And I have been so intuitive/psychic/in-touch-with-the-wildlife lately that I totally was not surprised. My husband on the other hand collapsed slack-jawed into his chair. I guess he may already be feeling a touch overextended. I don’t know why that would be, what with the moving house, running a business, two obstreperous children and two puppies who wake him five times a night. For some reason, they never try to wake me. I don’t even think the puppies actually need to pee, at this point they’re just fucking with him.
Our nanny has been with us for five years and she is now a part of our family. Of course you don’t pay your family, because if you did you’d be expecting a lot more bang for your buck. If you paid your relatives, you could just fire and hire them at will when they got too interested/disinterested in your affairs, depending on how you feel about it. I personally favor a good mix of ruse intrusiveness and respectful distance when I need it. Cause that’s what I’m paying for damn it! Our nanny had that and much more.
The kids love her, and she has saved my life on a daily basis (or at least for twenty hours a week) by doing all the stuff that makes me want to blow my brains out, until she leaves and I have to do it again. Or give my husband sexual incentives to do it for me.
And now that she’s leaving I need to step up to the plate and do all of the things I have been avoiding since they were little. These include:
1. Rough-housing. Not a fan of it, but when daddy’s not here, sometimes our boys need it so I’m donning a face-guard and going in.
2. Pillow-fighting, again fine but NOT THE FACE.
3. One hour of continuous light saber play. (I usually manage about one minute.)
4. Swimming and splashing with them. Ugh. I hate getting wet. It’s not even a Jewfro thing, I just hate being cold. That’s right, I behave as if I am the lost Princess Anastasia. (And how do you know I’m not?)
5. Cooking. Daily. Boy is that one a deal-breaker.
And since the cry-fest for the nanny leaving hasn’t begun yet, I’ve had a chance to be objective. And I’ve made a startling discovery. If I feel overwhelmed by something (like being a parent, a spouse or a friend) I will simply withdraw. I don’t just take my marbles and go home, I leave the country. I did that once, then found out that all my lost marbles had come with me. Same shit, different country.
If you were to ask me if I was a perfectionist, I would say I wasn’t. Would I ever write anything again if I were a perfectionist? I certainly would never post a blog full of grammatical errors (that I only notice once I’ve blasted it out, of course.) But the fact that these errors bother me should give a clue. I have always had to fight against the voices in my head (shhh… I can’t hear them when you talk so loud) and while not medically diagnosed as a schizophrenic, I am probably as close to having multiple personalities as you can be and still function. Or sort of function.
One of the voices that has been around for so long that it became a kind of background ambiance. And it constantly says “If you can’t do it perfectly don’t do it at all.” Hence the bizarre food habits – organic, no microwave, limiting kids’ sugar blah blah blah. But our new place has a microwave AND NOBODY DIED when I made the Amy’s spinach magical organic lasagne. And it took ONE MINUTE. Why have I been torturing myself with these crazy expectations? I’m not eating sugar. Fine. But my kids eat healthy and still bounce off the walls, they’re smart about nutrition so can I just FUCKING RELAX already?
So the freezer is full of food. (GASP FROZEN FOOD!!) and the sandwich maker is all geared up for gooey, cheesy toasted sandwiches. I am volunteering at the school again, because I don’t have to be Mother Theresa without the lepers. I can just be a low key version of helpful, and it doesn’t have to be in the perfect outfit.
In short, I can just do a GOOD ENOUGH job, and that will be good enough. I accepted as much from the nanny, occasionally raising an eyebrow about yet more pizza or mac and cheese, and I will now extend myself the same courtesy.
I am correctly medicated, and so I am ready to tackle the needs of this family even if I fail spectacularly on a daily basis. Get my mouth-guard, cause I’m going in…