It would seem that I have still not learned from mistakes as we move onto Nanny Number Four whom I will refer to as Mary-Lou*, interviewed out of three hopeful candidates I went against my gut instinct and hired her on the recommendation of her peers. We moved on and our lives changed – we moved upward and forward in my spouses career stakes and I decided to fully embrace the label of Stay At Home Mom and Lady of Leisure (from now on will be shorted to LOL because it really does make me want to lol at the thought of being a LOL) with the making of more money the opportunity arose for us to get a Nanny – which would increase the chance of being able to wear the coveted label of LOL. Again.
I’d stopped working and was looking forward to a sabbatical since I’d been working since I was 16 – I thought a little hiatus was in order. The Youngest was a year old and The Eldest was just starting some more formal schooling so the idea was that I’d be there in the afternoons and in the mornings for a few hours every day I could live the life that all us Stay At Home Mommies believe we should be living. I signed up for Yoga classes three times a week, I filled up my calender with seeing friends (other LOL’s) in the mornings for coffee at delightful little child unfriendly tea gardens, art galleries and antique shoppes. I did work every now and then but it was from home and for as little money as possible – but that’s a different blog post.
Of course to maintain this lifestyle a yearling would cramp my style while I was in downward facing dog so I decided to employ a woman who was younger and needed a hand up in life. The money that I would pay her would surely give her more opportunities. She wasn’t interested in completing her schooling or obtaining a drivers license (in future – this not wanting to learn is a red flag for future employees). the Youngest seemed to take to her (turns out he’ll take to anyone). It didn’t start well – on the first day of her employ the woman got lost on her way to my house – she was found wondering around the gated village weeping, ushered into my home I made her a cup of sugary tea and asked her if she would still be ok to unpack the dishwasher – she said she’d be fine after a cigarette. With only one slightly raised eyebrow I said, “Outside” – one wouldn’t want a nicotine slave weeping because of the trauma of being lost and not being able to get her ‘fix’. Unfortunately this set a pattern. She would arrive every morning and have a smoke on the stoep before coming in to help herself to some breakfast and then she’d finally get to unloading the dishwasher and straightening the beds.
Bless the Youngest – he would sleep for at least and hour and a half every morning, ample time for Mary Lou to catch up on her soaps while she swept the dirt under the carpets and rugs (the vacuum cleaner would make too much noise while her show was on). I would be dropping off the Eldest at school and hitting the mat for the first 2 hours of the day and then I’d come home to
catch up on correspondence do my nails and write my novel play on facebook. And everyday that I would be home around 10 am something would be out of whack. Obviously my nail painting habits were something that set an example – Mary Lou would sport the same colour manicure and pedicure one day and the next it would be the Youngest (whom I have no issue with being decorated – it’s just that I would like to do the decorating). She would say it was because he really really wanted to have Vixen coloured – toenails. He’s a boy, they only speak in sounds until they’re 3 years old but clearly she understood his requests better than I did. I did ask her not to do it again – I don’t think Vixen suited his complexion, he’s more of a Mud and Slime.
Then the housework began to fall further and further by the way side – with her salary in full swing she could afford to Mxit and play on her cellphone while she smoked up half a pack a morning. I found myself tidying up and washing floors like a maniac in the afternoons so that my home looked like a LOL lived there. It was not working. My plan was flawed and I had an inability to ‘let her go’ because then how would I get to yoga and my real life social life? Besides the Youngest was well taken care of – he had a minder that understood his desires for nail varnish – what more could a boy want?
That is until the day I got home and discovered a half glass of my favourite dry white on the counter above the dishwasher – that’s not like me – I thought – I usually finish all my wine. So I asked, “What’s this glass of wine doing here?”
“Oh,” she responded, “I was thirsty”.
It’s 10 am I thought – I have so many other beverages in my house. “Tea, coffee, juice, milk, coca cola, good old fashioned water? None of those seemed suitable?” I asked
“I don’t drink hot drinks, I thought the juice was only for the children, I’m slightly lactose intolerant and coca cola makes me gassy.” she explained.
“Wine makes you drunk. Which you can’t be while you’re in my employ and looking after the Youngest.” I politely pointed out.
“I wasn’t going to have more than one glass.” She justified.
“And you won’t even finish that one or have another sip in my home ever again.” I sighed as I poured my Hidden Cellar Sauvignon Blanc down the drain.
That was 2 weeks before I fired her – yes, she lasted another 2 weeks. It was only one transgression – it hadn’t affected the youngest. I locked away ALL the booze and marked the bottles. I gave a fellow human being the benefit of the doubt. Bummer for me. My judgement on her drinking habits must have had her a little miffed as she didn’t come to work on time ever again. In those two weeks I think I went to yoga once because of her inability to use a time piece I would have the Youngest with me on the school run and he didn’t love meditating as much as I did we would go home and I’d leave him in her supervised charge while I continued to hammer out some more
work on the novel playing on facebook. The last day of her employment she did arrive on time and that’s where I got the opportunity to escape early, dropped the Eldest off at school – 12km to the premises, it would have been faster to walk since the traffic held us up for more than 45 mins – nonetheless, today I was on time for yoga (yay me). Stretching all the stress away I arrive home at my usual 10 am to find the Youngest weeping mucussly around his dummy being agressively bounced on the knee of a pouting Mary Lou.
“oh, my poor boy, why are you so sad?” As I drew him up into my arms, ‘Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
‘Why isn’t he sleeping Mary Lou?’ I inquire.
“He hasn’t eaten yet” her sullen response speaking volumes.
“Why hasn’t he eaten yet?” I feel the blood rise behind my eyes as I bite the words out of my mouth.
“You didn’t tell me what to feed him”. She muttered, her eyes dead in her head.
I don’t recall her face or actions as I had now reached Bezerker in rage at the thought that the Youngest had been deprived of food to the point that he was crying.
“What? Bloody what? You’ve been feeding him 5 days a week for the last 6 months, some days he has cereal, some days he has an egg, some days he has bovril toast, some days he has yoghurt with banana and a strawberry’ I shrilly listed until I realised there was no point.
‘Fecking What The Feck?! GET OUT!!! GET!” – with a crying baby on my hip I slammed the door on her heel as she slumped out of my front door.
I haven’t seen her since. I don’t want to. I’m still angry. Not only with her, with myself too.
*names have been changed