SheNANNYgans Speaks (Without an Accent)

Guest-post by the lovely and talented Lauren Henderson, Nanny extraorinaire and beloved gal pal.

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I like to think I'm a good nanny. I love taking Archer to the park and pushing him on the swings. I love sliding down the slide with him as he looks at me wide-eyed, beaming with pride and giggling his head off. I love singing made-up songs with him as we laugh and read stories about magical bugs and share handfuls of (seriously) delicious Mighty Bites.

Yeah. I like to think I'm a pretty good nanny. I have my shit together. I remember the keys when we leave the house, (and, more importantly, the sacred red blankie,) and I watch Archer like an ever-vigilant NannyHawk as we rock the rough and tough streets of our hood, never letting him out of my sight for even a moment:

Exhibit A: Sacred Red Blankie:



Exhibit B: Rough & Tough Streets of "The Hood":



Yes. I'm a good nanny. No, no no, I'm a GREAT nanny. Yes. I am great! I am the greatest nanny in the entire world and I am so together that it puts other nannies to shame!!! YES! THE OTHER NANNIES MUST SHIELD THEMSELVES FROM THE GLORY OF MY SHINY, SHINY GLORIOUSNESS! ARCHER LOVES ME AND I AM AWESOME!!!!! OH MY GOD I AM AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSUUUHHHH!!!

That's exactly what I have to tell myself every single time I encounter the British nannies of Larchmont Park. These women are a special breed; a breed comprised of the most charming, the most eloquent, the most well put together women on the planet. Women who say things like, "Dear, might I offer your precious little boy a sugar and additive-free cinnamon snap? They are di.vine!" And, "Oh, Charlie, my sweet, brilliant little maaaan! Aren't you perfect the way you decided to go down that slide with such grace and forthrightness! Oh, my love, how proud I am of you and the choices you are making! (Insert charming British giggle here.)"


I don't know what it is, but there isn't another group of people that I have come across so far in my twenty-one years of life that make me feel so… inadequate. So… demure. So… Un British.

Recently Archer was recovering from a bit of a cold. For all intensive purposes, let's just say there was a lot of snot coming out of the dude's head. We were sloppily sprawled out in the sand, building castles and cooing at pigeons while I hummed "North American Scum," when I noticed her: Mary Poppins Jr. An adorable, British, twenty-something brunette wearing (I kid you not) white mary-janes, a long, flowing blue skirt and a buttoned up pink cardigan, complete with a straight-from-the-40's, Hepburn-esque sun hat. She looked perfect. The children she was with looked perfect; Two little girls around Archer's age in little sun dresses. They looked like they belonged on the front page of Sears catalogue from 1993. I looked at my flip flops, rolled up sweatpants and stained tank top and I suddenly found myself feeling like a trashy trashy skank-pants from an episode of Cops.

"Oh, Matilda, sweetness, sit here next to nanny Sarah! Ah, yes, how nice of you to share the fun sand toy with your sister! Hahahahabritishtalk!"

I looked at Archer's snot-covered grill, his sticky hands and his shoeless little feet and I felt like a failure. A total and complete failure who couldn't even get it together long enough to wipe the snot from her nannykid's face. I reached for a wet nap and tried de-crusting the poor boy. He screamed his head off. Meanwhile, Sporty Spice over in her corner watched me with pseudo-caring eyes. She didn't fool me. I felt the judging. I felt it hard. Then… it spoke:

"Darling, would your little boy like to play with my girls? Maybe a little sandy fun would make him feel better! Right, sweet boy? Aw…"

She was nice. She wasn't at all un-nice. I didn't dislike her. In fact, in that moment, I wanted her to be my nanny. She was kind of awesome.

"Oh," I replied, "Sure. That would be great, right Arch?" So we joined them. And we played. And later we walked home and sang songs and I pulled out the keys that I remembered to bring with us and we went inside and watched Sesame Street together on the couch.

And it was good.

Lesson #3,568: You don't have to have an accent to kick ass.

xo,

Shenannygans for GGC

19 comments:

Reluctant Housewife | 5:24 AM

Love it! Oh to find a nanny like you...

Anonymous | 6:10 AM

you just gave me a great idea! when i am out in my stained tank top and rolled up sweats, i'll just tell everyone i'm the NANNY! awesome.

oooh better yet...when i am feeling less than spectacular i will throw on a British accent and others will admire me: "'ello, gov'nah! oy've only gaht this 'ere lawndry change to buy me charge an oyce cream cown!" `jjlibra

Aline | 6:12 AM

here, here!

Embrace those imperfections! Guaranteed that that nanny's kidlings also crap their frilly little dresses, or get the flu and barf on the dog. No one is perfect! Being real is a better lesson for kids than demanding a creepy kind of perfection of yourself and them.

Jen | 6:25 AM

Funny! I bet they don't let loose and laugh like you either. I enjoyed your post . More More!

Andrea | 7:04 AM

But see, you were IN the sand with Archer, getting down and dirty with him, and I would bet that the Mary Janes didn't touch the sand. That's not to say she's not a good nanny too, or a perfectly nice person, but I remember the babysitters I had as a kid as being the ones who played Candyland with us and showed us how to do cartwheels and told us about the stars. The ones I don't remember? They were the ones who let us play at their feet while they watched TV. They were acceptable, but forgettable.

I doubt with all the fun things you do with Archer that he would prefer a put together British nanny over you. Fun and involved goes a long way, regardless of the stains on your shirt.

Liam's Mom - Gina | 7:32 AM

Lauren, you are awesome! And you are right, you don't need the british accent to be a priceless nanny!

Scarlett | 2:27 PM

Well Lauren.. i love your stained clothes. I also love your Kansas accent. Very Dorothy like. But you do seem to have a British accent on random occasions...

And.. i think you are the most kick ass nanny I've ever met. BAM.

shel | 3:59 PM

lauren, thank you for being a "real" nanny...i don't feel so alone anymore. :P my beat up tshirt, jeans and converse are my staple uniform.......and the only accent i have is southern cali.

rock on.

Rock the Cradle | 2:10 PM

Ah yes, the snot encrusted nose that inevitably gets wiped on your two day old shorts because it "tickles". OK, MY two day...oops no, it's three days now. TMI, I know, I know.

Jeezus. I don't need a nanny, I need a laundry service.

You do the down and dirty nannying.
You rock.

Love the red blankie. Impling has one of her own. Likes playing "spooky baby" with it.

Laural Dawn | 4:07 PM

I can so relate to this - except at my job. I switched positions from admin assistant to marketing. The woman who took over from me is a british woman who went to scretary school. I didn't. She writes in shorthand, enjoys filing and can do minutes.
I feel so inadequate but keep reminding myself I'm not so bad.
I would love a nanny like you. Really - I think you would have fun with the kids.

Stephanie T. | 6:30 PM

What a good and funny writer you are! You need your own blog Nannny!

Her Bad Mother | 6:31 PM

I'm sold. You got any friends like you wanna move to Canada and herd WonderBabies?

bitemycookie | 9:30 PM

ha! you picked a creatice writing student nanny!! TYPICAL.

oh, d'ja see the "nanny poaching" story on the today show this am? i didn't but i heard matty talking about it before i shut him off.

sounds like yours might just be prime for the poachin. that's why i deal in wives, not nannies.

bet she's smokin hot, too, huh?

something blue | 5:30 AM

How could we not feel inferior? They say knickers and we say panties.

the weirdgirl | 8:33 AM

There's a mom like that in my playgroup. Actually, there's several Brit moms but only one who does the Mary Poppins (fake) sparkle crap. I just don't like her. And she always manages to make snarky comments about my shoes... in that chipper Brit way, of course.

Anonymous | 4:24 PM

Lauren-

you are the very best nanny ever, as many other people have said here, however i will say it again. archer loves you more than those kids love their birttish nanny. infact they probably hate her posh attitude. you however, you share snacks with sir archer and watch the mupets and sing him edelweiss while he is falling asleep. you are the best nanny, and i know this because i have witnessed it first hand. i wish you were my nanny!

i lurve you.

Molly

Smivey | 10:23 PM

By Jove, what a glorious tale! You have impressed me yet again, fair lady.

shenannygans! | 10:34 PM

you guys are awesome!!! thanks so much for reading! more to come...

word to the mothers,
lauren

dvl | 10:24 AM

dressed relaxed, shoeless and playing in the sand... without a doubt you look more like a mom instead of a nanny when you're out and about together, and that is a loverly thing.