Part 3 from Deborah Johanson's Maternal Journals – King of the World (for a while…)
Recently a friend of mine told me about a student nanny who was looking for a practice placement with a “real” family now that she has completed her training.Apparently, those in the market for a nanny do not want one let loose on their children before they have practiced on another child.Being the responsible, caring parent that I am, I of course offered my child up immediately as a guinea pig.
I had visions of my little toddler having three weeks of educational enrichment, having activities and games set out for him and a fresh-faced girl willing to play with him all day instead of muttering in the kitchen while peeling potatoes for dinner. However I have now realised how quickly this has all backfired.
The young nanny we have for three weeks is delightful.Soft spoken and caring she is the epitome of fresh-faced and seems a lot like Mary Poppins, minus the creepy birds head on the end of an umbrella.She follows my little boy around like a breath of fresh air catering to his every need and playing every game you can think of complete with props and Maori songs for good measure.Sounds great right?
I realised just how wrong this had all gone when I dragged my toddler to the doctor as my three month old was due her vaccinations (cue gasps from the “anti-vaccination” crowd).I promised him that if he was very good he could have a lollipop after the doctors (cue gasps from the “don’t reward them with sweets” crowd).So we got home and I gave Mr Two his lollipop.After finishing said treat he stuck his hand out with the stick, looking very bored. I was about to ask him what he was doing when I saw the nanny take the stick and put it in the bin while King Muck didn’t so much as offer a thank you.That’s when the proverbial glass shattered and I began to notice how my rug rat was given an inch and was taking a small country.
Orders were issued, instructions were shouted and before I knew it he was making the poor girl wash his feet with her hair (okay so it wasn’t quite that bad, but still). I decided that if I didn’t do something quickly I may end up visiting my child in juvie in a few years time (What? So I’m dramatic). I had a nice chat with the nanny and explained that although Mr Two does resemble Leonardo Decaprio in his Titanic role, he is not in fact King of the World. It was a bit of a shock to my wee dear when he was made to once again tidy up his own toys, put on his own shoes and pick his own nose (just kidding).
So my toddler is now back to his “normal” ways, and young nanny has hopefully learnt what most parents cotton onto pretty quickly; toddlers (and children of any age really) are kind of like a dodgy used car sales man and will not miss an opportunity to take full advantage of an unsuspecting adult.
Deborah Johanson is a nurse and mother, and lives with her husband and their two children on Auckland's North Shore. Deborah shares her Maternal Journals with OHbaby! in association with Tiny Turtles.