I’m half way through the first week in my new nanny job in London. Something I have learnt is that you can’t judge the children on your brief viewing of them at the interview stage.
I first saw my charges-to-be, Mini (3) and Freddie (10 months) when I came to the house for my interview. I spent about half an hour with them. During that time they were happily and calmly playing. Mini came across as quite advanced as her language ability is very good for her age but also sweet natured and easy going. She was showing me her favourite toys and how they worked. Freddie seemed calm and placid.
Well… I got one out of the two correct. Freddie is indeed a really contented little baby. He likes to be fed on time and he loves his sleep but Mini, on the other hand, has mostly displayed a… how shall I put it, let’s say she’s come across as rather more challenging so far this week. Even her Mum told me I have my work cut out for me in looking after her.
Today, however, there has been no screaming, no tantrums, no unreasonable demands. She’s even shown me the sweet girl she is under all the bravado.
For example: in the playground’s sandpit she saw that Freddie wanted to play with the spade she was using; so she gave it to him. I didn’t prompt her or ask her to, she just saw that he was really focused on it so shared it with him.
Another example: whilst waiting to go down the slide, a smaller child was stood in front of her. A bigger child came and nudged his way to the front and Mini said,
“No, you have to wait. You’re not allowed to push.” She said in her very forceful and matter-of-fact tone.
She then put her arm out, blocking the boy and allowed the little girl to go down first before she went herself.
I felt like a really proud nanny at that point. She stuck up for the underdog and not many kids do that, even if they know it’s the right thing to do. It made me remember that this job certainly has its ups and downs like most jobs but that the upside of things always outweighs the downside of things.
I was a little bit wary when I had to tell her it was nearly time to leave the playground. I gave her a five-minute warning but as she was having a great time I thought she might protest. Instead, she came out with;
“Okay, Penny. I just need three more goes on the slide.” She said with enthusiasm before running off to the slide.
Walking home with them, both rosy cheeked and sticky with suncream and sand, I felt really glad that I have made this move from being a country nanny, to being a live-in London nanny. Not only is London busier and more hectic than the countryside, but even the children are busier and more precocious than their country cousins. I’m learning more day by day…