August 2006


I have to make up my mind now. I got home from NY today. The interview(s) went well. I got offered the job. I told them I’d let them know by Wednesday what my decision is. The kids are absolutely precious. They are nine months apart and are both four at the moment. I’ll call them Sally and Conrad (from the Cat in the Hat) because they are cute and blonde and look like twins. They are sweet and very affectionate and relatively well mannered and compared to Bunny they’re a piece of cake. The current nanny is super nice and she was such a huge help the last couple of days. She really helped me get the gist of what I’d be doing and she spoke honestly about the ups and downs of working for the family. So far my two biggest hang ups are #1 leaving Bunny and Buddha. #2 The Mom. Sally and Conrad’s mom, that is, not Mrs. P. I know I bitch and moan about Mrs. P because she’s a micro-managing, super anxious control freak, but this mom? Is Mrs. P squared, plus a British accent and a shitload of money. She’s terse and stony and not terribly affable. More than that though, I don’t know how I feel about working for someone who doesn’t appreciate her own kids. The children are IVF babies. These parents went out of their way to create them and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay separate surrogates to carry them and while the mother professes her devotion and insists that they are her world, she has not once been their primary caregiver. They had nurses since the day they were born and have full-time nannies after them. She literally spends close to $50,000 a year paying other people to raise her children. And even though she’s educated and polite and kind, I just don’t know if I can handle or respect a person who doesn’t value spending time with her own kids. Because as obnoxious as Mrs. P is to deal with sometimes, I have never once doubted her devotion to her kids. But this lady? I just don’t know. It’s as though these kids are an accessory to be brought out on special occasions. Something that Conrad said really boiled down the situation. He asked me who was taking care of my children while I was visiting them. Their nanny explained that just like sometimes his mother takes care of him when she’s away, my kids’ parents were taking care of them while I was gone.
He nodded his head, understanding.
It made sense … but I was floored.
He lives in a world where parents are abstract figures. Where his mother only takes care of him when the nanny is unavailable. He doesn’t know anything different. I just don’t know if I want to be a part of that world as well.


I hung out with the Musketeers today while their parents attended an orientation meeting for Athos’ Kindergarten. Porthos had a bit of a meltdown during dinner so while I was off dealing with him, Athos took it upon himself to serve himself a lot more food. And by a lot I mean, he filled his entire plate with pasta and peas and then began grating himself parmesian in addition to quite a bit of watermelon.

Me: Seconds huh?
Athos: Yeah.
Me: Wow, you must be hungry.
Athos: Mhhh hmm.
Me: That’s a lot of food.
Athos: Yeah.
Me: You really think you can eat all of that?
Athos: Oh yeah.
Me: Okay
Athos: I really want to grow tonight.
Me: Oh … I see.
Athos: Yeah. *muttering* I’m in kindergarten now. Yeah … I’m really gonna grow. Definitely.

Such conviction.

My best friend Ellie got home on Sunday. Now Ellie is the tantamount girl scout. She’s a jack of all trades. An expert on basically everything. But breasts are her specialty. We were watching a movie last night when she turned to me and muttered
“Your bra doesn’t fit.”
“I know.” I sighed. I’ve been in denial about my bras thinking if I just drop a few lbs, they will fit again.
“We’re going shopping tomorrow.” She informed me and since I needed to buy a nice outfit for my impending interview I agreed. And so we resumed our movie watching.
Ellie has had breasts since as long as I can remember. She was one of the first kids to ever get a training bra and in highschool when I was barely a B, she would lecture me, insisting that I not complain about my chest for she was cursed with the opposite problem. Now Ellie has enormous breasts. And by enormous, I really do me large. She currently wears a 42 DDD and must purchase them at Lane Bryant because nothing else will fit her right. She’s an expert on breasts and bras, so I generally trusted her to lead me in the right direction. What was the first thing we did? Get fitted.
I am a 36 D.
36 D.
36 D.
36 D.
My world came crashing down and suddenly things started making sense. Riding horseback and wincing every time we pranced particularly quickly. Buddha constantly trying to nurse from me. Children who fall asleep on my chest. Men who stare at what I used to think were my witty t-shirts. My brother complaining that I stretched out his t-shirt. My inability to sleep on my belly comfortably. All of it suddenly came together.
I don’t know when the hell that happened but I blame Ellie.
Her breasts are contagious.

Things are really progressing fast. I’m heading to NY this coming Friday. I’m excited and nervous. The parents are an uber-wealthy, high-powered couple and I’m definitely intimidated. I knew they were fairly affluent to begin with. Hell, anyone who can afford to pay upwards of $30,000 a year on chilcare can be considered well-to-do, but I didn’t realize just quite how rich they actually are. And boy are they ever. The father is a businessman, which is really all I can say without revealing his identity. The mother is the president of a very large real estate company in the Northeast. They own two homes in the New York area and have a private plane with which they travel to and from their various abodes. The children, who are four and almost five attend an incredibly elite preschool and are pretty much already on their ivy league journey. I have absolutely no idea how to handle people like that. Dr. Doormat and Mrs. P, while not poor by any means, don’t have a fraction of the money that these people do. So I’m terrified. Scared that I’ll commit some serious social faux pas, that I simply won’t be sophisticated, smart, pretty etc. enough for such a family. That even if they do like me, I won’t know how to fit into such a foreign world. I feel like awkward Alice, trying to play croquet with a freaking flamingo knowing all the while that if she screws up she’ll be beheaded. Except that I’m being incredibly overdramatic and I know it. So I just have to keep reminding myself that while this job would be a great opportunity, I don’t need it, persay. If this whole thing goes to pot, I still have Buddha and Bunny … and my head.

I remember in highschool I took a Communication Arts class and we spent a good week covering the right way to behave in a job interview. I remember acing that class. But that’s about all I remember. I’m hoping some of it comes back to me because it looks like I’m headed for New York. The family that I’ve been corresponding with while I was away wants to fly me out for an interview. Eeek. I’m way excited. And super scared. Now I can be incredibly charming when I want to be but this interview is freaking me out. Maybe it’s because I make it a point to try not to care what people think of me and getting interviewed is precisely that – being judged. Yuck. Anyway, the current nanny sounds ridiculously perfect and I know that she is very loved so I’m a bit intimidated about filling her shoes. Furthermore, the mother happens to be British and sounds very prim and proper. And while I’m no stranger to particular mothers, she does have very specific ways of controlling her children’s lives. I hope I can pick up on her eccentricities fast enough. I know I can handle this job. Alright, alright, I’m pretty sure I can handle this job. The trick is convincing them that I can handle it. And so, I’m being thrust back to highschool, trying to make the popular kids love me at a new school. Generally though, isn’t that what job interviews are all about though? They’re just as much a test on social prowess as job skill. So, I guess I should really do some laundry because it looks like I’m going to be packing my bags for the third time this summer.

This video had me laughing my ass off. It reminds me of Buddha and his voracious appetite.

I feel horribly guilty. As I’m whining about missing Buddha, I’m also looking for a way out. I love my job. I really do. I get paid to play for cripe’s sake! And I love those little ones more than I ever thought humanly possible. But I need more than that now. And I’m currently being interviewed for a nanny job in New York that has health benefits and use of a car as well as a 50% raise from what I’m currently earning now. The fact is, ten dollars an hour is crap. What’s horrible is, I know that some people literally live on half of that. But I’m working my ass off being mom to these children, being a marital buffer to the parents and not earning nearly enough to pay the bills and actually have any spending money. This job would not only give me a change of scenery but I’d get a lot more perks as well. But I’m torn. All of my babies are here. My parents still live here. And while I do like to pretend to be a tough-ass, independent chick, I do occasionally enjoy having my mommy take care of me. I figure, I spend my days taking care of other people’s children, I deserve to go home and get a little TLC of my own. Furthermore, I just don’t know how I could handle being away from my little Buddha. I overly gush, I know, but I truly love that child. Also, I shudder to think how neurotic he’ll be by his first birthday if he spends too much time with his mother. I know they say they “need” me but I also know they are far more capable of child rearing than they think. And if they do absolutely need a replacement, I’m sure my sister will gladly take over. She wouldn’t be able to fulfill as many hours as I do because of her school schedule but it’d be enough to keep Mrs. P on this side of insanity. Yes, they’d be sad but they’d get over it. They were parents before me and than can be parents again, once I leave. If I took this job though, I’d have to leave the first week of September, which means I’d miss Bunny’s fifth birthday and then Buddha’s first in October. I’ve been working on elaborate birthday presents for the both of them for months now. I can’t imagine not being there to celebrate with them. And it’s New York! I lived there for two years a decade ago. I hardly remember it and while I do have a bit of extended family in the city, I would be, for all intents and purposes, alone. By myself. For the first time in really, forever. And that’s scary. A lot scarier than I’d like to admit, actually. So I’m stuck. Vacillating endlessly. But the deadline is looming. Should I or should I not take this job? Should I stay here with the family I adore (and occasionally detest) earning the same old paycheck, constantly driving on a nearly empty tank of gas or should I go, take a risk, be independant and see if this new opportunity could work out?
Boy do I miss the days when things were either good or bad. You either made a right choice or a wrong choice.
But alas, I have two choices in front of me now. The proverbial fork in the road. And I’m sitting right in the middle, unsure of where to go. One moment I’m sure I want to go to NY and the next I’m cowering at the idea. I just. Don’t. Know.
And I’m beginning to realize that I’m much better at taking care of other people’s children than I am at taking care of myself.
Growing up sucks.