Monday, 20 June 2011

Fancy in Crisis


We have a new Fancy Family Crisis. It involves Nanny #2. It’s a serious problem.

Nanny #2 is obsessed with laundry. Seriously. The woman can’t stop washing. And that would be fine if she actually understood what the fuck she was doing.

When she first started with us, I was a bit surprised to find that she’d used an entire box of Persil in one weekend. Until I opened the little soap tray and realized she was filling the entire 3 pots with detergent. Yes, that would be about 1 ½ cups of laundry detergent per load. So we had a conversation.  About soap dosing.

Then I discovered a silk blouse on its way into a load and rescued it seconds before it was sucked away into soap and water hell. We had another conversation. About checking labels and not washing the fucking silk.

Three pairs of trousers were put through the dryer, making Fancy here look like she actually intends to wear leggings everyday. I don’t. So we had another conversation. And I bought her a giant drying rack. Which I then had to help her assemble. And which now sits out on our terrace, making our home look like a barrio flat and not the Fancy Home that it really is. Sigh.

Two dry clean only but very wet shirts found hanging on the drying rack. Another talking to.

Three brand spanking new white tshirts that are now tinged blue brings us to our next crisis: “Where are my jeans?! Why are they always in the wash?! I just got them stretched out to where I can button them! What’s a little dirt? No I do NOT need a bigger size. Stop her from washing my jeans!!! Wah!!!” That was H. And Nanny #2 and I had another chat: only wash what is in the laundry basket. And please separate the whites from the new denim. At least do that for me. (I did point out to him that if leaving his clothes on the floor is practically inviting someone to launder them but that argument is apparently lost on him.)

But this weekend hit a new low. I actually snapped at Nanny #2. I became visibly upset. What pushed me over the edge?

The Minis and I were up early on Saturday and I decided to get them dressed before Nanny #2 arrived. In brand new outfits my mother had just sent. A half hour later, Nanny #2 arrived. Fancy here went back to bed. And when I got up an hour later, TC and the Princess were wearing something entirely different.

“Where are their new outfits? “ I asked gently.

“Oh. In the laundry. I decided they needed long pants. It’s very cold,” she replied.

I swallowed and bit my lip for a moment. “I literally cut the tags off those outfits 90 minutes ago. They weren’t dirty,” I wailed. (And it’s not that cold. You’re just too damn skinny. Eat something. Vegans. Crikey.)

I marched upstairs to get control over myself. “I just bit Nanny #2’s head off, “ I confessed to H. “She’s no longer to wash a single item of clothing without checking with me first,” I declared.

“Well, I hope you didn’t really bite her head off. It’s only laundry,” he replied, snickering. “She’s really obsessed. She has a wash-obsession. We should get her some help. Go sort my dirty clothes,” he cackled.

She’s such a lovely and well-meaning soul. I felt a little bad for losing it over something so little in the giant scheme of things. But seriously. It’s laundry. I’m not asking her to do our taxes or bake a soufflĂ©. Am I expecting too much?  Do we need to hire a laundry specialist too? Or is there hope? Can Nanny #2 be helped? I remain positive. I will persevere. She will, come hell or high water, learn to do my laundry. 

p.s. THANK YOU to Kate for introducing me to Disqus. It works. And Moomser, Team O'Toole, I'm working on those 7 Fancy Facts. Thank you for my award. But I've been busy. Rescuing fine fabrics. I'll get to it. x

23 comments:

  1. As it happens Fancy, I KNOW a laundry specialist. Would you like me to put you in touch with Mark?

    I can gaurantee no more mixed washes although you, H and the Minis may well have to wear matching outfits all week. Oh, and Nanny 2 might learn some new words and end up with a tattoo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh you have just made my day! I am sorry I shouldn't laugh because one should know the strict rule of separating colours, but oh that was funny!
    I hope she improves before you all endup wearing is leggings with off white tee-shirts, including H... might be worth seeing this, mind you :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Frankly the thought of H in a matching outfit with the Minis and myself is so unbelievably overwhelming, I'm at a loss for words. But maybe I could send her off for a week intensive course?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I feel your pain. I am not a natural at housework - I'll let anyone do anything for me, except for laundry. I need to sort it, wash it, hang it out and bring it in. I take charge.
    Can you relieve her of laundry duty al;together and replace it with a new task? regrouting the bathroom?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well but then who does the laundry? Because it isn't H and the girls are too little which would then leave...no.

    ReplyDelete
  6. God I'm glad I don't have staff.... she lied....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Where's the tablets...? I just got a headache reading this. I hate doing laundry but I would hate it even more if I relied on someone to do it and they kept messing it up!! Argh! Make a laminated laundry chart to hang in the laundry room? I dont have any other useful suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Frau, what are you to do with Nanny #2? I am unsure if she is using the linens like a dirty-whore which in the house of fancy, could not possibly occur.

    ReplyDelete
  9. There have been two times when my husband lost his sanity and thought he would help with the laundry. Everything was blue. I feel your pain. I hope the Minis outfits suffered no damage.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, you truly understand the depths of my pain. When you are a control freak such as myself, it is already painful enough to surrender the responsibility...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can't Nanny #1 do the laundry? I'm sorry to say that I had a housekeeper that was the laundry gremlin and no amount of coaching, coaxing or controlled yelling helped. I finally just did the laundry myself. It saved all of us oodles of time, money and therapy. My suggestion is to reassign tasks. My current Nanny won't let ME anywhere near the wash, as she does it better than me, I'm certainly not complaining.
    So, you happy with disqus? Is it a go? Thumbs up? should I take the jump?

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Lou: you are a terrible, terrible liar
    @ Maryalford, thank you for the concern and you'll be relieved to know the outfits survived!
    @Gemma: I'm confident there's nothing fishy going on. I come home to find her watching BibleTV...sweet, sweet woman who keeps ruining my clothes...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, you are my new favorite person. Because I cannot believe how patient you've been with her. Don't worry about snapping at her, I can't believe you've been so nice and patient. So I would suggest: 1) You're nice, and very patient, don't feel bad. 2) Jot down on a piece of paper all the rules you've gone over, maybe plus some. Tell her to keep it with her. Then, if you haven't already, say something to make your expectations clear, and your problem clear. She might really not GET your perspective. Say something like, "Now that you have this list, I'll expect that we won't have anymore laundry mistakes. It takes away from my time when I have to assist my nannies in dealing with stuff like this, so we expect our nannies to be self sufficient." Then if she screws up again, and you don't give her a warning to fire her, you are a saint.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Or you can do what my nanny family did, and look at me like I'm a drooling circus idiot, thus shaming me into a lifetime of paranoia over the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  15. oh my gosh that was mean i totally loved them. LIKE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME LOVED THEM

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well I love your take on it but yes, Stockholm syndrome! I'm so glad you escaped!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. yes on the Disqus. The other is more complicated. Nanny #1 is responsible for the girls' laundry. Nanny #2 is a nanny/housekeeper. She does our laundry. For better or for worse...:-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Simple, Jeeves of Belgravia, around the corner from Ottolenghi. Vegan - do tell me that's a joke....xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have three laundry baskets. For whites, delicates and other stuff. Bit more work but saves washing accidents...might help?

    ReplyDelete
  20. OK, first off Mrs Fancy Pants how the frig did you get Disqus to work so well on your blog? I mean seriously, it is so unfair. I have nothing but troubles with it and here you are uploading it and getting it working no problemo. Jeeezzzzz.

    Anyway.

    The clothes washing. Don't. Get. Me. Started. The filipino maid was marvellous, seriously, get one. Will totally kick nanny2's butt for weekends anyway ;-) My mother is our clothes destroyer. She comes to stay and wants to "help" which is great, if "help" means tumble-drying everything until it reaches the temperature of the sun. Alpha Male's jeans are all 2 inches shorter than his legs. He's 6ft 5in. It's not working on him.

    MD xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Um I did have to email Disqus. But only once. And they were very helpful. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. beyond H's capabilities. To get them to the basket, any basket, is something.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Have you, by any chance, happened to hire my cleaning lady as your Nanny #2?

    I have resorted to hiding from her anything that has special washing instructions. Except the jeans - I figured she could remember not to put in the dryer and/or iron them blue things.

    ReplyDelete