Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Nanny notes (London, New York) - How much jelly? She did a poo where?

The humourous nanny tale I'm about to recall is one that relates to poo - of course. Let's face it, poo is hilarious at the best of times. I seem to have countless tales involving the delightful matter. But only one from NY. And then it's not NYC, it's out on Long Island. In the Hamptons. East Hampton to be exact. Could it get any posher one wonders? East Hampton and poo I hear you gasp? Here goes:

I was nannying for the summer out in East Hampton. It was a tough job and one that stretched my patience in a way that I'd never known possible. (I didn't have my own kids then). Anyway, the two children -let's call them Peter (6) and Luisa (3) had absolutely everything that they could possibly want; except for any boundaries that is. And we all know that a child without any rules in place is one that feels insecure and that this insecurity often plays out in bad behaviour. 

I first realised my charges were going to be a challenge when I went to visit the Tower of London with them. At lunchtime we went in to the restaurant and the three-year-old demanded every single type of jelly available. And mum, harassed by the tantrum, immediately and robotically, placed six bowls of jelly on to two trays. Of course, Luisa didn't touch any of it. And it was then, literally hours before I was due to fly Stateside with them, that the horrors of what I had signed up for, dawned on me. Anyway, we join the story, while staying at the family's summer house, a few weeks in to the job. We'd been out for the evening...

East Hampton 2003

Been to the circus this evening. It is so sad that something that is supposed to be so full of fun has to turn in to a full blown row at every opportunity for these kids. They constantly fight their mother to see if they can win control of each and every battle, big or small. 

Anyway, the circus. Thank God there were no mangy looking animals. Only some very mangy looking cats, but that's okay, 'cause they're only cats.(Cat lovers I do apologise). The only other animals present were horses, and if anything, they all looked content. Or as content as horses ever look. 

So fortunately it lacked in animals. There were trapeze artists, clowns, a tight rope walker, and, as in all of the best circus stories, a ring master complete with black top hat and red tails.

There was a lady who swung from the enormous sky that is the 'big top' by her hair, and many gymnasts who sprung up and stood on top of one another, before tumbling down again at surprisingly super speed.

Then, the piece de resistance: and by far the ultimate show stopper, a human cannon ball! No joke, a woman was fired right across the ring. She seemed okay.

In short, I really enjoyed the circus! So did Peter. Luisa liked the candy floss.

The kids got the biggest balloons ever, which just happened to be on the end of long sticks, perfect for eye flicking. I managed to conveniently leave them in the back of the car. The children had their faces painted. Such fun...

Their mom's been feeling guilty for being away for two days so she told the children that they could keep the paint on forever, that they could sleep in the face paint. I ask you. Was she serious? I don't know? Probably, what's money - another set of bed sheets in exchange for saying no? Much easier all round.

Many other nanny tales of tantrums later we were home again, but not before stopping on the side of the road for Luisa who was yelling violently that she needed the toilet. We had to stop. Imagine my surprise as holding her legs in the air behind the car, she swiftly produces a poo. In East Hampton. Where the perfect grass verge meets the perfect road. Where there are no gutters because there is absolutely nothing poor or squalid about the environment that exists here. That was amusing!

Bath time was only successful after telling the children I would buy them some face paints to use again and again during the daytime. In the end, Mom thought this was a good decision too. Once again, spending money on the children appears to win the day. 

But in truth, we all know it doesn't.