Monday, 7 March 2011

Fancy Parenting

Nanny #2 said something this weekend that really made me feel a lot better about my parenting skills. I mean, after the cup incident. To answer your questions, there is a Fancy way to pick up some other child’s sippy cup from the sidewalk. I won’t bore you with the details but it involves pushing the cup to the side with one Manolo while juggling your Prada onto the other shoulder before bending down, making sure your Fancy ass isn’t facing oncoming traffic. You should also be muttering something about irresponsible Nannies, just so everyone is very clear that you aren’t actually in need of a new cup but simply respecting your own belongings. And seriously, Mrs. Tuna, I have some handcuffs in the bedside drawer and they look plenty Fancy. Anyway, back to me and my excellent mothering.

“Watching you last weekend, well I guess that is why I’m with your family. I just really learned something about patience and tolerance,” she said, folding my laundry into perfect little squares. (Yes, even the socks.)

It didn’t take me long to know what she meant. I’m a mother of two toddlers.

Here’s what you need to know about people who are 100% Ego driven and have virtually zero developed Id:

  • They are used to having their needs met immediately. They say “jump” and people starting hopping around. Demanding is an understatement.
  • The norm is to have someone cater to their every need. Down to the most basic: a soft place to sleep, yummy food in their bellies, a warm towel after a nice bath, matching socks.
  • They lack any sort of patience.
  • The rules that govern you and me, like politeness, tolerance of others and understanding that sometimes others’ needs come first are completely lacking.

So, when things don’t work the way they expect, there is no coping ability. The only way they know how to express their frustration is through kicking, screaming and tears. It’s completely understandable, don’t you think?

What’s my approach? Oh, it’s usually to walk into the situation with a sense of humour. I might make a funny face or stomp my feet in imitation. It often doesn’t take me but a few seconds to figure out how to right whatever wrong sent them hurtling into a full scale tantrum. And at the end there is some reassurance that the problem has been solved, followed usually by a little giggling and some hugs. I wipe away tears and with a pat on the butt, send my little darlings on their way.

So yes, last weekend Nanny #2 witnessed me handle a crying and frustrated member of my family with grace and understanding.

“Did he get to the airport on time?” Nanny #2 asked.


  1. Gotta love those tantrums - I get all my best tantrum inspiration from my kids. In fact I haven't had a good tantrum for a while - mmmm, maybe I'll save it for tomorrow when all my pancakes go wrong.

  2. Yes, but I never knew I'd get inspiration from a man older than me...sigh.

  3. Ha! Your poor fancy husband. He suffers so....

  4. Ah, but did he find his khakis?

    Your nanny isn't the only one who picked up on that. I actually thought about how nice and helpful you were to him as he struggled to pack, several times this week. I thought, hmm, maybe that's what nice wives do? I'm no longer a wife, so not my problem anymore, but I could see that working!

  5. I have just read your blog from cover to cover (you know what I mean) and love it. I've added you to my blogroll and will be visiting regularly.

  6. Bless his heart.

    A friend of mine (an large-brained, pin-striped CEO type) was disturbed by his very young daughter's hissy fits in public. The next time she did it he threw himself to the floor in a restaurant and had his own hissy fit. Wish I'd seen it.

    I'm sure you coped admirably but maybe, next time, just throw yerself on the floor!