My custody arrangement for JP includes the provision that his mother and I cooperate on hiring anyone who will provide care for him. His mother lives very close to her parents, which means if she needs after school help, she can get it for free. Not that I have any complaint about that, but I also have no control over it. My parents can’t provide the same service, so, for example, we’ve hired a nanny for Ellie.
Under the custody arrangement, say I wanted to step out to the store for a second while the nanny and JP are in the house. It could be considered that the nanny, in those five minutes, was providing care for JP. I would therefore have to let his mother interview, and possibly even approve, this person who I hired to look after my other child. Needless to say I don’t want this.
From the start, then, our nanny has spent no time alone with JP. This has caused some tension, I think. JP immediately understood that the nanny was not there for him–unlike most guests to the house, she wouldn’t be roped into games, or reading him books, or any of the other things he likes. He isn’t mean to the nanny, exactly, just a little cool, as a result.
A couple of weeks ago, I forgot to take money out of the bank to pay the nanny on a Friday. I had JP in the house, Tomoko wasn’t around, and the nanny needed to go pick up her own children from daycare. I decided, in the interest of speed, to leave JP in the house with her and rush to the bank for the money.
I was on the street pedaling my bike for a grand total of two minutes when my ex wife passed me in her car, going the other way. Ten minutes after that, on my home, I received a text message from her stating that if the nanny was watching JP then she would like to conduct an interview and see what she thought. I told her no (although those weren’t the words I used).
Today, though, I had a change of heart. She is going to drop JP off at my house this evening before I get home. She will, then, get to meet our nanny. My understanding is that introductions will be made, but the bodyscan (my ex carries this sort of equipment with her everywhere) will be postponed for another day.
Here’s my thinking: the nanny doesn’t take care of JP because we don’t pay her to do so. Her job, and she does it well, is to take care of Ellie. Does that mean she can’t spend five minutes alone with JP during the very short period of time when we’re all in the house together (she usually leaves when I get home)? I think not. If, by introducing them, I can short-circuit later conflict–giving the dog my ex a bone–then I can only benefit.