Naturally, my trust of nannies has been slightly abused. We finally hired a Russian woman to look after our kid. We did not interview other women, only her and I found her via a contact here in Moscow. She came to our flat and showed us lots of photos of kids at an orphanage where she worked and she looked honest. How can you turn down a woman who worked at an orphanage? The image of lambs and fluffiness comes to mind. We hired her on the spot. On her first day, I asked her for her passport and she looked slightly bemused at my request. I scanned a copy of her passport just in-case she came from an international child selling gang. You never know who you let into your home what ever the country you live in. Russia is certainly no exception and I believe in absolute caution when it comes to these things. I would ask the Pope for his passport if he were to look after my kid and with the recent scandals, I think I would be justified.
At first, she did as I asked, we communicate in Russian. I asked her not to take junior outside in the street unless he is strapped in his pushchair (stroller), I showed her where to take him for walks and asked her to play with him and told her what to feed him. I told her when he sleeps and for how long. Then after about a week, she began to make small comments to my wife and to leave long notes for her written in Russian about what my kid had done and what we should do with him. One day, I returned home and he was still sleeping at 3.00 pm in the afternoon, I told her he must wake up at 2.30 pm or he will not sleep at night. Her reply was let him wake up when he wants to. Then she began taking him for walks in the busy streets holding him by the hand and taking him to church. She is religious and gives all her pay to the church. One day, when my wife was home, I snapped and my wife translated my anger to her as the three of us stood in the living room of my Moscow flat. Mrs Doubtfire (the nanny) bluntly told me, if I don't like her or let her do what she likes with my kid, she will leave us. I felt as if I was talking to my mother-in-law, a mother-in-law from hell although this woman is not my mother-in-law and thank god for that. I call her 'Mrs Doubtfire' as like the movie character, she has a bossiness about her that is slightly intimidating, she has a strict housekeeper, nun like way about her. I guess I must be mentally scared by experiencing too many bossy women in my past.
It's funny how women often stick together and have an unspoken silence between them when they agree with each other, it's a kind of female mental telepathy. My wife stood there next to Mrs Doubtfire with her arms tightly crossed and said 'you worry too much and must trust her'. I half expected to see Mrs Doubtfire move in the next day. The two of them looked like nuns from the convent of immaculate conception and I felt like a small boy waiting for a beating before Sunday mass.
The other day, I came home with a big watermelon from a local supermarket. In the kitchen, Mrs Doubtfire looked at me sternly and snatched it away from me and told me not to give it to my wife or son. She then phoned my wife and told her it could be from China and is not safe to eat. I could feel steam coming from my ears, I went into the bathroom and bit my fist in a silent scream. I ate all the watermelon they did not have any. I have not turned Chinese and I have not been poisoned.
The woman scares me but despite her bossy, nun like 'I know best' attitude, she is good with junior. She paints pictures with him, draws with him, plays games and talks to him. I hope she does not turn him to religion too much. As I said, she gives all her pay to the church so she obviously has a good heart or she is clinically insane. She is flexible and very reliable. I must bite my tongue and say nothing, even though she annoys me, I think she can be trusted.
A good nanny and a good woman are hard to find when it comes to finding a person that you can trust with a child. Mrs Doubtfire is here to stay, I can't win this battle. One point to her, zero points to me. I have looked after my kid since he was six months old, I suppose it's time to take a back seat and have greater trust in others.
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