Did you know my kids have a second mom?
Well, they do.
We’ll call her Mary (after Mary Poppins, of course) because my kid’s second mom is their nanny. I work out of my home full time for a Big Company- which is awesome. But it’s a busy job with lots of phone calls, so I needed childcare. It seemed silly to send my kids to a day care since I was home, so hiring a nanny seemed like the perfect idea. Mary has been with our family as a live-out nanny since Scorch was 15 weeks old- so a tad over 4 years now. It took us forever to narrow down who to interview for the job, but as soon as we met Mary we knew she was The One.
I was so stinking nervous when she started to work for us. A complete stranger was going to be coming into my house for 42.5 hours a week- wouldn’t that freak you about a little bit? She was going to see my mess house. Overhear conversations between the Hubs and I. Drive my baby around. Tend to him when he cried and play with him when he was happy. There was the BIG worry that kept me up at night.
What if he loved her more then he loved me?
Then- BANG- my maternity leave was over and Mary showed up at my house to start work. We bumbled over each other for the first few months- each of us trying not to step on toes, trying to figure out Scorch’s ever evolving needs, learning how to talk to each other about the baby, her likes/dislikes, discipline methods, tummy time, schedules and salary.
Once we found our groove, it was awesome (and has been ever since). We learned to love Mary just as much as Scorch did. And love her he did- he lit up when she showed up in the morning. And yes, sometimes he did call her Mommy. And sometimes he called me Mary. But it was fine- I understood. I never once doubted that he knew I was his mom and I was so extraordinarily thankful that Scorch had such a great day care provider. Then we had the Bean and she was lucky enough to have Mary watching her too!
My kids are so lucky because Mary can totally kick my butt in more then a few ways. Yesterday, Scorch said he wanted to build a ramp for his Hot Wheels. He wanted the ramp to dip down, then go up, then do a loop. I stood there staring at him, shrugging my shoulders saying, “I dunno how to do that.” Mary looked pensive for a sec, then said, “I got it”. Next thing I know she’s got scissors, duct tape, two cardboard boxes from the recycling and string out building him the ramp he wanted. The woman is freaking McGuyver!
Then this morning she says to me, “You know, the pile of coloring books and markers is making me nuts, I think I’m going to weed out the toy shelf and make room there for them.” I hooted with laughter and told her to have at it. And she did. You don’t even want me to tell how she organized my linen closet a few months ago because she was bored. Or how she takes a million awesome pictures of my kids- she even started her own photography business. (Local folks- let me know if you want the URL.) Or how she organizes the kids drawers. Or how she comes up with amazing arts and crafts on snowy days.
In the fall, Mary won’t work for our family any more. Both kids will be in school full time and while The Hubs and I hope to have another baby, it certainly won’t be by then. I get teary eyed every time I think too hard about our family without her daily presence in it. I keep asking her to marry me so we don’t have to lose her, but given the fact that we’re both straight and it’s illegal in NY anyhow- she turns me down.