A young woman with long, jet-black hair rubbed Mark’s feet. I’d never seen him look more uncomfortable in his life.
Mark and I were in Beijing for the first time and I’d forced him into a spa with me. I wanted a pedicure. He had to do something (I decided), so I bought him a foot massage, to his acute horror.
My lady came out with this crummy-looking Caboodle – thought those had died out, but no. Her nail equipment was suspect at best but she went ahead and tackled my feet as visions of toe bacterial infections danced in my head.
The woman rubbing Mark’s feet kept smiling at him. My toes looked as crummy as the Caboodle mid-way through the pedicure.
We were in a brothel.
Its location in an alley should have been our first clue.
We paid. I shoved my feet back into my boots, ruining my pedicure. Mark was already out the door.
I bring all that up because I’m trying to hire a nanny and I’m probably going to call an agency today.
The agency has an unfortunate name like The College Nanny.
I read that and I’m like…total cover.
Hopefully not, because I really need to lock this one down.
Now that I’ve returned from my 2007 Beijing alley “spa” flashback, I find myself wondering:
How does one find a reliable babysitter?
Well, I don’t know. But I’m learning.
I networked with another CF mom, whose (amazing) nanny has friends who were interested in the position. One didn’t call back. I spoke to another on the phone and she seemed interested, but lived too far away. Another could only do Wednesdays.
In Oklahoma City there is a nonprofit called Rainbow Fleet, which exists to help people find childcare. They sent me a list of colleges and nanny agencies, which was a helpful resource.
I made a lovely flyer and have been sending it to nursing, education and career departments at a variety of local colleges on the list. I know it’s only been four days but no one has responded. Ugh. Don’t students need jobs these days?
I’m looking for a babysitter because I can’t put Eli in daycare.
Well, I could, but he would get sick, and I would lose my mind, because we need to keep buddy healthy on account of his chronic illness, cystic fibrosis.
Laila was constantly sick while we had her in daycare. We called her ongoing roster of illnesses “a case of the daycare.”
She had a sweet teacher who I really liked and claimed one of the workers – Miss Denise – was her best friend.
The other workers would rotate in and out. That bothered me a great deal. A new person would show up, and I would have no idea who was taking care of my child or from whence this person came.
One day a new woman showed up. She smelled like an ashtray and looked like she rolled out of bed and into the daycare after a night at the bar.
Mark dropped Laila off that day, I picked her up, and we both saw this poor woman’s thong.
If I didn’t have a kid in her care, I’d look at her on the street and think a patronizing, well-intentioned thought like:
Oh, honey. You can do better than that.
But instead my thought was more like:
Oh, hell no.
The gal only exposed her thong to the children for a week before she disappeared.
Any how, I also placed an ad on a childcare website, but the responses were not high quality.
The first one spelled my name “Julianna.” My name is right there in the ad. FATAL ERROR.
All I want is a modern-day Mary Poppins. Someone who is warm but stern and capable. Someone who loves children, knows how to spell and how to keep her thong in its place. Plus a, flu shot, infant CPR certification and a car. It’s not too much to ask, really, it’s not.
Back to my search.