Oh, What a Week!

What an intense few days it has been. A lot of catching up with real life since Esteban and his parents both left on Tuesday and a lot of nanny drama. You might be wondering why I don’t just fire the nanny, get a new one and get on with it or maybe you know that the relationship with the person who takes care of your children, especially your preverbal baby, is a very complicated one. There is a lot of expectation, a lot of trust, a lot of effort put into building the relationship. As a mom, I want what every mom wants – that whoever is with my kids when I can’t be there will take care of them as if they were their own. Of course, this is often impossible, and the complex drama begins.

I have been interviewing people (not easy to carve out the time since our nanny is always there) and haven’t yet found the person I feel the magic click with, like I did with Violeta, our amazing nanny of six years in Washington, DC. But I keep searching.

I have also been having a series of hard conversations with our current nanny. Yesterday, I quietly “lost it” when I found out that she hadn’t yet called about having our terrace glass door fixed despite my asking her to do it numerous times. You might remember that our nanny is also our landlord, which further complicates matters. Our door has been broken since we moved in and we have just kept it locked, or so we thought, and never used it (this all because I gave up trying to get her to fix it months ago). Well, last week when, when Esteban and his parents found themselves locked out of the house, they tried the glass door and realized that it was no longer locking. None of us feel comfortable sleeping with an unlocked door. I asked Ana Maria to get it fixed. We are paying pretty high rent for the area and having doors that lock seem like a basic requirement for a house.

OK, so here we were a week later and nothing had been done. I told her a few days ago that she has to call and put aside money from her paycheck to cover the cost of fixing the door. She said she would do it so that they would come on Thursday (today), yet I wasn’t surprised when I asked her yesterday what time they were coming to fix the door and she replied, “I haven’t called yet. I was waiting to borrow your phone.”

I was pissed. The proverbial cup runeth over. All the frustrations of the past couple of months just came together, and I said,” I am really tired of having to be on top of you for everything and things not getting done.”

To which she replied, “Well, I have had a million things on my mind.”

Hello? Does she have any concept of what it means to work? I am her boss. I don’t want excuses that she has had a million things on her mind. We all have a million things on our minds and yet, we need to get our work done. I just couldn’t and to be honest, didn’t want to, hold back. I told her everything I have been thinking over the past couple of months, from her lack of energy and initiative to lack of follow through. She made lots of excuses, “I do sing to the baby and put on music just not when you can hear it or when Claudia is here or when the older girls are here” and “you only see the negative things that I do, not the positive. I pay your house bills for you because I know it would make your life easier.”

Yes, it’s true and I compensate her for her time and say thank you. I appreciate it. And yet, it doesn’t make up for not playing with Saige or talking to her or singing with her (when she loves it) and drawing with her. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that it was not a good conversation.

We had another conversation today. It was calm and very honest. I talked and got everything off my chest, right down to the changes I see in her daughter becoming a teenager before her time and my concern about this influence. She shared with me very honestly about how she doesn’t really feel comfortable in the world of adults but she does feel very happy with Saige and she sees Saige as very happy (this is true! Saige is a happy baby/toddler!) She didn’t really have an answer for the lack of follow-through. She also told me that she finds it hard to organize her thoughts about herself and talk about them and asked if she could write me a letter. Fair enough. I would be happy to read it and know what’s going on inside her head.

Meanwhile, I am feeling that I would like to be spending more time with Saige. She is growing up so fast and she is so cute and I feel like I have so little time alone with her. I figure that if I spend two mornings a week with her and they go to the little nursery school three mornings a week (Saige loves nursery school by the way!), then Saige won’t actually be spending all that much time alone with the nanny. As I write this, it sounds ludicrous even to me. I am paying for a nanny who I don’t want to have spending much time alone with my child. But to be fair, it’s not because she hurts her in any way, but because she doesn’t really do much with her. She is however, good at the basics – getting her dressed, getting her to school and keeping an eye on her there, putting her down for a nap, playing at the park.

Ughh, are you as sick of reading about this as I am of writing about it? I am just way too wrapped up in it all. That’s my challenge of being a highly sensitive person and having somebody I have a conflict with in my space all the time. I need to get some distance and perspective here. Any thoughts on all this? Your feedback, dear friends, would be highly appreciated.

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