I’d like to start by saying we are not rich… far from it. Months before Lou was born, six months actually, we started calling baby care centers in our area. Every single one was full. Every one. They were full until 2013 or 2014… It was crazy. We were on a waiting list at our church but no openings became available… so, we went to care.com and started to search for a nanny. We were surprised to find that having a nanny in our home was actually cheaper than most of the baby care centers we called. I started to plan… and the more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea of having Lou at home. We interviewed, we hired.
Our first nanny… let’s call her “Julie” was nice but preoccupied. She claimed to be in a Jesus based youth group that volunteered on missions to disaster areas. She stated she had just come back from Japan and was planning on going back in a few months and would never return to Kansas City again. We agreed to have her for a short time while we interviewed other nannies. She had good references, and seemed like a caring child provider (when we hired her). After she started she was reading the Bible and studying Japanese more than watching our baby… She also left garbage all over the house; we are talking dirty Kleenex and candy bar wrappers. In addition to the mess Lou started to get rashes and she stopped sleeping at night… probably due to the fact that she slept all day. Our baby had never used pacifiers and now suddenly couldn’t go 5 minutes without one. Julie was ignoring our baby and putting her to sleep while she studied. Then we found a nanny to replace Julie and Julie was off to Japan… or so we thought. We recently saw Julie at Costco, in town not in Japan… Obviously some lies were told.
Anyway, our new nanny was perfect. We will call her “Maria.” Maria had obviously been around babies before. She cooked and cleaned up after herself. She was good with our baby. She planned activities and even planned play dates with other kids once a week. She was dependable. She was our nanny for eight months. Lou ran in excitement to the door every morning Maria came. Unfortunately, Maria had unexpected family issues that forced her to leave the nanny position. We were very upset to lose Maria and we know Lou loved her very much. However, Maria called in “sick” the last two days she was scheduled… making up stories of Flu and food poisoning… or maybe she just had the worst week ever. I don’t know.
Well, when Maria left, we starting interviewing… and then the weirdoes really started coming out. We had a man apply and his cover letter stated he really needed this job to help pay off his student loans from community college… we had a yoga teacher apply that had just gotten back from a mission trip in Mexico… After a week of emails back-and-forth she never showed up to the interview or emailed again. We had a young woman that was very large, large enough to need a walker to walk. She insisted she was quick on her feet… We had someone that gave us a long list of references, each one a disconnected number. There was a woman that knew the exact number of days it had been since her last drink and cigarette… which I have recently been informed means she completed AA… and while I am very happy for her, this job isn’t just a job to us; it involves caring for the most precious and tiny baby, and she is our life… so if I was hiring in a corporate setting I would be more PC but this is my daughter and our home… and I can honestly plead ignorance because at the time of the interview I had no idea this was an AA requirement, however I still felt it was a red flag. Anyway, we had several other odd balls… we decided on a girl that was moving here from IL, let’s call her Lacy. She had been a nanny for a family for two years. She had good references. She seemed pleasant over Skype… Then she started.
First day went smoothly. No issues. Baby Lou seemed to like her, but babies like most young girls… at least I think they do… Well, day 2 baby has a poo diaper and all hell breaks loose. She starts texting me about it… and then she asks me what to do. She doesn’t want to touch the poo. She can’t handle the cloth diapers. She says there is poo everywhere. She says it’s like a bomb went off. Lacy is losing her damn mind over something that I change 3-4 times a day. When I’m able to assess the damage, there is poo smeared all over our bathroom…all over our trash can… all over the changing table and half a box of wipes are gone. Lacy defends herself stating that she knows what to expect now, and then she said (I’m not joking here)… She was hoping when she took the job not to have to change any poo diapers and she thought because the first day Lou didn’t have a poo that maybe the baby would poo outside of her work schedule. So, Lacy is crazy. I buy some green disposable diapers for her because she can’t handle the cloth diapers we’ve been using for 15 months now… and then the nap problems. Lou won’t sleep with Lacy in the house. Lacy doesn’t sooth her for naps but instead puts her in the crib and while Lou is still there standing she shuts the door and of course Lou is standing there crying like what the heck is going on. Lacy also doesn’t cook… and in cook I mean heat up the already prepared food for Lou’s lunch. So, it’s not working out but it has only been four days. After discussing all this with my husband we decide to spend more time with her and try to see if we can help her understand our expectations… right after this discussion Lacy text messages me that she is quitting. She states she does not have the patience to work with babies.
Great. So here we are. We are tired of interviewing nuts… we are tired of opening our home to strangers and we decide we are putting Lou in baby care at our church. This isn’t an impulsive decision, during the holiday we did a tour of the facility and met the teachers. She starts next week. I’m upset. I feel like I’ve failed her. I had so many great things planned for the summer, all involving a nanny… book clubs and spray parks. I’m not someone that rolls with the punches. I have to have plans and I have to reevaluate the same plans over and over and obsessively loop on things… that’s me. So this is unraveling all my assumptions of how her infancy was supposed to go… I’m a total mess right now. I know next week I will have some relief knowing Lou is with professionals but I will also have a lot of sadness knowing my plans disintegrated. I am worried about her interacting with other kids… kids with contagious illness… or lice… I am worried about her naps… will she even sleep out of her own crib… will she miss her room, her things… will her vegetarian diet be an issue. I’m worried about a lot of things but I am not worried about the staff. Her teacher is great so there is peace in knowing at least one thing is going to work out… I hope.