Saturday, May 14, 2005

Have applied paint stripper to the bottom half of the beams on our back porch and am waiting for the 15 minutes or so to pass so i can scrape it off. This is so we can get the pest guy to spray some of the wood for powder post beetles. As unlikely as it sounds, I'm excited to be doing this because IT IS SOMETHING OTHER THAN SEARCHING FOR, EVALUATING OR WORRYING ABOUT CHILDCARE.

Speaking of which, this past week was the first one of nannying. The Nanny still seems great, especially since when I got home at the end of the first day, Nutmeg was happily playing with her new playmate the Jewnese boy (you know, let's call him the Sharebear. He's such a cuddly little cutie.) and she didn't even stop to crawl over to me, demand to be picked up, or nursed, or anything. This was NOT the baby i found at the end of a daycare day. So yes, it's worth the sinking feeling I got on Friday when I came home from work and wrote a check amounting to half of what I would take home for the week. We'll pay less if we find another family to share during the time the Sharebear's not there.

Of course, it will take some time for me to get used to my home being someone else's workplace. This was not the first sign, but probably the most emblematic to me: Erik sat down in the rocking chair and said, "Somebody moved your chair." Then he cowered in the corner, because even though he didn't do it, he knows what a bitch I can be when I find out someone moved my rocking chair. In our tiny apartment, there is really only one position that chair can be in so it can rock without hitting the wall, the bookshelf or the table.

But uncharacteristically, I have held back with criticism when I've seen The Nanny doing things I wouldn't do. Like when I came home yesterday, she was spoonfeeding Nutmeg baby food from the jar. Now, this sounds just like what a nanny should be doing, right? Except that Nutmeg, at 12 months, is very capable of spoonfeeding herself, she just makes a big mess. I've noticed that Chinese parents don't use bibs, and they spoonfeed even older babies to avoid a mess. The Sharebear's mom, who is Chinese, confirmed this. Plus, I don't want Nutmeg eating jarred food when the fridge is full of fresh produce including some broccoli that had been minced just for her, plus, if you're going to feed her jarred food, you need to put some in a bowl so you don't contaminate the whole jar with mouth cooties.

Did I unleash a tirade of The Nanny's heinous misdeeds on her? I'm proud to say I didn't. My god, I realized, the woman knows how she likes to take care of kids, and as long as she isn't doing something harmful to Nutmeg, I'm going to have to let her do her job the way she sees fit. Sure, I'll hide the jarred food next week -- we use it for outings and emergencies -- and maybe put a list of "Nutmeg's favorite foods" on the fridge. But it's not going to stall Nutmeg's motor development to sit back and let The Nanny feed her two days a week. Aren't you proud of me? OK, I'm insane. But those of you who are moms, admit it: After a few months of taking care of your child, you develop pretty fixed ideas of how they should be cared for. I know I will spend the rest of my mothering life letting other people make more and more decisions for Nutmeg -- what she learns in school, what she eats during preschool snack, what she wears on stage in the school play -- and, holy cow, she'll even start making wild and ill-advised decisions of her own someday soon. But it's hard, dammit!

OK, gotta go scrape paint.

No comments: