Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Nounou Part II

Although the papers are not yet signed and I should probably keep my fingers crossed, it appears we have found a nanny.

In December we found a family to share a nanny in a garde partagée. They have a six-year-old daughter, in school most of the day, and a three-month-old son. From the first visit with them we seemed to click, and I felt especially comfortable with the other mother. I'd found someone with a familiar parenting style and similar criteria for a nanny, and I felt that even if the riddle wasn't solved, progress was made.

The other mother was planning to go back to work at the end of February, and had already started interviewing nannies. After meeting four she'd narrowed it down to one, and we were to meet the candidate ourselves the 3rd of January.

A middle-aged woman from Côte d'Ivoire, she seemed confident, competent, and genuinely interested in children. She also has a great deal of training, and is qualified to work in municipal day care centers. When I asked her about the children she'd taken care of in the past, her face brightened as she explained how she took them to the park or played with them in the sandbox. "They still want me to visit," she bragged.

I nervously explained to le Petit before we went to the interview that he should let me know what he thought of the new nanny. His verdict wasn't clear. Every time the nanny held him he cried, probably picking up on my stress. He was happy to smile at her from my arms, however. Just typical six-month-old stranger anxiety, I hope.

When I asked the all-important question of how she deals with a child who refuses to nap, she said that if he fussed and wouldn't quiet down, she'd wrap him up and carry him on her back, "like we do back home." I assured her that would suit le Petit just fine.

Our first impression was good, but we left the interview questioning our choice nonetheless. We'd only met one candidate so we couldn't compare, yet the other mother, whose judgment I trust, had chosen her from several. Should we insist on seeing others, knowing that the other family had a close deadline and that we risked losing someone good?

We turned the problem over in our heads all weekend. On Monday, we were finally able to get in touch with her references, and they were glowing in all the categories that mattered. We were assured that she is joyful, caring and affectionate, and that she knows babies.

It is still a leap of faith, and I still have three months to get used to the idea of leaving le Petit with someone else, but I'm reassured. For the rest, I'll just keep listening to le Petit and to my heart, and see how it goes.

1 comment:

squidburg said...

She sounds great but of course your heart will eventually lead you in the right direction.