Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just Call Me Mary Poppins

At the end of this summer, my three (almost four!) year adventure of being a nanny will draw to a close when Abby goes off to kindergarden. :( This has truly been one of the most formative, influencial, and happiest experience of my life, and I'm being especially careful to treasure each of these "last days" - the mornings spent snuggling on the couch together, the thrill of picking out a new chapter book or reaching the last page of one, the afternoons at the pool, the braiding of hair, and on and on. I have loved every minute of it, and I've been lucky to have had a great relationship with Abby and her parents.

But as with all careers, I've learned some important lessons along the way - some funny, some serious.
  • Always, always carry wet wipes.
  • A messenger bag can double as a child-carrier in a pinch.
  • You don't really understand something until you can explain it to a child.
  • Always start brushing tangled hair from the bottom, not the top.
  • Some parents will hate you until they find out you're a nanny; others will love you until they find out you're a nanny (resentment much?).
  • Children are almost never as badly behaved as their caretakers.
  • Ketchup is the universal condiment.
  • If you're a nanny for any reasonable time period, you will learn the theme songs to every children's show in existence...
  • ... And you will turn on the subtitles to figure out the lyrics when you can't understand them, or it will drive you nuts (btw, the last line to Martha Speaks is "Martha, to reiterate, Martha speaks!" You're welcome.)...
  • ... You will also form critical opinions about them...
  • ... And you will look forward to new seasons.
  • There is nothing so thrilling as discovering that a child shares your passion, be it for a TV show, book, or hobby. Nothing.
  • Playgrounds have unspoken rules of etiquette.
  • So does the children's section of the library.
  • The Itsy-Bitsy Spider song has at least five verses. True story.
  • The true measure of a person is how they treat a child.

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