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Jewish Journal

Do Nannies Have Nannies?

by Mihal Levy

July 28, 2010 | 11:00 am

I can understand the concept of a nanny when there is no other choice, but when there is one it just seems a little too much.  A few days ago, I encountered another one of these “situations” and again I was horrified, or better yet: nannified.

There I was with my son again at the Lego store in Glendale.  My son was building a Lego wonderland at one of the play stations when out of nowhere appeared two well-behaved boys (less than one year old and probably a little over two years old) who began playing alongside my son.  Soon after the boys came in, a woman followed who I thought was their mother (I never know these things; I just assume that once in a while one can witness children with their mother at the mall), and I wasn’t disappointed because right behind THAT woman was Jamba Juice-sipping, Urban Outfitters bag-carrying mother.

The nanny quickly rushed to watch the boys play alongside my son.  The boys’ mom took a seat at one of the Lego stations searching her Blackberry and sipping her juice.  The nanny looked tired trying to keep both boys from fighting with each other over the Lego pieces.  All of a sudden, mom walked over to the nanny.  “Did you feed them their peanut butter sandwiches?”  The nanny responded that she hadn’t yet, because she hasn’t had time and thought it would be better for them to eat after they played.  The mom responded casually with an “Okay, whatever you think is best.”  And explained to the nanny that she would be sitting outside of the store because she couldn’t handle all the noise.  All the noise? There were a total of three children in the entire store (my son and the two boys) who were playing quietly and building.

The nanny smiled at the mom.  “Sure,” she said.  “Please relax.”  But her smile soon faded after mommy turned and walked outside.  I glanced over at the nanny and smiled.  She did not smile back. I could not imagine what was going through her mind.  (I really wanted to know.)  The mother came back a few moments later and asked the nanny, “Do you think they have played long enough?” The nanny responded that they needed some more time to play.  WIthout saying a word, almost robotically, Mom walked back out of the store.

There was never any interaction between Mom and the boys, not even a mere “hello” or hug.  Mom was in her own world of crushed frozen fruit, apparently.  The nanny looked tired and angry. Was it really necessary to bring a nanny along to the mall?  Could she not have had the day off since Mom was around with time to assume responsibility?  And why was it necessary to even have kids that you have someone else look after?  I couldn’t understand.  I never really get it.  Why have a nanny if Mom is around?  When does Mom get her duties back and nanny gets the day off?

If moms have nannies when they don’t really need one, shouldn’t nannies have nannies when they do?  I never see moms with their children in public any more.  Am I the only one?  Just then, my thoughts were interrupted as the nanny was leaving and glanced over my way, “We have a tough job, us nannies.  Don’t we?”  I guess that answered my question.

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