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Enter the Nanny

January 10th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

mrs. doubtfire

First, for those of you snickering at my headline, be ashamed.


Prior to having a kid I always understood a nanny as firmly within the purview of the obscenely wealthy. Surely only the elite could afford a governess to instruct the little ones in the fine art of potty usage, good sleep habits, and, of course, leveraged buyouts. Yet here in NYC’s middle class–to whose outer edges I cling with less and less security each day–it seems that the nanny is simply another popular accoutrement, akin to the iPod and the psychotherapist: in short, who doesn‘t have one?

Well, me. JP never had a nanny because his mother and I lived directly next door to her semi-retired parents, who were only too happy to look after him. JP’s mother rearranged her work schedule to mostly at night, I started coming home from work early, and the grandparents covered the remaining hours. Worked reasonably well (except for that whole divorce thing) and saved me somewhere in the vicinity of $50,000 over the first two and half years of JP’s life, until he went to preschool.

Alas, there won’t be any happy grannies taking care of Ellie, as Tomoko’s family lives in Japan, and the idea of Tomoko working fewer hours seems remote at this point. So, nanny it is.

Which is also why I have come to you fine folks, DadWagon readers. Do you all have nannies, and if so, can you share your tricks for exploiting, bamboozling, and generally getting free labor from her (or him). Or maybe you think I should be a good boss, pay well, withhold taxes, hell, maybe I should even let her eat our food!

Just send your thoughts and recommendations this old way.


  1. Christopher says:

    January 10th, 2011at 4:51 pm(#)

    Just watch ‘The Sound of Music.’ Should fill you in on everything you need to know, particularly in case of Nazi invasion.

  2. karen says:

    January 10th, 2011at 5:25 pm(#)

    Nannies in Hong Kong often got to sleep in a closet off the kitchen … ostensibly meant as a larder but could fit a single bed with a tv mounted near the ceiling …

    When it was used at the larder, the lucky “nanny”/housekeeper/slave (really) got to sleep on the kitchen floor, or the stairs if she needed her head to be elevated …

    I only know this because I did the voice over for a documentary about workers rights … in my house, I was said slave.

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