Last night I watched the movie Nanny Diaries. It was cute, but it hit really close to home. While my friends laughed as the kid threw a tantrum in the elevator and locked her out, all I could think was, "Yeah, that has totally happened to me." Now, by no means are either of my two nanny jobs that bad. I don't work full time, and the moms are very involved in their children's lives. But I definitely come in contact with nannies and families who are like that. It will never cease to amaze me that most families in NYC leave it to a nanny to raise their children, or at least use one to help full time moms (paying them exuberant amounts).
Recently, my nannying experience has brought me face-to-face with some celebrities and their kids. I must say, I am the last person to celebrity stalk. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to actors and for the most part can't even name the ones in my favorite movies. And if someone hadn't been there to point them out to me or if I knew I was looking for them, I could probably walk right past people without giving them a second glance. Luckily, the mom I nanny for gave me a heads up that some celebs sent their kids to the school her kids go to. As I was picking up the kids one day I was brought face to face with Meg Ryan. That was pretty exciting because I can actually name a few of the movies she's in. Then, at the park, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker's son introduced himself to me. As in he said, "Hi, are you (x's) new babysitter, L? I'm James." I was a bit astonished to say the least. The other day I spotted his mom picking him up at school. It's a strange life.
Sometimes I think that the families I nanny for are just so normal, but really, normal is very different in the city. This week alone I was left watching kids in apartments where someone else (not the mom) was cleaning twice. Another woman was worried about leaving me with all 3(gasp!) of her young boys for a half hour. The baby was sleeping, and I told her that I had experience babysitting four at a time. She seemed surprised that the house was still together when she got back since the baby was awake. The moms I have come to know here all have this same sense of dependence on help. It's not all bad, and hey, if you can afford someone to give you several hours of self-time a week, why wouldn't you. And living in small apartments without a backyard to send your kids to, and having to walk, take the subway, or catch a cab wherever you go adds some difficulty to life. But really, I sometimes wonder.