Even before Atri was born, I had decided that until he is six months old, I wont engage any help to look after him. Call it paranoia or being over-cautious about his budding immunity, that was the decision and I decided to stick to it. We were in Bombay then and someone recommended an 'international nanny'. By that, I mean that she had gone to several countries on baby-minding assignments. She was 40 plus and while I did not find her too good at first glance, I thought of giving it a go. She lasted all of 4 hours. So I'm not even calling her Nanny no.1.
Then I almost stopped looking as we were to move to Hyderabad in October and I did not want to go through the trouble of looking for Ms.Right, training her and then leaving in a few weeks did not seem worth the effort. When I moved to Hyd, i was told that there is no dearth of help in this city and I would find plenty of people to fit the role. Somehow I was in no hurry to find someone as we were going to be in Chennai for over two weeks around Atri's Ayush Homam. We got back on the 30th November and 2nd December Nanny 1 joined in.
Lakshmi was street smart, vivacious and managed to get into Atri's good books right away. Atri was still in the phase of stranger's anxiety where he would not like to go to anyone but me or S - Lakshmi however, found a way to get him to like her and I liked her a lot for that. Even if he cried while letting go of me, she managed to pry him away and divert his attention. She used to come in by 10.15 am and leave by 7 pm. We went for a couple of lunches with her in tow, where she would take care of Atri. Even in a luxury five star hotel, she was at ease taking Atri around the premises, unfazed by the new places or people. I liked that about her. While I'm the one who used to bathe, cook, feed and diaper change for Atri - it was a luxury just having another person around. The luxury of having an undisturbed meal, watching a favourite TV show or having someone else putting him to sleep in the afternoon was a new experience for me. My parents came for a week around New Year's Eve and my mom was impressed by the way Atri got along with her. We did have some minor hiccups with her, but overall she was fast to grasp new things and I was basking in the luxury of a bright nanny. Alas, it was not to last.
Seven weeks after joining, her older sister came in asking to increase her pay and shorten her working hours as they were to move further away from from where they were staying. The lady's mannerisms and loud argumentative nature put me off completely and we had to let the girl go, instead of chugging along with someone who's caretaker decided to hold us to ransom. Our security cum handyman who had brought in Lakshmi in the first place, assured me that it was best to let her go and that he would find someone good soon.
In the next three weeks, several people from ages 8 to 50 came around looking for a nanny's job. Word spreads fast around here. We managed to send everyone packing. We are strictly against employing children and the 50 year olds would barely be able to catch up with a super-fast Atri.
Nanny 2 landed on 1st of Feb, a supposedly 15 year old school drop out. She seemed dull and disinterested but on the insistence of her mom, who worked in the building, we decided to give her a try. She was everything Lakshmi was not and Atri started screaming the minute he saw her face. The first day, my mind flitted back and forth between nanny 1 and 2, comparing and how sad it was that I had to let the smart one go. On day two, I had my fill of the second one. She did not know how to handle my little one and she was playing with his toys while he was doing his mischief in another corner. I had made up my mind to ask her to leave after she has her lunch. Luckily I did not have to ask her to leave as she herself felt the same thing and she asked to be sent off :) Boy, I was happy! I don't blame the girl. It was her first time at work, other than helping her mother in her employments. The responsibility and maturity that (hopefully) comes with age was missing in her.
Since then until now, I was back to managing Atri by myself while S was at work. Back to square one, I had given up the idea of going for a walk or yoga class for my battered back. I was so upset by the inadequacy of nanny 2 that I had given up looking for someone when day before, S's colleague sent the daughter of the lady who cleans their office. I was still in two minds whether I must engage her services and she is another school drop out who hasn't minded kids before. Saturday went off peacefully and today was the opposite. After a disturbed sleep schedule, he was majorly cranky all day until he slept off a couple of hours ago, which helped me make my decision. I have called in nanny 3 tomorrow. I'm okay with the inexperience as long as she is willing to learn and has a basic inclination towards kids! Keeping my fingers crossed...
To engage help to look after our babies or not to is a big dilemma, at least for me. This is a matter for another post. Now I'm ready to drop off to sleep...If you have any thoughts on this matter, would love to hear them!
2 years ago