority girl from Arizona. We hired her on the spot. She was beautiful and sweet and nice and polite and I couldn’t say a single thing against her. She shared our philosophy on children. The first time she was alone with the children, I panicked. It was all a ruse, wasn’t it. She was merely seeming to be perfect so she could kidnap the children the moment we left her alone with them! Of course! That’s the only explanation!
I arrived home and the children told me that they’d had a perfect day and that they “loved” their nanny. Everything was going beautifully. She taught the girls how to craft. She took them on day trips to museums, zoos and the river a few miles away. She has literally never turned a television on in their presence.
A few months ago, our oldest started school. And that’s where I realized we had a problem. While two children close in age can be something of a handful for any child care provider, one child is pretty easy. Still, our nanny continued to do the wonderful things she did before. Crafts, field trips, assistance with dress-up and any other play. I looked at my two-year-old and realized that this wasn’t ideal.
My husband and I love to play with our children and we have great times as a family. But we never cater to our child in the same way our nanny does. What kind of message does it send to a 2-year-old that someone’s main job is to have fun with her? I mean, I’m sure it’s awesome for my 2-year-old in the short term but it can’t be good for her character.
So I had to have the conversation with our nanny. “You’re too perfect.” I believe those were my exact words. This being the perfect nanny, she agreed that our 2-year-old was living too well and was too pampered and we came up with some ideas to mitigate the problem. She’ll be doing more errands and engage in more adult-centered activity when handling the little one.
I guess the fact that our nanny is so responsive, makes her even more perfect than she was before, if that’s possible. She’s probably just lulling us into a sense of complacency before she kidnaps the kids.