One of the hazards of being a nanny is finding out (unintentionally of course) about family secrets and dirty laundry. Most of the time I keep this info to myself but I’ve recently stumbled upon something that could be something or could be nothing and I don’t know what do about it. Part of Mrs. Winifred’s (formerly Mrs. Pinochet) extensive neuroses stem, I’m sure, from her incredibly critical family. I’ve only had the displeasure of meeting her sister on a few occasions but from what I’ve garnered from Dr. Doormat and from bits and pieces of conversations is that her family is very intense and harsh. That being said, I should add that in addition to her being a very attractive woman in her early forties (you didn’t hear that from me) she is/was a social worker. Anytime I so much as show up with a frown on my face she makes sure everything is alright at home. On the one hand, I’m touched that she bothers to notice and ask, but on the other hand, it makes for very difficult, tedious and altogether worthless and uncomfortable conversations. I have a shrink, thank you very much, I don’t need to work for one as well. In any event, she likes to be involved and likes to think that she knows what’s going on in my life. (Oh if only she knew.) So when I got back from NY and saw how skinny she was, I chalked it up to the ulcer that she was just diagnosed with. Except that the more I think about it, the more I see some serious signs of some body image issues. Mrs. Winifred is anything but fat. Even when she was nine months pregnant, I probably weighed more than her. And she had a flat belly within weeks of giving birth. But as I was folding laundry the other day, it dawned on me that she’s gone from a size 6/8 to a 2/4 in the past six months or so. Her arms, though always toned are incredibly gaunt looking and the bones in her chest are visible underneath her skin. Her jeans look like they’re about to fall off of her. Even her lycra yoga pants are loose and baggy. As I was thinking about this, I started mentally slapping myself. I’m probably just jealous that she’s lost some weight when I’ve gained some. (Thank you risperdal, thank you! As if the lactation wasn’t bad enough.) I’m probably just projecting right? Except that she spent three hours at the gym this morning and later today when she was reading a fashion magazine she went on a tirade against ‘skinny jeans’ and how nobody except Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins can possibly look good in them. I just nodded and agreed but honestly? She’s probably one of the few people who would look good in them. She’s tiny! Itty bitty. The only thing that’s remotely large on her are her breasts. But she’s nursing! And even then, I have her beat with my 36 Ds. And then another thing clicked. They’re going to visit her family in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. Her incredibly critical and overly harsh family. And I remembered that the last two times they were going to visit she upped her gym hours as well. So I’m really torn. Is it the result of her ulcer and the subsequently restricted diet or is there more to this weightloss? Could she be on the verge (or in the midst) of an eating disorder? Because either way, she really seems to have no idea about how thin she’s gotten. And there’s no way I can count on Dr. Doormat to take notice. He’s a brilliant doctor but he seems to turn it off when he gets home. This is the same man who didn’t realize his four year old had pink eye until I suspected it and brought it up. So I don’t know what to do. Should I mind my own business and just focus on the kids? They, not her, are my job, afterall. Or should I approach her with my concerns and risk offending her and/or making an ass of myself? Is bringing it up worth the potential fall-out if I’m wrong? Or hell, even if I’m right? I just don’t know.

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