A little over ten years ago my older son was born. Like most new parents, Marc and I were completely clueless. Since we both work, hiring a nanny seemed logical. After a series of interviews we foolishly decided to go with the smartest and sharpest of the applicant pool. Every morning smarty-pants would come into work; before she would touch or acknowledge the baby she’d make herself tea and oatmeal. I’m not a timid person but this woman was running the show. I’m embarrassed to say I put up with this insanity for six months until I started to get a clue. I sent an email out to everyone I knew looking for a new nanny and somehow hit the babysitter jackpot.
This go around, our son was there to help us. L* came into our apartment for her interview and he crawled over to her and sat in her lap. This stranger instinctively hugged and kissed him as she’s done for the past nine plus years. Friends of ours have switched babysitters as their children got older but L is a part of our family. Aside from being patient and loving, L is a fantastic cook; my boys love plantains, ackee, saltfish and curry thanks to her. And because I’m
such a pain in the ass particular L has learned some things from me as well. She knows that the produce for the house has to be organic, beef grass-fed, water filtered and in glass bottles…and the list goes on. Did I mention L was patient?
I’m going somewhere with all of this. Yesterday, I left the office early to pick up the boys on their last day of school. I came into the apartment, to drop my computer ,and was greeted by this
|not my definition of “joy”|
My heart started to race, I may as well have been staring at an explosive device “L are you eating McDonalds?” “Yes, just once in a while Lauren, that’s all.” I couldn’t believe the enemy was in my house. “L you really shouldn’t eat it, it’s total junk and you’re so careful about what you eat. Plus, we have a whole fridge of good stuff.” I decided to stop there but 10 minutes later couldn’t help myself and said, “seriously, McDonalds?” In her kind way she said, “Lauren, you’re making me feel guilty.” In my snarky way I replied, “that’s fine, you should.” Then I thought about it some more. My kids are at school, she feeds them really well, aside from concern or repulsion do I have a say in what she chooses to eat? I don’t think I do but she has horrendous reflux. Hypothetically, if she eats foods that aggravate it and has to miss work, is it my business then? It can get a little complicated but if this was the first time in 10 years, I’m hoping my kids will be in college before it happens again.
What is your take on this? Do employers have a say in what employees eat? Or can you say what isn’t allowed in your home or office? Would it be different if she had it in front of the children?
*even though she eats McDonalds I’ll still protect her privacy.