My Story Is About How Noggin Is Now Nick Jr. And Nobody Told Me

by anna on September 30, 2009

Did anyone really use this as an opportunity to go out and play?

Did anyone really use this as an opportunity to go out and play?

Our nanny’s husband was just diagnosed with cancer.

A different sort of blogger would make this story her own, and be able to milk at least two or three good soul-searching, tearjerker posts out of it: perhaps something to choke through at next year’s BlogHer View definition in a new window Community Keynote. In the hands of another blogger, the story of my nanny’s husband getting cancer would become an opportunity to show how deeply I empathize with other people and how touched I am by the lives of others. But it would also be a lie.

When I write something that involves other people here, my goal is to determine where it is that their story ends and my story begins. The cancer part is not my story beyond how badly I feel for her and how grateful I am that nothing like that has every happened to me (knock on wood). Beyond the momentary bitter reflection on a health care system that made her husband wait for two months to get the biopsy that would confirm diagnosis, and the reflection that those two months might well be the difference between life and death for him, this isn’t my story to tell.

No, my story is the selfish one about how our nanny’s husband being sick makes my life more difficult. It’s harder for me to squeeze out the hours I need from my day lately, since her schedule is limited. How Mini needs me more, and more often, and that I am anxious about it because, with his transition to preschool next week, I have to assume this need for me will only increase. I find myself trying to calculate ahead of time how many days I will need to stay at preschool with Mini, and for how long, in order to make him feel comfortable. My story is the one about how it’s hard for me to prioritize the other half of my work day, the one that involves doing the family’s budget and grocery shopping, and making sure everybody has everything they need right when they need it, when I cannot get in time to work on everything I want to work on. About how I get so easily frustrated by Mini in the morning, when all he is doing is being a toddler and wanting my attention, and I want to fix this or that, or work on this or that, rather than play cars with him.

My story reveals that sometimes I am a total asshole.

My story is about how Noggin is now Nick Jr., and nobody told me, and that the fact that they’ve been playing Little Bill for a full hour on weekday mornings lately is infuriating to me. And about how I’m so annoyed with the makers of Thomas’ Hero Of The Rails for putting an ad at the beginning of the disc, that you are forced to watch, because every time Mini sees it he wants to go get that toy, RIGHT NOW, and there is no way to explain to him that this is not going to happen without some kind of meltdown. About how I have to wash the comforter AGAIN today, and the duvet cover, and pick up all the toys so that nobody steps on them in the middle of the night. Or how Lieutenant Bautista’s speech impediment is like the elephant in the middle of the room on Dexter, and that there are millions of Elmer Fudd jokes to be made and nobody is making them. That the last thing that Heroes needs is another set of characters, and why do they always make us wait so damn long for a new episode of Lost.

My story is full of ups and downs and challenges and failures, but they are tolerable, and they are mine. And I’m lucky.

{ 8 comments }

Denise September 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm

There are always other nannies. I don’t mean to sound heartless because I’ve taken care of people with cancer, but your primary might rightly want to spend more time with her husband right now. There’s no reason not to get a secondary at this point – lots of women are good with kids.

anna September 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Yeah, but I think with preschool starting and the fact that she’s going to need any money/hours she can get from us in the near future, I need to just be more patient. It’s a time of transition for all of us right now.

Perpetua September 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I was going to suggest getting another nanny, but then she’s probably going to need your money right now. She’ll let you know when she can’t work for you anymore. It’s probably a good idea to look for a backup in the meantime. Also: boundaries. How do you set them when someone works for you as a person (rather than for “you” within a corporation or formal workplace)? It’s not like you have FMLA. Ugh.

I second you on the frustration bit. I feel like a complete ass for wanting to write when the baby needs to be rocked to sleep or fed sweet potatoes for an hour. You know, when he’s being a baby. I feel like a shit mother/person in those moments, despite knowing that it’s completely okay for me to want to work.

anna September 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm

It’s very hard, particularly with a nanny because you pick one based on how much they love your kid, and fit into your family. So when these kind of “employer” concerns come up, it makes it much harder. I want to support her and I’m so afraid for her, I don’t know how she’s going to manage. But that’s too hard to think about so I think about how I’m being inconvenienced instead.

When Mini was smaller I would feel guilty, but lately it’s harder because the fact is he needs stimulation. He needs to start school, because playing cars with me is just not doing it for him anymore. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be scared of the transition.

PauvrePlume September 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Hey Anna.
You know that song “Love Is All Around” (most notably covered by Wet Wet Wet and featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral)? Yeah, well, lately I feel like “Love” should be replaced with “Cancer.” It’s ridiculous how many people I know (whether directly or indirectly) who are being affected lately. Absurd, really. Anyway, I’m sorry for your nanny and, especially, for her husband. (Any mention of what stage he is? relevance being that, if it’s been caught early, maybe she’ll be more available than you both suspect? Don’t know.)

ANYWAY, where YOUR post relates to ME is more with the Noggin/Nick Jr. thing. Because I’m now somewhat obsessed with it. Particularly with Brobee on “Yo Gabba Gabba,” but I think I’ve already shared that. All I know is that “Little Bill,” though somewhat cute, remains boring. Like, wake-me-when-Bill-shuts-up kind of boring. But the worst is that “Lazy Town” show, which I saw for the first time yesterday, and I’m pretty sure my dreamscape will never be the same, what with all the nightmarish, creeptastic claymation going on in that program.

TERRIFYING.

I’m not a fan of censorship, but there should at least be some kind of warning in front of that thing.

Anyway, hang in there.

anna September 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Lazy Town is crazy. It’s like a small german town on methamphetamine. Re: cancer, I don’t know the stage. She is ESL, too, so there’s a lot lost in translation. It sounds bad, though.

beth aka confusedhomemaker September 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Well, I’ll admit my first thought was “She has a nanny, I totally want one.” Then my second thought was “What if I get one & her husband gets cancer. Maybe I should a single nanny, but then she’d have to be unattractive because I don’t need to feel bad when I get up in the morning by having a good looking nanny around.” Sometimes we don’t get to control how we react to things.

I really do hope that her husband is able to “beat” his cancer. I’d rather be worrying about how shallow my thoughts are than worry about life without my husband. I cannot imagine that worry.

anna September 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I know, it’s scary! I’ve been very lucky to have her while Mini was young, but we’ll probably be phasing her out as Mini starts going to school. Though, with her husband’s sickness, maybe not. She’s really like one of the family, and it’s such a blessing to leave Mini with somebody he loves and who loves him every day. I’d hate for that to change.

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