I have just finished the first full day at my new live-in nanny position in Kensington, London. It was a twelve-hour shift and now I’m exhausted.
The day started off so-so.
At 7am I went down to the kitchen. India was there in a very see-through nighty making porridge whilst feeding bits of banana to Freddie and telling Mini her “schedule” for the week.
“Today’s Monday so that means…?” prompted India
“Nursery,” proclaimed Mini.
“Correct. Nursery this morning. Penny will pick you up before lunch. You have lunch and nap at home and then…?”
“Ballet. With my pink clothes on.”
“Correct,” said India as if this was a test in which she was grading her young daughter.
They went through the whole week.
Tuesday: music class in the morning for both children, free afternoon.
Wednesday: nursery full day, little gym for Mini after nursery.
Thursday: swimming for Mini first thing followed by art class for Mini, free afternoon.
Friday: nursery in the morning for Mini, swimming for Freddie. Free afternoon, usually driving to the country.
Wow, these kids have a more hectic life than I had in my whole childhood. Whatever happened to staying at home and playing?
There was a slight incident over the breakfast table. India was spoon feeding Freddie his porridge. I asked for butter and India kindly leant over and passed it to me. As she did, her loose nightgown slipped down further than it should and revealed her whole right nipple.
“Thanks,” I muttered keeping my head down.
“I want Tanya,” declared Mini out of nowhere.
Oh great, how to make me feel good about myself, thanks Mini. Things escalated pretty quickly into a full-blown tantrum from there. India was trying so hard to make me sound like I was so much fun and better than Tanya. She kept looking at me eagerly, and nodding and smiling. It was hard to take her seriously with her nipple on show.
Luckily Mini put a stop to it when she said “Mummy’s milk,” whilst pointing at the offending item. India didn’t look in the slightest bit embarrassed, she just covered herself up.
Mini carried on with the crying and wailing.
“I think it might be best if I just get ready and leave you to it,” said India.
I agreed it probably was for the best. The next hour was horrendous with Mini and Freddie taking turns to scream. And shout. And cry. And wail. All within earshot of India who was getting ready to go to work in her bedroom. They calmed down once she had left.
Dropping Mini off at nursery for three hours was a relief. I took Freddie to the playground in Kensington Gardens which he loved. The playground was so busy. It was nothing like the village playgrounds in the West Country I used to take my old charges, Toby and Jack, to. Mostly we had the playgrounds to ourselves and on the off chance there were other children there, there was a good chance we’d know them.
The afternoon only had one disaster and that was in locating Mini’s “pink clothes”, ie. ballet clothes for her lesson. She had a meltdown. I tried to placate her. Nothing worked even when I had found said clothes. Eventually, she calmed down.
By 7pm when India and Tristan walked through the door I was, along with the children, more than ready for bed. What was the first thing Mini said to them?
“Penny lost my pink clothes.”
Day one. Done.