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Nanny Wisdom Chapter One

Nanny Wisdom Chapter One

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Published by susannam

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Published by: susannam on Dec 03, 2008
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08/30/2010

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Chapter OneNanny Speaks Up:It’s All in the Approach
Monday
“That’s a posh house,” the cab driver says to me as he pulls the boxy black London taxito a stop in front of a white, Victorian row house five stories high. The address is a swanky one —just off the King’s Road in Chelsea, in one of the better parts of town.“Do you live here?” he asks as I hand him a ten-pound note.“I do now,” I reply.With my much-prized and very stylish leather traveling bag in hand—a gift from my lastemployer—I proceed up the pathway and climb the steps to the bright red front door. Taking adeep breath, I push the shiny brass doorbell. From somewhere deep in the house I hear the bellring, then a flurry of footsteps. Almost drowning out these sounds is the noise of children’svoices alternately shouting and crying. I recognize the crying at once. It’s the ‘I’m-going-to-try-for-an-Oscar-award-now, but-really-there-is-nothing-the- matter-with-me-except-that-I-want-your-attention’ type of crying.Perhaps I will have my work cut out for me in this job, I think to myself as the door finally swings open.My new boss, looking much more frazzled and tired than when I first met her, embracesme gratefully and turns to her children. “Look, darlings,” she says, “our lovely new nanny hascome to take care of us.”
 
With a look of relief on her face, she reintroduces me to four-year-old Ben and two-year-old Rosie. Ben has shaggy hair and is wearing a retro-style band tee shirt with faded jeans. Quitethe little hipster, I smile to myself, but I also note the classic little-boy glint of mischief in hiseye. I know what that look means: he will be a sweetheart, but I won’t be able to take my eyesoff him for a second. Rosie looks at me very shyly through long un-brushed hair and offers me asmall, hesitant smile, which wins me over straightaway. She is wearing a beaded peasant dress,which I recognize as having come from a pricey London store called The Cross. Her face andmost of her dress are splattered with her lunch—pasta with tomato sauce if I have guessedcorrectly. And I’ll bet the dress is “dry clean only.”“Darlings, you remember Nanny. She used to look after your friend Angela, before theyall moved to France.” The children look up at me with new interest.“We have heard such amazing things about you, and we are very excited to have youhere,” says Mom.In truth, Ben and Rosie don’t look at all excited that I am here, but I have no doubt wewill be best of friends in no time.Inside the house, I am greeted by a sight of domestic disarray: the television is on at fullvolume, pajamas are flung in the corner, half-eaten toast is trampled into the rug, and the sofahas a spreading wet patch where a cup of what appears to be apple juice has been tipped over.“I’m so sorry about the mess,” Mom tells me, as we make our way through to the kitchen,trying not to step on the discarded toys that seem to cover every surface. “We have been withouta nanny for two weeks, and the housekeeper is sick today. Let’s have a nice cup of tea,” shesuggests. I gratefully accept.
 
The tea, however, is not to be, as Rosie rushes into the kitchen clamoring “I wantsweeties, Mommy.”“Now, Rosie,” her mother wearily replies, “you have had so many sweeties today, pleasedon’t ask for more. Really you have had quite enough candy already today.”“But I want it,” whines Rosie.“Darling, please don’t start. Your teeth will fall out from all the candy you eat.
Please just listen to Mommy this time.
“No!” Rosie screams and throws herself on the floor.“Okay, fine then. Have it but stop that awful noise,” Mom says, handing Rosie a packetof jellybeans. “Mommy’s not happy about this,” she adds as Rosie crams a handful into her mouth.Mom turns to me. “Tomorrow I’m going to have to leave you to it. I’m so sorry, but Ireally do have to go back to work.” She actually looks quite pleased at the prospect—not sorry atall. “Will you be okay with them?” she asks me.“Of course, we will be just fine,” I assure her.The doorbell rings. “That will be Jack and Ella!” Mom says, “They are here for a playdate. Rosie and Ben,
 please
play nicely today!”“Does Rosie have an afternoon nap?” I inquire, as I watch the two-year-old rub her eyesand stifle a yawn.“Oh no. It’s too much of an effort to convince her that she is tired so I gave up trying.Sometimes they nod off when they are playing,” Mom informs me.The afternoon quickly descends into chaos. Ben, as it turns out, is more interested inwatching a video than in playing with Jack. Jack becomes upset when he realizes Ben isn’t going

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