Again I wake up at about 3 or 4 am with a migraine. No clock still, so I continue to only estimate. Again I stumble and trip my way to my space in the closet and take an Imitrex. I go back to bed, fall back to sleep and awake to my cell phone alarm. I quickly get out of bed, as I don’t want to hear any complaints from Mrs. S. about her stupid coffee or the children’s breakfast. This morning there is absolutely no one up and I wonder why it’s so important for me to be downstairs before 7. I start straightening up because Mrs. S. and Mrs. G. have left their dirty dishes and leftovers carelessly all over the dining table. No one can clean up after themselves apparently.
The S. and G. girls prance downstairs and inform me that they’re making breakfast in bed for their moms. Then they tell me to toast some muffins and pour coffee so they can bring it up to the bedrooms. In other words, it is I who am making breakfast in bed for the two princesses. They take the food I’ve prepared and I am left alone to contemplate what to do about this bizarre situation. I am sharing a bedroom with 2 little boys, apparently not an unusual arrangement at the S. household. I was informed by one of the S. boys that “all the nannies sleep in this bed because little S. gets up often and also wets his bed”. I’m working 14 hours a day with no break and spending more time doing household chores than doing anything with the children. In fact, the 7 year old has asked me numerous times to either play games or play catch with him and Mrs. S. curtly informs him each time that “Nanny has work to do”. I thought being with the children was a priority. Silly me.
I am now informed that one of my morning chores is taking a kitchen garbage bag and going from room to room and emptying each and every little trash can. This is what I do. Obviously Mrs. S. saves money by not putting a trash liner in these little cans because somehow I am to pick out sticky, snotty tissues and tampon applicators. If she could have fit one of her beloved Ziplock bags around the cans you better believe she would have done it.
There is a constant procession of dishes to be loaded into and emptied out of the dishwasher. These people never heard of paper plates. But, miraculously each fancy plate is in pristine condition and I figure the children must either be required to treat them carefully or be forced to listen to Mrs. S.’s tirades for several hours. A thought that makes me handle the dishes like a carton of eggs. After the dishes it’s back to the piles of laundry. Nothing ever looks as though it’s been worn. I am also required to place no more than 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants in a load at a time. Towels are always washed seperately. Mrs. S. is single handedly depleting the Earth’s water supply. What a dope.
Melinda saunters down the stairs in her usual bikini. Or maybe it’s a different bikini, who knows, they’re all just as skimpy. I wonder if this girl owns any real clothes. How come she’s not required to get dressed before heading downstairs. Perhaps it’s because she has nothing constructive to do. She just has to sit by the pool and look cute. Melinda, Mrs. G. and Mrs. S. begin a conversation and leave me completely out of it. I’ve become invisible. It’s just as well, because they all have this obnoxious habit of spelling things. “God! am I t-i-r-e-d!”, “So and so’s son is such a b-r-a-t!”, “This quiche is y-u-m-m-y!” Are they spelling so I don’t know what they are saying? I suspect it’s some foreign wealthy-speak. Who cares. I’m just plain tired. They’re all brats as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t even like quiche, it’s just a fancy name for eggs with cheese.
Mrs. S. tells me to go upstairs and strip the beds. To take special care with the guestroom bed as the family rabbi and his wife are due anytime. Something I had no prior knowledge of. Great. Two more people to clean up after. I wonder if I should cover my celtic tattoos. I don’t want the rabbi thinking they’re demonic symbols. She also tells me to organize and begin packing Mrs. G.’s belongings and put them near the door “so she gets the idea it’s time to go”. Nice friend. I decide I’m uncomfortable kicking someone out, so I leave Mrs. G.’s stuff strewn about the bedroom floor. I begin stripping the bed. Mrs. S. has a ridiculous habit of placing a dozen throw pillows on every bed, couch and chair in the house, so I have to take each and every one of the stupid pillows off before I can even get to the bed. I finally make my way down to the sheets and replace them with a set I’ve found in the closet. Then I get put on another bedspread and follow that with the orginal comforter and quilt. She should probably think about turning up the air conditioning so she doesn’t have to pile on so many blankets. I gather the stupid pillows and arrange them in what I thought was a pleasing way and then go back downstairs.
I barely get my feet off the landing when Mrs. S. appears, deranged Bozo the Clown look and all. What sheets did I use? I tell her I put on a set that I’ve found in the guestroom closet. What color are they? Kind of blue like the set that was on. I’m going up to check she says. She comes stomping down the stairs and confronts me while I’m picking up a thousand Monopoly pieces off the dining room floor. “You put the wrong bedspread on!” she whines. I tell her I took them from the guestroom closet. Well, she retorts, that was the single size bedspread for my daughter’s bed! The housekeeper must have put it in the wrong place. Housekeeper? Where has this housekeeper been hiding all this time and why isn’t she helping me? Mrs. S. orders me to go back upstairs and take the offending bedspread off the bed. I stomp back upstairs.
I take one look at all my work and begin taking off the dozen throw pillows just so I can get to the bedspread. By this time I’m fantasizing about taking one of the pillows and smothering Mrs. S. with it, but I keep my cool. Mrs. S. is lucky that I’m not a homocidal maniac. I redo the entire bed and go downstairs. Mrs. S. had told me earlier that I was unable to take my daily walk because she “needed me to be home with the kids”, so I figured going up and down the stairs twenty times was a pretty good work out. Once again, I get to the last step and Mrs. S. rushes past me to go back up to the bedroom. I thought that as many times as she’d gone up there she could have made the bed herself. Down she comes again. “You didn’t put the pillows on right” “I’ve let this go on for awhile, but I have to let you know that I like the pillows arranged a certain way”. She tells me that I had the audacity to place her pillows upside down, backwards and not on the diagonal. Diagonal? I must have had an incredulous look on my face because she goes to the couch and proceeds to give me a crash course on pillow decorating. She looks like a deranged Martha Stewart. I was beginning to get scared and looked at the other nanny for support. “Illegal Nanny” was busy sweeping the kitchen floor, not daring to look up for fear of being dragged into my pillow lesson. Mrs. S. is showing me what she means about diagonal. I’m thinking what’s the point. Her b-r-a-t-s will swoop in any minute and mess the whole thing up anyway. But she’s on a roll. She tells me she wants the pillows perfect, like she’s ready to “snap a picture”. The only thing that’s snapped around here is Mrs. S. Mrs. S. goes back upstairs to check what other offenses I’ve commited.
I walk over to “Illegal Nanny” and tell her I’m done putting up with this nutcase. I’ve done the math. By my calculations I’m making a whopping 8.11 an hour working for this crazy woman. Working 14 hour days, Monday through Friday night and then turning around on Sunday morning to be back at Mrs. Nutcase’s house by 6 pm Sunday evening is insane. Not to mention the expense involved with driving back and forth. And the living arrangements! The other nanny pleads with me to stay with her until Friday. She says she doesn’t want to be left alone here. We’ll get our pay, leave on Friday like we’re coming back Monday, but just never return, she says. I tell her no. If I spend one more minute here I will poke Mrs. S. in the eye with a sharp stick. I go upstairs to pack.
Mrs. S. is in “my bedroom” smoothing out the down comforters and brushing off fuzz. I squat down and begin taking my belongings from my 3 allotted drawers and begin packing. Mrs. S. is so busy going on about how I really need to make sure there is absolutely no fuzz on the comforters that she is oblivious to the fact that I’m packing. The phone rings and Mrs. S. goes into another room to answer it. I take two of my bags downstairs, take them out to my car and toss them in. I go back to retrieve my last and heavier bag. Mrs. S. is off the phone and back to picking fuzz. I lift my bag onto my shoulder and tell her that I’m leaving. I tell her that these are definitely not the arrangements she’d described or we’d agreed upon. I thought the whole set up was ridiculous I tell her. The whole time Mrs. S. is standing in one of her stupid lounge outfits with her mouth hanging open in complete disbelief. She’s obviously clueless as to why I want to leave. I was waiting for her to scream, kick me down the stairs, chase me around with a kitchen knife, but I was totally unprepared for her reaction. Pinched face and surprised she stood there and suddenly she says simply, “okay”. It came out just like a little girl who had been caught doing something naughty and it completely threw me. I almost felt sorry for her. She had no idea how insane her behavior was or how it affected other people. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she started crying, but I didn’t wait to find out. I lugged my bag downstairs, said see ya to the bikini clad Melinda and got in my car. I programmed Mandy, my GPS and we drove off into the sunset. What a relief. And my migraine suddenly dissapeared. But I felt sorry for those poor kids.