Monday, 15 February 2010

Mary Poppins

You know how it is when you go shopping for new shoes. You go into the first shop and try on a pair that are just perfect, but it's not possible that you could have found the right pair so fast, you have to traipse around for the rest of the day trying on pair after pair until you conclude that the very first ones you saw were indeed the ones.

So it's a weary trawl back to shop number one only to discover that they've sold the last pair in your size, and you return home cursing your cautious nature and wishing you'd just been impulsive and bought them at once. Now no pair of shoes could ever match up to that mythical first pair and you return home disgruntled and empty handed.

You may well be wondering quite what this has to do with Mary Poppins, but in a most frivolous way I am likening my search for a new nanny to that search for the perfect pair of shoes. How Sex in the City is that? You see we interviewed a lovely woman, the first to apply for the job and the first we interviewed, and she seemed just perfect. She has experience with four children, she was lovely with the children, even to the point of bringing them each a tiny present - to an interview!

My husband wanted to hire her on the spot, but my cautious nature kicked in. Sure I thought she was wonderful, but can I really hire the first woman I interview. Should I not give up my evenings and weekends to interviewing scores of inferior candidates until I am sure she was the best, only to phone her up and find another family has snapped her up.

In my experience good nannies don't stay on the market long. It would be lovely to have weeks to weigh up your options and consider each candidate, but whenever I have dithered by the time I made a job offer the girl was long gone.

That said I hate the idea or rushing into a decision that is so crucial to the happiness of my children and therefore my family as a whole. The woman who works for us now was my choice and that didn't end well, so now I feel unsure of my instincts and above all what I want is continuity for the children, especially the babies who need a constant face as they grow into toddlers.

Speaking of which, twin two is finally on the move, so not only does the poor new nanny have to cope with two stroppy boys, now she has two twins shuffling and crawling along behind her everywhere like a pair of puppies. Twin one is up on all fours crawling properly and exceedingly fast, while twin two has perfected the commando move, using both arms and both legs to propel him forward in a sort of swimming movement.

I suspect that part of my problem in picking a new nanny is that in my heart of hearts I'd like the job myself. I have experience in coping with four boys, I love all of the children, I am happy to cook, clean and do their washing and I have endless tricks up my sleeve to keep them amused. I am happy to drive our bus of a car and don't mind seeking out local playgroups and classes to help socialise them. I would always put their safety and happiness first. All in all I am the perfect candidate, the only problem is my salary expectation.

I have made a vow to myself and a threat to my husband though, if it doesn't work out this time I am throwing in the towel until son number two is at school at which point I shall probably find myself unemployed, or unemployable, but at least the headaches over nannies will be over.


  1. I hope you find Mary Poppins soon. My problem is that I AM pretty well doing the full time nanny thing at the moment, but I feel more like Cruella de Vil than Ms Poppins....

  2. oh no, i hope you find a great one soon.

  3. Happy to clean and do the washing? Happy to drive the bus? Really?

  4. OK, perhaps happy is over stating my case...