I Need A Carmen


Don’t we all lady.

I mean.

On one hand.

I was flattered, it was a compliment, and she quickly followed up with, “not that everyone can do what you do, or that you aren’t valuable and have your own skill set, not that you’re replaceable….”

She trailed off.

I smiled.

I than quietly got to witness an entire business transaction that I was not at all at part of, an assumption that if I was available I would work for the woman.

As though I don’t have my own life, my own plans, my own things happening.

Graduate school.

Interning.

My own fucking life.

Maybe my own time off.

She asked when the family I work for was going on their summer vacation, the family was having a play date at the home where I work and I know them from play dates with the family I work prior to my current situation.

They are nice people.

The kids are great, a bit untethered and rambunctious, but I think that happens a lot with play dates, the kids get wound up and kooky and into things and it can me melee.

Nonetheless I was rather stunned to stand in front of the woman while I was holding my bosses baby and listen to her logic of how I would be great for them, but too bad their summer plans were not coinciding with my family’s plan, that since there was no over lap that I would not be available to her as a nanny.

I stood there and smiled and jogged the baby on my hip and did not say a word about school or my internship or my plans for summer or any of it.

It wasn’t her business and by the time she got to her realization that the timing was off I didn’t have to inform her of my own personal stuff was more important that a temporary nanny gig to help out another family.

I don’t even know if she realized what an assumption it was, how it felt demeaning, that I am just open to be swapped around family to family, to not even be asked if it was something I would want to do or be available to do.

I mean.

I have any down time those weeks the family is away I will be helping my friend who is about to have twins.

I made the mom’s tea and snacks and corralled the littles and the play date was good and I know the mom meant no harm, it’s just a privileged assumption that I am going to jump at the chance to work for them.

I had another mother at the school recently praise me for “getting in good with ____________, “you’ll always have employment!”

Wow lady.

Fuck you very much.

As though my life aspiration is to be the private nanny to successions of children through their private school.

Although, I have thought that I might work with the families of the school, it did not occur to me to be in the context of being a nanny, but as a psychotherapist for families at the school.

Ahem.

It’s a kind of unconscious privilege that I have not always seen as privilege.

Or.

I will say instead, I had always felt uncomfortable with assumptions such as these, but did not understand they came from a state of privilege.

I’m able to name it better and understand how it feels and the way it lands.

I read this super intriguing article in my Multi Cultural class a year ago in regards to how “the help” is often more in the know because they straddle to very different worlds.

The people who come in to clean your house or cook your food or take care of your children may actually be more worldly and sophisticated because they have a broader spectrum of experience.

And I also am a cultured person, well read, traveled, studious, intelligent.

I got the connection and the correlation very fast.

Grateful that I also have a strong spiritual program, that I let it wash over me and past me and that it, in the end, didn’t matter, water off a duck’s back, I didn’t need to show my indignation, I don’t have to share my opinion.

It was not asked for.

Nothing worse than someone who wants to give advice or their opinions when they weren’t asked for.

I didn’t need to be a teaching moment.

I am just very happy that my employers have consistently modeled to me how valuable and important to them that I am.

I had a great day with the oldest boy today and a lot of solo time with him that felt really special and sweet.

We made a music video of him singing to the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun.”

I made him grilled cheese for lunch.

We sat and read from his amazing Smithsonian encyclopedia.

We played games, drew, and snuggled.

We played goofy imaginary games and built satellite models.

I even sang him a lullaby.

It was the best bonding moment and I just felt his little vulnerable self melt and I got to have a connection with him that doesn’t always occur as his siblings are needing attention too.

I think that all couples therapist should nanny a couple of siblings.

The things we all could learn from our interactions with the closest people we love.

The inability of language to express what we need or want from a partner writ large in the negotiations of playing children.

Reasoning with an upset child who’s sibling won’t give them space because they love the other so much that they have to kick over the model or hide the stuffed dog, or hit the other on the head with a toy, can’t you see how much I want to be with you, thunk, then tears.

I have actually used a few Couples Therapy interventions with the siblings to navigate fights that happen.

And space apart.

They both got that today.

And they will tomorrow too.

Field trip!

I feel a carousel might be happening.

Or the Children’s Creativity Museum.

The little girl was sobbing on her mom as her brother had said something mean, which translated to I need space, and her mom was consoling her and telling her that she, the little lady, and I, the nanny, were going to get to go on our own solo field trip tomorrow.

She stopped crying.

Looked up at me.

Smiled.

And asked.

“Will there be snacks?”

Oh my God.

Of course.

Yes, darling.

There will be snacks.

I promise.

Hell.

It’s Friday.

You might even get an ice cream cone.

With sprinkles.

 

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