I once had a baby drool in my eye. Right in my mother fucking EYE.
Okay, I’m actually reliving this…HANG ON.
I’d picked up the child for my mid-morning set of overhead baby presses (kept my triceps looking noice) and glanced up to gauge how close I was getting her to the ceiling fan because I am a responsible adult.
The moment my eyes ascended, a little blob of drool landed on my cornea. Plop!
Without missing a beat, I launched that leaking meatball across the room, dropped to my knees, and screamed bloody murder Brando style in Streetcar…
HAHAHA – ohh calm down – that didn’t happen.
It would have been fucking hilarious if it did, but I’m not a monster.
So I didn’t torpedo the farting sprinkler system across the room, but I did blurt out the most extended (and to my credit, unfinished) ‘FUUUUUUc_’, as I tucked her into her highchair and bolted to the bathroom to put my eyeball in the shower where it stayed for an hour.
Either she’d been smoking Newports since the 90’s, or she still hadn’t kicked the cough she caught from her brother. This fucking gnarly gross grossness brought on a pure chemical surge of anger. Like angry anger. The kind that makes me repeat myself repeat myself.
My immune system had never had its balls repeatedly hammered this way – and keep in mind I live in New York, take public transportation, and will absentmindedly nibble a hangnail after wrestling with a homeless man for the last free bagel at Planet Fitness.
Look, he’s not a member. I checked.
Point is, I’d never been sick so many goddamn times than whilst tending to these anklebiters.
Children = carrier monkeys.
I would hold my breath every time I picked up her brother from preschool to no avail.
Jesus Christ, is that a booger in your hair?
Filthy animals, all of them.
These were just a couple of many, many events that never failed to shatter my soul just a little more than it had been the day before.
This was my experience as a full-time nanny.
Dodging bodily fluids and not selling Booger Head on the black market was part of the job.
I had to accept it.
Fuck you economy.
I’ve had challenging jobs before, but dealing with the wee ones is an incredibly distinct mental maze I’d no training for beyond three hours of babysitting.
For instance, I had damn near daily arguments with the 3-year-old, and it never ceased to amaze me how infuriating it was to communicate with someone so passionate, yet so irrational.
Just don’t punch his head off. Don’t do it. Not worth it.
And I never did. *pats self on back*
But it was a legit struggle.
Relief came in spans of an hour or so when they would fall asleep in the stroller every afternoon…aka, after I would walk an extra three miles until they passed out. True story, I once threw my coffee at a passing cab who laid on his horn when we crossed the street.
That’s how enraged I became at the thought of them waking up.
And let me just say, I’m like a mad scientist at the 7Eleven counter to get a cup to my liking, so never in my right mind would I have just thrown it around willy-nilly.
I’d become that much closer to exhibiting the mental rationale of a prison inmate.
Then we’d get back to the apartment and proceed to have the “Can I have a treat” dance.
Um, a treat for what exactly?
Because it took me telling you three goddamn times to quit bouncing the basketball inside, and the only reason you finally quit was because I had to put that fucker on the top shelf in the closet?
Or is it because you had a complete meltdown when your sister touched one of your seventy-five cars and made her cry?
Maybe because your teachers told me what a good listener you were in school today on opposite day.
Do we really think we’ve earned a treat today buddy?
Me thinks hell no.
A typical day at a glance:
“Why is dressing you in the morning like shoving a 45 pound balloon full of pudding into a sock?”
“Why aren’t you listening to me?”
“Why are you asking me these questions?”
“Why have you not stopped talking for 45 minutes straight?”
“Why am I not embarrassed to be publicly arguing with a 3 year old?”
“Why am I already exhausted?”
“Why are you still talking?”
“Why are you crying? You literally just woke up from a nap – nothing’s happened yet”
“Why are you so calm? What did you do.”
“Why am I so calm?”
“Why does ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ remind me of my last mushroom trip?”
“Why haven’t you needed to use the bathroom yet?”
“Why do you hang out with that kid? He’s an asshole and a vegan and he’s only 3.”
“Why is that woman breastfeeding at the playground? Let me guess, she’s the vegan kid’s Mom.”
“Why is that woman breastfeeding while talking to me? Did she just catch me looking at her boob again?”
“Why am I so angry all of a sudden?”
“Why do you say ‘no’ at the suggestion of bathroom when you’re squeezing the shit out of your crotch?”
“Why has that woman NOT put her damn boob away yet? TUCK THAT SHIT IN, WOMAN.”
“Why can’t I find a different job?”
“Why can’t I just marry some rich dude and be a stay-at-home wife with a mild pill addiction?”
“Why do people willingly do this? These kids are out of their goddamn minds.”
“Why does that kid have a more expensive wardrobe than me?”
“Why won’t you share with your cars with sister? You have 137 of them out.”
“Why can’t I be a functioning alcoholic/drug addict to make this experience any easier?”
“Why are you always about to run out into the street?”
“Why would you ask me for a treat? You didn’t do anything special.”
“Why are you making me hate the sound of my own name?”
“Why can’t we talk about current events – politics, climate change, gentrification?”
“Why are you so obsessed with the Power Rangers? They’re pretty douchey”
“Why are you not tired yet?”
“Why aren’t you using the toilet like I know that you know that I know you know how?”
“Why would I give you a treat now when you’re in bed?”
My saving grace were the couple of women I met through play dates. One was a fellow nanny, the other a stay-at-home Mom. These intelligent, gorgeous angels were my life blood, and I surely would have lost my mind even more and/or committed murder if they weren’t around to talk me down from the ledge. I’d never appreciated how important adult conversation was to maintaining a sense of self before, and at that point I had “Elmo’s world” playing on repeat in my head for months, so I knew I was coming dangerously close to settling in for a nap under the tires of a bus.
Each night I would dissolve into a puddle on the train, massage my temples and repeat to myself, “Fuck this. I’m not going back tomorrow. Never again.”
“I mean, why does this kid insist on testing my limits? Jesus, he reminds me of my ex.”
Followed by…pity party.
“Where have I gone so wrong in life to deserve this? I’m a good person. I sometimes pick up litter that’s not even mine because I can’t even fucking help myself. I’m pretty much the nicest person I know.”
“He shit his pants on purpose today. On purpose. He’s a manipulator, that one.”
“Don’t even look at me sir. I haven’t put on makeup in three months because what’s the point. I’m a shell of a woman. Covered in nothing but snot and self-loathing.”
“SHIT HIS PANTS ON PURPOSE!”
I feel I should point out that these kids weren’t even bad kids. I saw some actual bad kids in action, and those twisted fuckers terrified me. No, my kids were the best behaved out of the lot, and I attribute their survival to exactly that.
What sucked my soul out of my ass was the act of repeatedly spending a day maxing out my mental and physical energy with no greater goal in sight.
Unless of course the goal was to invest in having my tubes tied before my next birthday.
Well played, Universe.
I know folks are quick to say that children are miracles, but they’re wrong. If you pooped out a kid, good for you, but that’s no miracle. What’s far more inspiring are the people who keep those little turds alive while you’re at work all day, especially when they’re not genetically obliged to do so.
Take a moment and let that soak in. I’ll wait.
And after that, give your nanny a nice bottle of booze and a damn raise already ya cheap cunts.