Nanny Diaries: The Interview

October 24, 2011 at 9:31 am | Posted in Bun, Transylvania | 22 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So, we have a Romanian nanny. I feel weird even writing that.

But we do. We had to. I can’t walk yet. And while the list of things I can do on one leg grows ever longer (floss my teeth, fold a towel, take a picture), I still can’t change a diaper. Or lay my baby down. Or carry a juice box.

Thank goodness the nanny can. We found her through a colleague of my husband’s. Who knew some college students from his church looking for a job. And that was that.

When she came to meet us, she sat down quietly in the chair next to my leg and its seven pillows. She nodded and smiled as I said mundane things like, “You’ll make Bun’s lunch” and “Maybe you could take him to the playground if the weather is nice.”

But in our interview, here’s what I really wanted to say.

So, my baby poops, like, five times a day. No joke. Can you handle that many dirty diapers? And sometimes, he takes a sip of his milk and smiles so that the milk runs all down his face. And then he laughs because he thinks it’s a great trick. And a few weeks ago, he started throwing himself on the floor, belly first, and screaming when he doesn’t get his way. And he likes to drag the Lego box to the rug and dump them all out. Sometimes he picks them up. But only sometimes. And he smooshes jelly into his hair. And that rope around the cabinet under the sink? That’s because he likes get in there and dig in the trash can. And sometimes, he complains in his crib instead of napping. He complains loudly. Oh, and he’s just learned to open the front door, which leads directly to a flight of stairs he could easily tumble down. And when he’s not trying to get to the door, he’s trying to take the batteries out of the remote controls. And …

But I didn’t say any of those things. I let her figure it all out for herself on her first day.


Bun pooped twice before 9 a.m., put three Legos in the trash can, and removed a banana peel.


But she learned quickly. And she’s still here. Every day, she’s here. Poop, peels, and all.

Do you tell caregivers what your kids are really like? Do you find it hard to let other people care for them? And how many diapers a day does your family go through?


Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
See the photos.



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  1. Sorry, but I had to laugh at the “real” description. Heck no, don’t tell! They’d never take the job!

  2. As a mom who works away and is now on the third care provider for her children, here’s what I know. They are NEVER who we think they are with their nannies. Even though you’ll be there, their relationship will develop on its own. Poop, peels and all.

  3. Poop, peels, and all. Love it.

    Glad you were able to get some help.

  4. It takes a certain kind of person to keep taking crap from a kid (pun intended) who isn’t her own. Good job finding one.

  5. Yet another Romanian experience you never imagined you would have…
    So glad you were able to find someone who can handle your kids, and will very likely grow to love them in her own way.

  6. She sounds wonderful :). I think I OVERshare with those who will be caring for my kids (not that I let others care for them often. Control-freak much?). I want them to know everything so they can know exactly what to do in each situation. But really, it’s so much more fun for everyone involved if we let them figure each other out. The big stuff, yes, communication is good for. But the small things? The remote control batteries and the diaper tallies?

    Makes for good getting-to-know-you games 🙂

  7. Sounds like you found a great nanny! Hopefully she will allow you to get some rest & maybe read or cruise the internet and munch on some m&ms 🙂

  8. I’ve worked with 3-5 year-old children at our church’s nursery for over six years. I’ll don’t think I can even count how many children I’ve babysat and/or nannied. Caretakers get to know and love your children for who they are. I would say that I’ve had a wonderful relationship with each one…well with the exception of two, but we won’t get into that. 🙂 The problem there was that bratty parents had equally bratty children. I know that she will/does love Bun. How could she help but not adore that cutie?

  9. uhh…that’s help but adore. That’s what I get for not wearing my glasses.

  10. I have to agree with Christine. Kids are so different with their caretakers. I think that they’re better around them than their own parents sometimes.

    Glad you’re getting the help you need. (And some reprieve from diaper-changing. Yay!)

  11. Does this mean your parents are gone now? 😦
    I hope it’s all going okay – it can’t be easy having somebody in your home doing all the things you wish you could do (except maybe those diapers).

  12. Eh I just made sure they could change a diaper. And, my one comment is “they will test you.” Sounds ominous huh? 🙂

  13. Good for you!!! I’m so glad you found someone. You could have talked her ear off for hours over the day-to-day things…and she would still have to learn it on her own!

  14. I tell everyone that keeps Devi that she is devious, prone to mischief every minute not watched, and highly manipulative. They never believe me, and I chalk that up to her manipulative, Eddie haskellish personality. She can even make dimples appear on cue when she needs to look extra innocent. Tears are a given; she mastered the art of the fake tear years ago. I’m hoping those skills will serve her well as an actor or lawyer or politician or something productive in the future. But I think caregivers always see their own version of our kids, not what we see, for better or worse.

  15. Hilarious! I’m glad you have help. It just simply sounds utterly impossible otherwise! And if she knows anything about kids she should know a lot of mess and poopiness comes with the territory.

  16. There are days lately when I wish I could hire someone JUST to change Sweet P’s diapers! So bad lately. Trying to imagine that interview, where I say to someone, “Okay, so I’ll just text you when there’s a load. How long will it take you to get here? What’s the price per diaper or does it depend upon contents?”

  17. Ha, maybe there’s a reason we’ve rarely left our little guy in someone else’s care 😉 I think the last time I had to explain all of this stuff was to be my hubby, when our son was still a baby and I was actually going to go and spend an afternoon by myself somewhere. Flash forward 7 years, and a friend of ours offered to babysit 2 weeks ago. Our friend has 2 very little ones at home so was pleasantly shocked to know that he would not have to do anything in terms of helping our son wash up, etc. Of course, at this stage we were more worried about our son manipulating our friend, being a sore loser at Wii, etc. When we came back we got a glowing report, as we always do from sitters. (Yes, they do show a different side!)

    I’m glad you got help. If she is good, she should not be surprised at all that’s involved with very little kids. And so far it sounds like she is good! I hope you get better soon!!

  18. I think if I told someone the truth about how many times they would have to pick my twenty pound baby up and carry him around on their hip, just to keep him from wreaking havoc, that unless they were looking for a strength training regimen, they would walk right away. But then I had a babysitter for all three for the first time last week, and she couldn’t stop smiling and saying how much fun she had when I came home. Okay. I continue to be as mystified as I am thrilled by my children.

  19. Oh, and I like your rope idea. Bungee cords aren’t doing it around here. Time to break out the old fashioned stuff.

    • Romanians don’t baby-proof, so we had to improvise. It works surprisingly well, though in the last couple of days the cabinet has been suspiciously open, leading us to believe he’s mastered the rope diversion. Time to think of something new …

  20. […] quickly mobilized to bring food and comfort to my doorstep when they heard about my accident. Our nanny. Our neighbors. My physical therapist. The list is as long as our time here is short. As winter […]

  21. […] 21: Rebooting. Giggles has new boots! These lovelies are from our nanny, who brought each of us a present when we saw her last week. He loves them and proudly wore them to […]

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