Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

22 March 2012

The Nanny Blogs, Revisited

I took a hiatus from working as a behavioral therapist for the school district a few years back and became a Nanny.  Not the Fran Dresher kind, wearing mini skirts and high heels and parking my shapely ass on Mr. Sheffield's desk... I was more the jeans and t-shirt kind who taught the kids all kinds of bad habits and spent long hours styling baby Charles' luxious golden baby curls into up-do's, feathered hair, and french braiding it (because his sister, Venice, wouldn't let me touch her hair.)  I had spent a summer working with Kegan, my precious angel who had autism, and included in my duties were caring for his sister Venice, who was 2, and baby Charles, who emerged a month or so after I began working.

So I had 4 year old Kegan, with Autism, 2 year old Venice, with Attitude, and newborn baby Charles, with Lungs Of Steel (and amazing hair).

I loved it.

At the time that I began working for this family, I was empty nesting HARD.  Two of my boys had flown the coop; one to Arizona to attend art school and the other to the Marines, to potentially kick ass and take names.  I still had Brennan at home, but he was so unused to being an only child that he spent almost every waking minute at his friend's houses, because he was "lonely."  (Poor baby.  Poor, poor baby.  Also?  Mommy's fridge wasn't stocked with beer and as it turns out, his friend's houses fridge's WERE.)

I also knew that I only had one more year with Brennan home, because he was also joining the Marines after graduation.

It was an incredibly difficult year for me.

Or it would have been, if I hadn't been chronically entertained by the little miniature people with whom I spent my day.

I refer to my time as a nanny as The Venice Years.  

Venice was (and is) one of the most creative and interesting little girls  you could ever hope to meet.  She's precocious without being obnoxious, bossy without being bratty, silly without being annoying... I adore that child.

One of my favorite stories in The Venice Chronicles is the one I wrote called Grilled Cheese or Dog Poop? 

(No children or dogs were harmed in the events leading up to the writing of this blog.)

(Also?  Upon reading this, you're probably going to wonder at the sanity of her parents, who left me in charge of these children.  They're as bad as I am, so it all evened out.  Though I do take all the credit for how fabulously their kids turned out.  They may disagree, but the proof is in the pudding:  I have fabulous children, THEY have fabulous children.... What's the common denominator??  ME!!!  BOOO-YAHHHH, Wendy!!)

I miss you so much, Miss Sassy Pants!!

Grilled cheese or dog poop?  A Tale of Venice

Most discussions regarding meals with Venice involve frustration on my part 

and the repeated phrase "I don't want it" on HER part. Inevitably, she winds 

up with chocolate pudding and hot cocoa for lunch because quite frankly, I 

get tired before she does. 

Our conversations generally go something like this:

Me:  Venice, do you want peanut butter and jelly for lunch?

Venice:  I don't want it.

Me:  How about chicken nuggets?

Venice:  I don't want it.

Me:  Macaroni and cheese?

Venice:  I don't want it.

Ad nauseum.

Saturday, while Wendy was cutting my hair and making me beautiful, she 

revealed a very helpful "Manipulating Venice" tip:  She offers Venice TWO 

choices, as in, "Venice, do you want spaghetti or dog poop for dinner?"

Venice always chooses spaghetti.  After all, she IS only 3.  We should be 

smarter than she is, yes?

I filed this tidbit away for future reference, positive that I would be able to 

haul it out and use it to my advantage within the following week.

Sure enough, today was The Day.

Me:  Venice, what do you want for lunch?

Venice:  I want candy.

Me:  You can have candy after lunch.  Do you want peanut butter and jelly?

Venice:  I want candy.

Me:  Do you want chicken nuggets?

Venice:  No.

Me:  What do you want?

Venice:  I want candy.

A-HA!  Lightbulb moment!  I could use Wendy's trick.

Me:  Venice, do you want grilled cheese sandwhich or dog poop?

Venice (without batting an eye):  I want dog poop.

Alrighty then.  She turned her steely blue gaze on me and I gazed back, 

wondering which one of us would cave first.

It was me.

She discarded me with one blink and went back to watching her cartoon.

I pondered on what the hell to do. 

And then it hit me.

I reached up into the cupboard and grabbed the candy stash.  I stealthily 

unwrapped three mini tootsie rolls and placed them on a paper plate.

I placed them in the microwave and nuked them for a few seconds, then 

removed the plate and arranged the candy into very realistic looking 

chihuahua poop.

I put the plate on the table and said, "Venice, come eat your lunch.  Your 

dog poop is ready."

She looked at me for a second then got up and came to the table.  She sat 

down and stared at her plate.

I waited.

And waited.

And then...

Venice:  Dani?

Me:  Yes?

Venice:  I want gwilled cheese sammich.

Me:  Okay.  Want to help me make it?

I plopped her on the counter, dumped the "poop" into the trash, helped her 

make her sandwhich, let her help cook it, and after it was done she 

gobbled it down saying, "MMMM!  Yummy!  I WIKE gwilled cheese, Dani!  

It's GOOD!"

Uh huh.


Venice: 456758409

Nanny:  1


I want dog poop.


  1. Ha! Yeah, moms of "precocious" children always have at least 1 or 2 tricks up their sleeves. I have about 12. All of them needed and used sparingly, because my kids are way too damn smart. Little stinkers. My oldest hates spinach (he says), so I started chopping spinach leaves up really fine and adding them to things and telling them they were herbs. He recently has discovered he loves getting salads from the salad bar at the grocery store. Guess what his "lettuce" is. Yep. I really want to tell him he likes spinach, but then he would stop eating it. For now, he's eating spinach about twice a week. Score.

    And by the way, her mom doesn't sound crazy. She sounds smart. You have to adapt to those little suckers and their ploys. It's like war, sometimes. Have to have tactics that work and adjust as needed on the battle field.

    Wanna come watch MY kids? :)

    1. Girl, I invented ways to sneak vegetables into food wayyyyy before Jessica Seinfeld thought she'd invented it. My middle son wouldn't eat anything red, green, while, or could potentially contain anything in the vegetable or mushroom family. He wouldn't even eat mashed potatoes.

      The only reason he didn't starve to death is because of my handy dandy cuisinart. True story.

      I miss my nanny years... I had so much fun ruining those children!!! They all hold an incredibly special place in my heart, and will be part mine until the day I die. I was so lucky to get to be part of their lives for so many years.

      And I would love to take care of your kids. LOVE to. I would promise to spoil them rotten, teach them bad habits, and reward them for every hilariously inappropriate thing they say.

  2. HAHAHA! I was so worried you just might serve the dog poop to win.... or loose and serve candy. I am dying... good choice on the tootsies!

    1. LoL! You have to be so tricky to outsmart any of those kids!!! I miss them soooo much!!! Have you gotten to spend any time with them lately?

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  4. I just got home a little bit ago, after a sucky trip to the doctor and a freaking ticket from a motor-cop - I soooo needed to hear the grilled cheese or dog poop story! Venice just made my day!!

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  6. Omg I have said those words so many times. First to my son when he was younger and now to my husband...
    Me: what would you like for dinner?
    Hubby: I don't care anything.
    Me: How about some dog shit?

    Sheesh a little help here lol

  7. BTW major fan here. Don't remember how we found your blog but my BFF and I are avid readers of it and we think you are one funny bitch. At one point you won an award and had to recommend others you liked and now we follow, Everything Ertel (you have a lovely vocab. I've stolen some of your good ones and shared them with the deserving masses) and Misti's laws, Jen at PIWTPITT, so many of you and I see a lot of you comment on each others blogs so I hope they see this. Your all funny, crazy and wonderful writers. I am going to try and be a regular commenter on all of your blogs. My bud often sends me texts with quotes from one of your blogs knowing damn well I've read it followed by the sentence I pissed myself. This has been a bitch of a year for her since June her daughter, my goddaughter was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her treatment, chemo and tests, procedures and hair loss. Tears and utter fear, we had you all getting us through it. She's doing great, my BFF's doing pretty good now and for all the months of laughter....thank you!
    Dani my husband snores like a sob too and my son can clear a room. I got a Lhasa apso love that little bitch and your right...dogs win over them throwing their smelling ass draws in the hamper anyday.
    Love you ladies.


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