I LOVE Mary Poppins!  I’ve always loved Mary Poppins (as in the ACTUAL Mary Poppins lady, not just the movie) and have always envisioned having a super nanny just like her to look after my children one day… 

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When Ethan was born, it was not even a choice as far as I was concerned…after my maternity leave, he would stay at home with a nanny.  No pre-school, unfortunately no grandparents (although my folks would LOVE to look after him, they live in Durban!) but a “super nanny” who’d not only adore Ethan, be super hands on with him, teach him things and play with him, but also clean up the house every day so that I could come home and not have to worry about picking up things off the floor, ironing, sweeping and mopping etc. 

So my search started quite early.  I was about 8months pregnant and per chance, a colleague at work sent out an e-mail saying that she had a great nanny who had to leave her after working for a few months with her as they were looking for a “live in” nanny and this lady was unable to live on the premises.  I replied to her e-mail to say that I was interested but that I was only looking for somebody in like 5months time so I wasn’t sure whether she’d still be interested then, but if so, I would like to make contact with her.  So we exchanged numbers and shortly afterwards, we met super nanny number 1 – a Zimbabwean lady with two kids, both grown up, both living with her and her husband in Fourways and attending primary school.  The hubster and I both liked her, but then again, we had nothing to go on.  The downfall of course was that living in Fourways would require her to take two taxis a day to work and back which of course would mean a huge cut in her salary in terms of “take home” amount and we unfortunately could not afford to pay a cent more.  So she left after meeting us on day number 1 and said she’d chat to her husband and let us know.  Fast forward to mid-January when Ethan was just over a month old – nanny number 1 came over to “touch base” and to meet little Ethan for herself.  She left happy enough to start at the end of January and she took the contract home with her to go through and sign.  I left for Durban to visit with nana and gramps and two days before she was meant to start, she called saying that she couldn’t possibly work for us at that salary and that she needed an extra R1,400!!!!!!!!  Now an extra R500, I may have considered but R1,400…hmmm.  Fast forward to nanny number 2 (I hope that you’re not SURPRISED that I told her no!!!!! ;-))…

Nanny number 2 was a Zimbabwean lady whose number I got from a close friend’s domestic.  She came over to the house to meet with us, we liked her immediately and sad to say, the “bonus” was that her one child was at home with her mum in Zim (one less child for her to worry about!) and her youngest was at a creche although (so she said at the time), her husband worked night shift so he was able to care for her baby boy if he got ill.  She started on Valentines Day and Ethan took well to her…well, as well as a 2month old can really take to anybody.  She was great with him – sang to him, played with him, even put him in his bumbo to encourage him to learn to sit up and she cleaned AMAZINGLY!!!!!  The first payday came around, I paid her for half the month, and she left on the Wednesday afternoon hail and hearty, keen to come back to work as always the next day.  That night, she sent me a message to say that her son had deteriorated (she had come in that morning saying that he wasn’t well *flashing lights* and that he had a bad cough!) and she’d need to take him to hospital on the Thursday morning – could she take the Thursday and Friday off.  Of course, being the awesome employer I am, I replied saying not a problem.  I even sms’d her on Friday to ask how he was doing – she replied to say a lot better thanks for asking.  Saturday came, Sunday came and on Sunday afternoon, my mum called to say I better check if she’s coming in the next day ‘cos you never know.  I sms’d, no reply.  I tried to call and left a message on her voicemail, no reply.  Late on Sunday night, she sms’d to say she wouldn’t be able to come back at all because she needed to stay home and look after her ill child…REALLY???!!!!  What happened to the reliable night shift husband????????  So there I was, two weeks before needing to go back to work, stranded!!  And there I was looking forward to spending my last two weeks of maternity leave on my own relaxing, going out for coffees, movies, nails etc…EPIC FAIL!  Fortunately, my mum was able to come up and help so I wasn’t stressed about leaving Ethan with somebody brand new after only having the “new lady” around for a few days. 

The very next day, I got cracking.  I got the newspaper, called a few numbers, called an agency and prayed hard about it.  I was hoping that I would be lucky with number three…third time lucky…and that afternoon, I couldn’t believe my luck.  Not only did the agency send an AMAZING WOMAN who I thought nobody else could possibly compare with but the lady who I called from the newspaper who came for an interview afterwards was just as great as the agency lady.  I had gone from having nobody to having TWO options!  After chatting to nana and getting her opinion, I made my decision and we were onto nanny number 3…

Nanny number 3 was great.  She was amazing with Ethan, he loved her.  She caught on quickly to all my hundred instructions, she cleaned well and my husband, parents and sister loved her.  My mum and dad were around for the “transition” period but overall, we were all comfortable leaving Ethan around with her.  A few weeks passed and we set into that “familiarity” that a lot of women complain about.  Not only did she have an answer for EVERYTHING, but she also started becoming TOO comfortable…I mean, I don’t expect a nanny to worship me and bow down at my feet, but there’s a certain “place” that they should have in your house and they should know their boundaries.  So we had “the chat” and things seemed to improve slightly from there but then it went pear shaped.  Let’s just say that we were not happy with how she was treating Ethan and something came up that made us all feel uneasy about the situation.  After lots of uhmming and aahing, we decided it best to ask her to leave.  So there we were AGAIN, stranded but of course, nana came to the rescue.

Now without a nanny and still adamant that I didn’t want Ethan to go to a creche/dayschool, I had to bring out the “big guns”.  I wasn’t worried about what I needed to pay an agency, I just knew that I needed my “MARY POPPINS” and that I needed her URGENTLY!!!!!  After 7 interviews, we finally saw “the one”.  My mum was literally ready to employ her before she entered the house.  She was well dressed and looked very prim and proper which made a huge change from the lady who came before wearing a big puffy bomber jacket with more than one gold slit in her mouth (no offense to those with gold slits but if you have kids, you know what I mean…you want a certain “somebody” and somebody with two gold slits coupled with a bomber jacket looking like she’s going to the club is NOT the type of person I want for my child!!).  My mum was ready for me to employ her after 5minutes of interviewing – I had to literally keep her from offering her a verbal contract there and then.  She left and we both decided that this lady was going to be our Mary Poppins…in fact, I couldn’t even compare her to the three nannies before…she was (and still is) in a class of her own.

So we now have Jeanette (pronounced Janet) working for us.  She is still on “probation” for another two months (part and parcel of what the agency offers when you employ somebody through them) but I think she’s a keeper (touch wood!).  She is fantastic with Ethan, she cleans amazingly, and she even boils and blends Ethan’s fruit for him which saves me soooo much time.  She uses her initiative when doing things, she updates me every day on how the day’s gone and the cherry on top is that she’s not dressed and bolting out the door the minute I walk in.  You can see she takes pride in her work and she loves what she does.  Our prayers have been answered, God sent us our Mary Poppins and I’m hoping that Jeanette stays with us for years to come 🙂  She’s *Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious*!!

If Ethan could speak, he’d probably would have wanted to put an ad in the paper very similar to the one that the children from the Mary Poppins’ movie put in below…

Jane: [reading advertisement for a new nanny] “Wanted: a nanny for two adorable children.”
George Banks: Adorable. Well that’s debatable, I must say.
Jane: If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition…
George Banks: Jane, I don’t…
Jane: Rosy cheeks, no warts…
Michael: That’s the part I put in!
Jane: Play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet, and fairly pretty…
George Banks: Well of all the ridiculous…!
Mrs. Banks: George, please!
Jane: Take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets. Never be cross or cruel. Never give us castor oil or gruel. Love us as a son and daughter, and never smell of barley water.
Michael: I put that in, too!
Jane: If you won’t scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us. We won’t hide your spectacles so you can’t see, put toads in your bed, or pepper in your tea. Hurry, nanny! Many thanks! Sincerely…
Jane, Michael: Jane and Michael Banks!

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2 responses »

  1. Zlda says:

    Go Janet! Go Janet! It’s your birthday….

  2. […] is HUGE for us!!  Now, those of you who follow my blog will have read in this post – Super Nanny (number 4)… – about my nanny drama and how J is our fourth nanny which we found after some serious […]

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