I’ve totally made peace with what I said but though I’d share with any moms out there who might be feeling the same way I was – and perhaps feeling a slightly guilty about it. I was in the beginning but not any more.
Maya’s former nanny had a five-year-old son who lived in the room in the garden with his mom and dad and I didn’t like him. From the start. He’s a sweet boy – very quiet and apologetic. But I just didn’t trust him at all. Especially not around Maya. And sometimes when I’d come home from work a little late he would be there – Maya screeching with laughter and nanny washing dishes in the kitchen. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I walked into the scene. Why the hell are you not watching the two of them playing together I used to think irrationally. And I would have to do my level best to keep those emotions in check as I greeted him and pretended to be interested in finding out how his day had been at school.
I know. Crazy, but I’m sure there are a few of you out there who feel the same way about their daughters and other people’s little boys around your little one – especially in this country. At the risk of sounding like a whining liberal, just the other day I read about these seven-year-old schoolboys who had allegedly molested their female school mate. What the hell is wrong with our society? I don’t worry as much about some stranger snatching Maya when my head is turned for a minute as I do about someone I know damaging my child for life. And that’s why when I was interviewing Maya’s new nanny/housekeeper this conversation came about:
Me: So will you be able to babysit for us occasionally on weekends or weeknights?
She: Yes of course yes.
Me: How will you get home if we get back at say 2am?
She: If you don’t mind, on the weekends I could bring my two kids with me and stay over and leave early the next morning.
Me: How old are you your kids?
She: Five and seven
Me: Are they boys or girls?
She: Both boys
Me: *long pause* No I’m not comfortable with that arrangement. I don’t mean to offend you or your children, I’m sure they’re well-behaved well mannered and well brought up but my primary concern is for my baby girl and I don’t want to take any chances of any kind.
She: *long pause* Yes I understand. She is a girl. They are boys.
Initially I felt bad about denying her children but it’s risky enough hiring some stranger off gumtree even if her references check out. I don’t want to inherit an extended family as selfish as that sounds.
But the point of the story is that I’m always going to trust my instinct no matter how paranoid or overprotective I may come off. And to be quite honest, I’m happy to have lost Maya’s old nanny as a result of the move. Maybe if she’d had a little girl things might have been different.