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Posts from — May 2008

Nanny Diaries – The Flip Side

Weird things have been coming into my head lately. Lines from movies, books, songs…The latest is the refrain “no brains, no heart, he’s much too shy…But never mind you 3, there’s a wizard as you can see….he’ll fix it 1-2-3…”

Remember that old Wizard of Oz cartoon? You don’t!? Then you’re soooo not my demo. (But you can check it out and fake it ’til you make it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjyv_i0tBSk) (‘K? Read on)

Now is that song stuck in everybody’s head? Are you curious as to why I’d do that to you?

I’ve been looking for a new nanny, that’s why. And it’s been a bloody nightmare. No shows. No return calls. No luck.

No brains, no heart, they’re much too shy….See???

I’d heard the nightmare stories. The whole “good help is hard to find” complaints. But I never believed them. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of duds – at home, back in the olde days of office life, on a production, and even when I was a waitress. Oh no wait… that last one was me.

I had one friend who was in the caregiving business. A nanny pimp, if you will. For a small fee, she’d find you the perfect person. Except after several months of dealing with high maintenance clients on both sides she realized her sanity was worth more than the gig was paying.

Then there was the friend of a friend who, after 4 months of hunting for help, finally gave up and put her kids in daycare instead. Pricey, but apparently worth every penny for the peace of mind. Mind you, apparently she’s now back in the market for a nanny too…..

I’ve had a nanny get sick and die (it was awful, actually). I’ve had the perfect nanny who would’ve bankrupted us ‘cuz she was a fortune. I’ve had the one who, when we said it was time to part ways, said her prayers had been answered – oh, and would I give her a reference. The latest one’s been off sick for weeks and finally admitted that she’s been diagnosed with a heart condition.

Bad luck, Chuck.

I don’t need Mary Poppins. I’m not looking for Maria von Trapp. And I don’t think Mrs. Doubtfire would last the week. But is showing up too much to ask? Is acknowledging my children with a simple hello an outlandish request? My phone’s been ringing off the hook – yet if I call back, they don’t want to talk. Except to ask me about my “offer”. I feel like I’m on-line dating: everyone’s looking to get laid without any commitment. Well, call me old fashioned, but a nanny booty call ain’t what I’m after. Sure, a one day trial’s OK – clean house, change of pace, possibility of escape for an hour or so. But I need the relationship.

And I need the help.

Apparently, I’m somewhat undesirable: 2 kids plus a baby coming any minute now. A dog, a cat, and a man who works late. Oh, and worst of all: I’m home. My old neighbourhood was run by the nanny mob. They knew who to work for, what to ask for, which moms were home. I definitely would’ve had black marks against me. But here in my new hood, we’re one of the smallest clans around. We don’t demand 12-hour work days. And we even pay extra for overtime! Should I pretend otherwise? Pull out the slavedriver routine instead? Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen?

Who has time? I have no help!!!

I feel like a bit of an ass complaining: after all, all our mothers and grandmothers coped without help….Or so we’re told. But they had each other. And they started younger. Most of ’em didn’t live a freewheelin’ life on the other side of 25ish, so they didn’t know any better. By the time they hit their 40’s, their kids were in school all day long. And were (somewhat) independent – enough to be able to hop on a bus. And, in some cases, drive. Maybe they were on to something, those ladies. Or maybe they weren’t. If I had children with the any of the men from my 20’s, I’d be a very bitter divorcee.

But maybe I’d have a great nanny. Apparently times aren’t the only things that have changed. The nannies of yesteryear -or babysitters, au pairs, mother’s helpers or (cringe!)”help” as they were known by some – were a different breed…. Or so we’re told. Loyal. Lifers. Part of the family. Today’s caregivers want a job. And a life. And that’s fine. Great. All power to ’em.

But I want a life too! And maybe even (gasp!) a job. Not this month, mind you, but one day. And so, call me a princess if you please – whatev. I need some help. Call her an assistant. Or him – I’d take a manny too. Pronto. The TV-as-babysitter novelty is wearing thin, even for my media junkies. And I think my man might lose it soon – happy wife, happy life, right?

So star search continues….

I have someone coming in for a test run this week. It’s reached the point where, if they can understand me, the job’s theirs. All they have to do is show up. Yes, that’s part of the job description.

Is that really too much to ask?!

1 comments:

Anonymous said…

brilliant – right from the bleeding gutt…
anyway, i am the “friend of a friend” and just wanted to add that my return to the nanny market is a bit off the mark (as great as that line was). my son will remain in the fabulous montessori school he’s in now and i will be bringing someone over from hong kong to live in and work for me as a housekeeper and part-time nanny in the fall. the key here is that if she doesn’t show up or work out, i will never be left in a lurch and never be forced back into the trenches… it’s now all about gravy for me. and after the past year, mama’s taking the train load.
good luck

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May 31, 2008   No Comments

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Boob

What’s in a name? Everything. BOOB!! You’re up now, right?!

Boob is a newish (to me) line of maternity and nursing wear from Sweden. Yep, Sweden. Those crazy Swedes have gone and named nursing clothes Boob.

Genius.

In name and in nature.

I managed to get my paws on some of their duds and they’re awesome. Pants stay up. In front and in back. Shirts don’t touch where they shouldn’t. In front or in back. And everything stays in its proper place. Properly. Better still, the Boobs at Boob are anything but – they know how to drop a neckline. I have a dress from their fall collection that’s lightweight AND maternity AND, dare I say, kinda hot. And I don’t use the term lightly. Cuz there’s nothing hot about a gal about to give birth in a matter of weeks. Nothin’ but hormones and tempers.

And the Boob neckline.

One thing about being knocked up – you sport a mighty fine rack. You may not always recognize it at the time, but in retrospect? Nice ‘n high ‘n perky. Even the jumbotrons. And for those of us who are somewhat, erm, challenged in that department, when we’ve got ’em, we like to flaunt ’em. And Boob gets it. Lots of other tops made for the mama-to-be like to minimize. High necks. Cheesy collars. Wussy V’s. Go deep or go home, I say. Swing out sisters! Cuz once the babe arrives it’s all downhill. In every way, boob-wise.

Or is it?

I’m pretty hard-core when it came to feeding my kids, whipping one out as and when. Was I strutting round topless? Of course not. But my feeling is, babies have the right to be fed. And if you don’t want to watch? Well, don’t look. It’s possible to be subtle. And stylish too. I was never a believer in “nursing wear”. Bras aside, o’ course. But those weird shirts that you need a degree in aeronautics to open? Pas pour moi. And those godawful frilly nightgowns? Get real. I’d rather stretch out a perfectly good shirt and look somewhat decent in the hours between the feeds then strut around town like some Victorian. One friend of mine had an incredible nursing dress. It came from Victoria’s secret. And she lost it and we’ve never seen the likes of it since.

‘Til now. The Boob nursing tops – or singlets – have these strategic slots. Spots. Openings. Hard to explain. But easy to figure out – basically you lift up one side, drop down the other and you’re locked ‘n loaded. And, again, they’re totally hot. In fact, you could wear these babies even if you’re not nursing. You wouldn’t, to be sure, but you could. Which, to a nursing mama, is nice to know.

I know I’m sounding somewhat evangelical. I swear it’s not just hormones speaking. And if it is? So what?! I have a baby due in 3 weeks, it’s my perogative. Between the hips and the hormones, it’s hard to feel anything but frumpy. Or at least it was. ‘Til I became a Boob girl.

Check out their racks: www.boobdesign.com

1 comments:

Anonymous said…

My friend who is normally so wise- lemme tellya a little something about minimizing (from someone who often seeks to minimize): High necks maximize not minimize! (Strange but true….low necks actually minimize.) Too bad I missed my chance to shop at boob. I will pass it on though.

May 24, 2008   No Comments

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There Ain’t No Flies on Us – Just Our Walls

I have this book I read to my kids – Thelonius Monster’s Sky High Fly Pie. It’s a rhyming one, funny and clever and illustrated by the guy who does stuff for The New Yorker. It starts off with this guy, Thelonius Monster, swallowing a fly – and deciding a fly would taste grand in a pie. Etc. And there’s this one line in it that I can’t get out of my head: “and now for the flies”.

‘Cuz we’ve still got ’em. Sewer flies. Still here. Only now they’re bigger and, it seems more resilient. Maybe it’s because we know what they are (and where they come from), but somehow they’re getting harder to kill. Before, when they were just flies, we’d slap the wall and they’d be dead. We’d bat at them mid-air, they’d drop to their deaths. Now, we whack ’em. And guess what? They take a licking and keep on ticking.

I’m beside myself.

I’ve called the exterminators who tried to reassure me, telling not to panic….yet. I asked them when I could start to panic, and they said it takes a couple of weeks for them to die off. Now, I’m no scientist, but if they live for a day and their breeding grounds are gone – how can they still survive? It’s Darwinism at it’s purest form. A true survival of the fittest, ‘cuz these mofos are big and bad and refusing to go gently into that good night.

We say goodnight, and their party starts.

Sickening.

So while my basement continues to lie fallow, the flies frolic. The insurance-approved demo team wasted no time in ripping it out (my basement, that is). All of it – floors are a mess of concrete and nails. The asbestos (yup) is gone so at least we’re no longer the house in the plastic bubble. The walls don’t touch the floor. No euphemism – it just means the walls hang there, not touching the floors. My garage is packed up – most of it upside down. All my kids’ toys, in boxes, upside down in bigger boxes surrounded by enormous, near-impossible-to-move furniture.

And we wait. And wait. And wait. For the big rebuild. And yes, we’ll probably look back and laugh. But that’s of no comfort to me now. Even my baby tells everyone our basement is broken. My Big Boy tells people they can only come to play with him if it’s nice outside because we have no toys in our house. And tho’ it’s not killing them, it ain’t making them stronger either. This is no character building exercise. This is a bloody nightmare.

And so we play outside. Except when it’s cold. Then we watch TV. And we read. And we keep coming back to that book, and that line:”and now for the flies”. Which prompts someone to look around. And spy a fly. And try to kill it. Tiny corpses litter our walls. And the cycle starts again.

“And now for the flies”.

I was told not to panic. So I asked when I could panic. The exterminator laughed and said a few weeks. That makes it June 1st. One week. Then I can really panic. So I’m trying to hold off and just rant a little until then.

And now for the flies.

Perhaps they’ll die.

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

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May 24, 2008   No Comments

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I’m Up Now

Well, well, well. I stand corrected – and joyfully so. They got it right! They veered off the middle of the road and got, ahem, Cookin’!

David Cook is The American Idol. Duh – what rock have you been under??

Mouth breather out. Rocker in. 80’s icons on. Now that’s good tv. Just when you thought it was safe….It wasn’t!

I actually loved the big finale. Despite the fect that, at the exact moment Ryan uttered the magic words, “the winner is…”. Poof! (No, not Ryan…) (well, OK that too). But at that exact second -Poof! – the show ended. My PVR failed me. Again. Luckily I’ve learned from seasons of yore to record whatever’s on next. So we switched over in time to see Fartchuleta’s stage dad clapping insincerely. And that’s when I knew, it was Cook time. Thank god, on so many levels. Can you imagine the stage dad’s reactions had his dullard child won? Waaaaay OTT. And the press? Gee. Duh. Erm…

Instead we got tears. Lots of ’em. Betcha the word nerd wished he didn’t choose this night to start wearing eyeliner, huh? Obviously he went for water-proof. I knew he was a smarty! And the brotherly love. And the mom trying to get in on the spotlight. A family affair…..How lovely.

But back to the show…..Graham Nash? Lucky Brookey. Donna Summer? Lucky ladies. Syesha – way to work third sister! Her skirts get shorter and her confidence grows. It just goes to show you, she really was the best of the girlies – mainly because of the meat, but still – can you imagine the nurse? She seemed embarrassed to be there. Unlike Chickezie – love, love, love.

It was 80’s night (aside from the slew of youths that I fast forwarded). Showing my age, perhaps, but I’m about to turn 40, I can do what I like. ZZ Top, the Groover from Vancouver, Seal….yada yada yada. At the end of the day, the faux pips aside, for me it was all about George.

LOVE HIM.

All season long I’ve been wondering why they didn’t do the George Michael/Wham songbook. He’s on tour (at over 2 hun a ticket, sadly), has a new greatest hits album to promote, has been whoring himself out nicely across the small screen. The timing couldn’t be any better. And he would’ve been perfect for Cookie and the Aussie. Still, waiting ’til the end was OK. Sure he sang a slow song. With a cold (and acknowledged it, bless him and his ego). Despite his fromagerie, his lady Loren shades, and his possible plugs, he’s still awesome. And somehow reminding me of Christian Troy – anyone else getting that?

Simon apologizes. Archie loses. DC wins. And another season of Idol come to a close.

Happy endings to all, and to all a good night.

Now who’s got tickets to the Top Ten tour?

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

if you think George had acold I have some swamp land for you in Florida! He looked like a wreck – kind of Freddy Mercury although George’s issue is drugs and it shows on his person and his voice. I thought it was an imposter at one point!

Throw back night galore – loved it! ZZ TOP was the best and I think Carly and Michael should put out a duets album together a la Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross (by the way – it’s not Lawrence – it’s me!)

7:05 AM

Rayanne Langdon said…

What a solid synopsis of the final show! I didn’t realize the producers let David A’s dad back in the audience after he was given the initial boot. Heh.

May 21, 2008   No Comments

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Fix

So it was David v. David on the NOKIA stage. In the NOKIA theatre. N-O-K-I-A. Talk about product placement. Between Randy’s repeated refrain of “you could sing the phonebook” and the mention of NOKIA it was enough to make a gal wanna hurl her salad.

That and the skewering of poor David Cook. Is it just me (and my Tuesday night AI viewing cronies), or did the whole thing feel like it was, erm….fixed?

First came Carly: stack her up and shoot her down. Week after week after week. Too shrill, too loud, too fat. She didn’t stand a chance.

Then the diefication of Brooke. Somehow, that nanny could do no wrong. Oh wait, until she did. Over and over and over. Stumbling lyrics, false starts, lame dance moves. Was her longevity part of the overall plan? Part of the fix? Probably. But some things you just can’t fix, and she was a goner.

The rest of ’em kind of made their own beds. Poor Chickezie – we know his name’s Chickezie, baby! And hot Michael Johns. He was robbed. Then again, who’s gonna remember his name, fame?

Syesha came and went somehow and is probably broadway bound already. But Archuleta… Somehow that boy with the flaring ‘strils and mouth breathing grin could do no wrong…

Despite butchering Stevie. Despite the fact that his performances felt longer than singing the bloody phonebook. Despite the closed eyes and incessant trills…Despite it all the judges couldn’t hold back from swooning.

Personally, I could barely hold back from snoring.

Sure he’s only 17 but he’s been on star search, junior idol and probably more talent contests than he’d care to admit. The guy’s a seasoned pro, complete with stage dad. And yet…where on earth is his personality? Erm….aaahh….gee…shucks….thank you….

Wake me when his career fizzles, will ya?

But back to tonight….Mr Cook’s swan song. Tonight, poor David Cook was well and truly, to use the judges’ own cheesy boxing metaphor: KO’d. And to me it sounded plain old mean. How could they be so blatant? So obvious? That’s not good tv!!! Tho’ the tearing up post song 3 certainly was (and should be good for a couple million votes at least). Perhaps he’s too much of an independent type for 19 Productions. Maybe the band he should be fronting is waiting in the wings to show up his predecessor and also-loser, Daughtry. Hmmmm….Chris Daughtry / Taylor Hicks. Who’s the real loser? Sorry Silver Fox, but who are you again?

I was pissed at my man Simon tonight. I know AI is about as far from the edge as you can get, but still….To soooooooo wholeheartedly embrace the Middle of the Road, the morning office FM station, the Diva Ballad Covers as Sung By set that is Earny Archuleta was agonizing. Is it any wonder that the Idol numbers are down? Higher than the other shows, to be sure, but down over all. It’s the Archuletas. The balladeers gone wrong.

So when Archie wins tomorrow, get ready for a confetti filled, heart (and stomach) wrenching version of That Cheesey Song. (which didn’t sound unlike some gone-wrong, butchered version of an Indigo Girls tune; or a folksy harmonizer gone savage). The youngest youngsters and oldest oldies’ll be screaming their tits off. While the rest of us will sadly cheer for the Word Nerd as we wait to hear about – and complain about – his first single.

Goodbye Combover Cook. Hello rock star.

And Fartchuleta? Wake me when he’s over….

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

you said it all.

12:27 AM

Anonymous said…

The only people left out there buying music in droves are little girls and their parents and they are buying MOTR! So, Idol the business, needs to have another hit and not more and more Silver Foxes and the attempted resucitation of Reuben’s career. With Archie, they will have the sales – with David Lee Cook – it will be only MOTR alternative stations – but still alternative. Read, less sales.

Regarding last night – Clive Davis gave Archie the show stopper. No one can compete with the manipulative Don’t let the Sun Go down on Me (even though I love it)especially one of the least inspired U2 songs. UNFAIR! But David, where was your game? Why were you so straight up. Song choice Song Choice – the next two – what the hell was he thinking? I think he was just trying to cement his record contract and was not there to win it. He knows it is all about the Archies and Carrie Underwoods. YUCK!!!!!

8:38 AM

Leigh said…

Couldn’t agree more. Hate that Archie kid. He looks like he went to the “how to look surprised when they say nice things” school of sappy singers.

The only thing that keeps me going is ‘so you think you can dance’ is right around the corner. 🙂

May 20, 2008   No Comments

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