Nanny Diaries: Princesses and Portable Toilets

Since I last wrote, I’ve found my life to have become quite a work of irony. I, the English major, (who took Contemporary math in college) am now an Economic simulation facilitator working part time at an organization called Junior Achievement. What exactly do I do? I’d like to better understand that myself. Training this past Friday was six hours of solving different scenarios, problem shooting solutions, and getting to know the staff of women that I will be working with. They are all so eclectic. One served in the peace corps, is about to marry a man from London that she met 15 years ago in a high school exchange program, and sounds like Miss Delaware from Miss Congeniality. Another is a graphic designer, has dreads, and insists that Americans bathe far too often. My boss is from Scotland, and several other workers are moms simply looking to make some extra money and get out of the house. Essentially? Our job is to facilitate a real life game of Monopoly with fifth graders from various schools in a warehouse that looks like a park from Disneyland. Woo. There you have it. I will somehow be helping fifth graders repay fake loans, run fake businesses, and learn how to handle incoming and outgoing invoices. Like I said before–a little ironic. I’m thankful for the opportunities God is providing though. I’m being stretched and pushed outside of the areas I tend to be drawn to. It should be interesting to see how my first day goes this coming Friday–especially since Bonnie, a woman I work with, told me that she cried the first five shifts she worked. Great.

Apart from acquiring a part time job that I never pictured myself having, I have also become a part-time babysitter/nanny. This week I’ve had the pleasure of living with two “precious ones” while their parents have been vacationing. For the sake of their privacy, let’s just call them ‘B’ and ‘L. ‘ B is seven and L is four. A boy and a girl. I won’t elaborate on our magic clubhouse adventures, our dance parties, or our games of football in the backyard. My sixteen year old brother says all my “rainbows and sunshine” makes people want to puke. I will, however, write a story worth sharing.

Yesterday afternoon L and I sat quietly in the car pickup line at B’s school. The day had been absolutely wonderful. L and I had played (pretending we were princesses, of course), made decorations for the kitchen, and she was overflowing with excitement to see her brother. We had thirty minutes to wait in line, and so I sat quietly in the front seat as L looked at a picture book in her car seat.

“Miss Audrey, I have to poop.”

Oh boy. “Do you think you can hold it L? I can’t leave the car and we can’t go inside the school to take you.”

“I’ll try.”

Five minutes later a rather wet and loud farting noise emerges from the back seat. 

“Miss Audrey, I can’t hold it.” 

My mind quickly recollected family road trips where Mom would make the boys hold up towels in the backseat and pea into gatorade bottles. You think it’s disgusting and inhumane until you’re the one with a four year old about to pee all over herself. Before I had a chance to tell her to stay in her seat, L climbed out of her car seat and into the trunk of the car.

“Miss Audrey, the toilet is back here.” So, in the pouring rain, I got out of the Mini-van and dug around the trunk for a tiny portable toilet and a roll of toilet paper. Obviously this happened often. There, in the middle of the van, I set up a “potty” for my four year old “Princess.” 

“Miss Audrey, come wipe me.” Yes, I then crawled in the back seat, wiped her, and looked uneasily at a bucket full of urine. Apparently pooping was a false alarm. The best part? After eventually picking B up, we had a thirty minute drive to piano lessons. All the while, I prayed that the urine wouldn’t spill out of the toilet and onto the van carpet. Why didn’t I pull over and dump it out? That sounds simple enough except for the fact that traffic was at a standstill and I didn’t want to be the one to make B late for piano. I wish my words could truly convey how funny I felt sneaking the toilet to the piano teacher’s yard and pouring it out. With my luck the neighbors were probably watching. 

Welcome to the life of a nanny.


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