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.
Shenannygans for GGC