Friday, October 2, 2009
No room service....
I just learned that the twin girls I use to nanny for are attending Yale University and are on the rowing team. I'm so very proud of them. I believe I began watching them when they were at the age of 7 so it's a bit difficult to imagine they are enrolled in college now. Very strange and it makes me feel older. Not old but older, LOL! These two were "real" characters. I have so many hilarious stories about my nannying days. The twins parents were both Cardiac surgeons and weren't home much. The girls had been raised by nannies and by the time I arrived they had earned themselves quite a reputation.
Being the youngest in my family I had absolutely zero experience with children. So, you could imagine the trouble we got into. Also, being from a middle class family with five siblings taught me to be thankful for what I had and I tried to teach those same values to these girls. They were not your typical 7 year olds. When I met them they were receiving a weekly allowance of $200/each and they were spoiled rotten. They were always doing something to the poor housekeeper and also the previous nannies. However, growing up in a household of six girls (me #6); they didn't have a chance. I was always two steps ahead of them. I believe I was the only nanny that disciplined them and told them "no." Believe it or not they didn't mind when I cut their allowance to $10 a week, made them earn it through chores, taught them to be respectful to adults, be compassionate towards those less fortunate, and made them arrive on time for their appointments. I also hugged them a lot and told them how special they were to me. When the time came for me to move on I remember they begged me to take them with me. I sobbed all the way home. I'm so proud to see the women they have become and I hope that I played a small part in it.
I remember a funny story when I was their nanny. We had to stop by my 1 bedroom apartment so I could pick something up before heading back to their gigantic Victorian home. This house was beyond beautiful. They even had their own rooms custom built so the fireplace and bookshelves were at their height. They also had their own private terrace and outdoor furniture (just what any child needs). So that should give you a clue of what they were use to. Me, I lived in a new 1 bedroom apartment across town near the college. It was my first place and I supported myself all on my own and was enrolled in school. I was so proud of myself and of my humble dwelling. I was totally taken back and caught off guard by their reaction....
Twin #1: "What are we doing here?"
Me: "I have to stop by and pick something up. It will only take a minute."
Twin #2: "Gigi, I'm hungry."
Twin #1: "Me too. Can we order room service?"
This stops me in my tracks as I realize that they believe this is a hotel room. "Um, this isn't a hotel. This is actually my apartment."
Twin#2: "You mean you live here?" Eyes wide and mouth hanging open.
Me: "Yes, this is my home."
Twin #1: "But it's so small. I mean you could fit your entire house in my bathroom." She's probably right.
Me: "Well, yeah but it's just me and I'm in college." I'm actually embarrassed and trying explain my situation to a 7 year old.
Twin #2: "You should really think about moving into a bigger house. I mean, you don't even have a garage."
Me: "Well, that takes money and when you're in college you don't....most people don't have a lot of money because they are in school so they rent apartments."
Twin #1: "You don't have any money?!!! Shocked at the realization that not everyone is well off. "We can ask mommy if you can move into the guest house. It's much bigger than your house and nobody lives there."
Twin #2: "And at least you will have a pool and garage."
Me: "Well, I actually have access to a pool." I pull my drapes open and point to the complex pool. Thinking that this will make my situation look brighter.
Twin #1: "Do you know those people?" I shake my head no.
Twin #2: "Gigi, this IS a hotel not a house.
Twin#1: "And it's not a very nice one."
Twin #2: "Yeah, I mean you don't even have room service."
I don't think I'll ever forget that conversation, LOL!