Posts Tagged ‘perfect nanny’

Head Ache

September 11, 2013

I have had a head ache since right before I left work.

I keep telling myself I did the best I could, I am doing the best I can.

But despite my best efforts one of the babies bit the other baby and it broke my heart telling the mom.

I also felt like I did not respond in the way that was comforting.

I was also wiped out.

Not one of the three took a real solid nap today.

Nappus Interruptus.

When wee monkeys don’t have enough sleep and don’t feel like they are getting the kind of attention they deserve, shit can crumble fast.

I was on top of it, I really was, I was running up and down the stairs like a fucking sprinter, changing diapers, warming bottles, feeding this one and that one.

I had just gotten a re-settled down group when I smelled the offending smell.

Albeit a rather pleasant one as far a baby shit goes, let’s be frank here folks, some kids eat better than others, and this group of babies is super healthy, but yes, it still smelt and it was time to run upstairs to change this one.

Two of the babies use the compostable diapers and their parents have a service they use.

The other baby uses cloth diapers.

The other baby has to be changed upstairs, but now that I am writing this, I wonder, I could set something up, not that I can change anything that happened today.

I cannot.

The best I can do is forgive myself for not being super human and having 18 sets of hands.

At least I saw what happened and I responded immediately.

Thank god, I had just finished with the changing of the cloth pants.

Yeah, get over it, I am writing a blog about poo and if you can’t handle it, go read something else (the poo will finish in a moment), occupational hazard, you could say.

I was setting the fresh diapered child down on the mat on the floor, one of those awesome cushion ones that have interlocking puzzle pieces, when one baby leaned into the other and bit down on the little baby mouth.

I saw it happen like it was in slow motion.

I almost screamed at the child.

I held my breath, dropped to me knees, pulled them gently apart and scooped the smaller baby into my arms, who for just a moment I wondered, did the bite happen, there was pure silence.

Then the wail of terror and hurt.

It was horrendous.

I calmed the child down and it happened so fast that I did not think that the bite was a bad as it later appeared to be.

I took the other child and popped the baby into the crib, immediate time out.

I did not yell.

I did not scream.

I breathed deeply, soothing the other baby, and spoke in an even, saddened voice, expressing my thoughts on how we don’t bite the people we care about, how it hurts, that we are loving and kind and gentle.

The child understood and was so abashed I wanted to hold them both and soothe both at the same time.

While the third looked on in wonder, what the hell is happening?

And that makes me wonder, am I not cut out for three?

Is it just too much?

I felt rotten, but not as bad as when the second mom picked up her child.

I had examined the bite and did not see broken skin or bleeding.

The baby fed really well afterward, another bottle and a half and a pouch of pureed food, and had a third nap, waking happy and bouncy and wanting to interact with the other children.

But when examined the bite had swollen up, there was a red demarcation on his upper lip and it was obvious how hard the bite had been.

I was horrified and cue the instantaneous head ache which has throbbed in my brain since the mom took her child.

Worst nanny ever.

Just quit.

Then I thought, they are never going to want me to nanny again.

Then, the thought that saved my ass, if that happens, you will still be taken care of.

You are not being dropped.

You are not perfect and you cannot expect yourself to be.

I felt some relief at this, but the head ache had settled in for the duration.

It is also, come on, admit it, Martines, the stress of moving.

I moved yesterday.

I have been on the move for a really long time.

I am not settled yet, I am not in my sweet spot yet, I don’t have a bed yet.

Yes, there’s a blow up mattress, with a slow leak, ack, but fortunately, it is slow, that I have to sleep on.  And my friend has said we can make a run to Ikea on Thursday.

I will just get a bed there and assemble it and be done with it.

I am tired of looking on craigslist.

I just want a bed.

And a few other things to make the space more of a home.

Things will come together, the head ache will pass, I will forgive myself.

Really, I already have.

I did the best I could.

I was not putting the baby in a room with a rabid dog.

It was another sweet child.

Things happen.

I cannot protect them every second of every day.

Neither can their parents.


Sometimes I wish I could, I wish that there was no pain, no sorrow, no suffering.

I wish that teething didn’t hurt and that there was always cuddly nap time and good story telling, that poking and pinching and pushing and biting didn’t happen.

But they do.

I don’t believe that it is ever done, especially at this age, with malice, no child bites like that maliciously.  It is a call for attention.  It gets a reaction.

I have been bitten by every single child I have taken care of.

EVERY one.

I knew a nanny that got so fed up with a child she was taking care of that she bit the child back.

I have not and never will do that.

Never hit, never bite, never slap, or shake.

Just doing the best I can in the only way I know how.

I think it is more heart ache than head ache.

But the pain remains the same.

Funny, how, both children have probably forgotten, but it sits here on my chest like a weight of doom.

Gotta let it go, it does not serve.

Besides I have another day tomorrow to work and be present and that starts by taking care of myself, and that means, the hot shower, the cup of tea, the apple, and the wind down.

Grateful for the experience.

Grateful more for knowing that forgiveness of self is how to move past this.

There is no other way through.

But through.


A “Relaxing Day”

May 30, 2013

At work.

Although it did not start out that way.

I got out of bed late.

Not way late, not so late that I would have to call a cab or jump BART.

Not that getting on BART is actually a time saver from here to North Oakland, it is about the same amount of commute time.

I still checked, just to make sure, just in case, maybe it would save me a few minutes of hurrying around this morning.


I would get there faster on my bicycle.

So scurry it was.

Again, not a horrible scurry, just no time to do my morning writing.

I still got up, made the bed, did my other normal routines, got dressed, had breakfast, fed the cats inside and out and threw lunch and coffee fixings in my messenger bag.

That was the other thing, no time to make a pot of coffee.

Which is sad, but was necessary.

I dashed out the door with my bag full of food–lunch, dinner, and snack, notebook, extra almond milk for the eventual coffee, phone, two bike locks, keys.

I wheeled onto International Ave, blew one red light and then, no I did not slow down, but I slowed down.  I realized that getting there timely was not as important as getting there in one piece.

The world would not end if I was a few minutes late, but if I sped through too many intersections in my journey to be a perfect nanny, always on time, if not just a few minutes early, then my world may well come to an end.

I have too much to live for and have not come even close to doing it all yet for that.

I slowed my roll.

Not during the riding, but at every intersection, even putting my foot down to signal a stop at a few places.  Some intersections, yes, I rolled through, but I looked both ways and did it cautiously.  Some intersections I did not want to stop and settle waiting for the light, not as I was needing to be speedy, I was needing to keep my eye contact discreet.

There was some heavy dealing and prostituting going on this morning.

I thought maybe it was some residual left over from the long weekend, but damn Gina, it’s now Wednesday.  Time to slow your roll.

These are decisions, however, that have nothing to do with me and as I will continue to commute through these neighborhoods I don’t need to be casting a judging eye on what the populace is doing for work.

None of my business.

I am an observer though, and sometimes I cannot help but observe and sometimes my brain provides me with a funny soundtrack to go along with said observations.

“Not my choice of clothes for a morning stroll,” tight cheetah leggings and red broke down flip-flops.

“Welcome to the Friendly Manor,” read the sign, “a scary place to live,” my brain added as I rode past the number of drug deals going down, it was hopping at 10:30 a.m. around the shopping cart full of glass bottles.

It was cracking for sure.

“Not need to worry about being late,” my brain added as I arrived, four minutes early, tucked in my bike and went into the house.  Mom was taking care of business, dad was still in bathrobe and slippers and the little monkey was wearing, yes, monkey pajamas and eating scrambled “eggies”.

God I love this kid.

I have a thing for super smart little girls.

They make me happy to be a nanny.

Oh, I love my boys too, don’t get me wrong.

But I feel I have gotten to work with a couple of extraordinarily bright little ladies and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their little girl lives.

Today mom was working from home for part of the day and suggested we take the car and go up to Little Farm.

Little Farm!


I was stoked at the idea, it had been awhile since I had gone and it would be a fun little field trip and a chance to be outside with one little monkey instead of three.  Plus, I felt a remiss for not having as much interaction with the little lady as I normally do, juggling three babies is not the most optimal for quality time.

It was just maintaining time yesterday.

So, we took the car and headed up in the Berkeley Hills to Tilden Park.

Little Farm really is just that, a miniature farm in the middle of the park.

Cows, goats, chickens, a couple of geese, a hutch of bunnies, a children’s garden, rams, pigs.  You are allowed to feed the animals, only celery and lettuce, but you get to interact and it is designed to let children get close to the animals.

My girl even got close enough to pet a cow.

Which peed instantaneously, I saw it coming before it hit the ground and was able to avoid the splatter, but man that was close.

The pitfalls of nannydom are that often times you will find yourself doused with urine or poo or mashed carrots on your tights or smashed Cheerios in your bra, or sand!  I have had sand in the bra a few times.

But I was not ready to have cow urine added to the list.

I danced nimbly away and we finished our visit by feeding the last of the celery to the long-tongued brown cows in a nearby pen.

It was a great field trip and she fell asleep promptly in the car.

I got lucky, she still went down for a nap and I also got a late message from the mom of the little boy they do a nanny share with, who said, no coverage needed today, see you tomorrow.

I wasn’t even miffed at the loss of pay, I was relieved actually, to have a nap time that was actually a restful time for me.

I reviewed some e-mails for my friend’s business, made some phone calls, and yes, even took a call from a friend over a very late in the day cup of coffee on the back porch in the sunshine.

It was a long day for me, worked a few extra hours to help out the mom who is busy with work, but it felt like a breeze after yesterday.

So much so, I actually still took her to the park after her nap.

The sun was out and I wanted to be outside in it.

I feel like my body is still recovering from the three baby fest of yesterday, but it was helped along by an “easy day” and I am grateful to be done with my blog, showered (I did not get cow urine on me, but the ladybug did douse me anyhow), and laundry ready to swap over to the dryer.

Heck, I might even watch an episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

Hold the commentary, my brain has already provided it.



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