Things I Wish You Knew, From Your Nanny

by Nicole Hogan
Originally Published: 

As your nanny for many years, we’ve grown pretty close. Considering how many times this week I’ve caught you sprinting down to the laundry room in nothing but your panties, maybe even a little too close. That being said, no matter how many of your newborns I swaddle, promotions I celebrate you earning, or gossip I tell you about the tattooed bartender who just knocked up my college roommate, there are a few things I just can’t tell you, but wish you knew.

1. I’m scared to eat your food, especially something that hasn’t been opened yet. I know you’ve told me to help myself a thousand times, but I am absolutely convinced you will notice that the bag of pretzels was three-quarters full before you left for work and now it’s only half full, and you’ll have to fire me. Now, I’m fully aware that this morning I had to help you find your car keys, point out that you weren’t wearing matching shoes, and chase your car as you backed it down the driveway with your coffee mug on the roof, but yes, the number of ounces in your nearly expired pretzel bag is what I’m convinced you always keep track of. For whatever reason, this fear does not set in while I’m fisting your child’s gummy vitamins into my mouth.

2. I have absolutely no interest in your husband. None. I’m sure you fell in love with him for a reason. He seems like a nice person. He’s moderately attractive and a pretty great dad, but I’ve literally watched him put his dirty plate in the sink when the dishwasher is right there. I promise that any teeny, tiny hint of attraction that was possibly even there was immediately squashed after witnessing him apparently dying from a cold. What I’m trying to say is, that while I know he makes you happy and contributes to your family in many invaluable ways, if he takes out the garbage one more time without replacing the trash bag, I might kill him.

3. I look up to you. You are basically the older sister I never had. You have a cool job, you buy your clothes from catalogues, and your house looks like a Crate and Barrel ad, not to mention you actually have a husband and cute kids. From the twentysomething place where I’m sitting, aka a futon, you are basically Angelina Jolie. I want to be like you and will attempt to do so by spending large amounts of my paycheck on all the same beauty products you use.

4. I don’t have magic powers. I have more patience than you because I get to leave. No matter how many tantrums, diaper explosions or projectile body fluids I’ve been hit with on any given day, the truth of the matter is that I can handle it with a smile because I know I get to leave. After a particularly hellish day of toddler tantrums and threenager attitudes, I get to escape head out promptly at 5:30 p.m., plop myself in a hot, toy-free, bubble bath with a cup of tea, and binge watch something other than PAW Patrol on the couch without anyone touching or talking to me all night long. I guarantee if you were able to do that a few nights a week, you would have the strength to ride out a toddler tantrum without pulling out the iPad, too.

5. You don’t say thank you as much as I need you to. You are paying me to do a job, and I get that, but this job is absolutely unlike any other. It has boasted some of the most challenging and rewarding moments of my entire life. What makes it worthwhile has nothing to do with my paycheck, but with the way I feel about how I’m spending my time. Am I making a difference? Absolutely. Are there promotions, awards or tangible merits to show that? Not really. The biggest recognition that we can receive is your gratitude. Give it generously. Coming from someone we look up to, it really means more than you know.

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