Ever wonder if you are the parent you think you are? I dont have to wonder so much anymore. Turns out I have some work to do.
Our nanny, Maria, lives with us, in the basement "au pair suite". Which is basically a decked out brand new top of the line pad complete with mutiple rooms, a full kitchen, granite counters and travertine floors. Meanwhile "my" kitchen is 1988's finest, including oak cabinets and laminate counters. But I digress, I can be jealous of the nanny later. Anyway, one of the nice things about my nanny being a live in is that she is a clean freak. So it's sort of a two-in-one, nanny and housekeeper. She is constantly straightening and washing and waxing and all sorts of clean-frenzy activities. I can carefully observe her full range of skills as I lounge on the couch reading the newspaper. Ah, I know, I sound like a "rhymes with witch" but she loves cleaning we couldnt stop her if we tried. Not that we did.
My son loves the nanny. But will drop her like yesterdays news at the first sign of mommy or daddy. He is close to her, but doesnt ask for her when we are around. It's a good sign. He still likes us best.
Occassionally our nanny leaves to go stay with friends over the weekend, as she did this weekend. On Sunday, my son was wrecking havoc in the family room and toys were strewn everywhere as if there had been a massive toy box explosion (or, as in this case, a two year old boy on the loose). As it got closer to bath time, I looked at the mayhem and sighed, it never gets quite this bad with the nanny around. Maybe Jack is neater on weekdays. Then I thought of my friend recently saying how their children put away all their toys every night before bed. So I said (in a stern parental I-aint-kidding manner), "Jack, I want you to clean up this mess and put all the toys away before your bath".
Jack paused and his eyes swept the length of the playroom. He too seemed concerned with the level of destruction and the fact that it was now between him and his bath. He looked at me, and straining for a casual innocence, said "Where's Maria?".