Friday, July 21, 2006

Stop the ride, I wanna get off

I can't believe I'm "going there." But as I've established previously, I have a tendency to rubber neck at train wrecks.

Early this morning, (insomnia early) a reader commented on a post I wrote months ago in homage to our beloved babysitter, "Yaya."

This is what she wrote:
yada yada yada. Beautiful story- but it will end bad. Trust me. I know. Anyone willing to take care of children is untrustworthy by definition. Maybe it will end with her sleeping with your husband. Just trust me. For a long time I thought I had it good and considered my nanny my best friend. Then my boyfriend told me to put spyware on her computer and holy hell- She was sending emails to my sister about my "neglectful" parenting. She was tattling on me for calling my five year old a "fat ass". A home is a very private thing and one thing I demand from my servants is absolute respect. And no questions asked and no judgement. Good luck to you. My advice is just to hire a new nanny every year or so. My kids were way too attatched to my nanny. She had been with us 8 years when I fired her and the girls cried for months. Months. Do you know how insulting that was to me? Their mother?
Blink. Blink-blink-blink.

I wasn't sure how to react. Was this a joke? Could someone actually write:
  • Anyone willing to take care of children is untrustworthy by definition
  • She was tattling on me for calling my five year old a 'fat ass
  • My kids were way too attatched to my nanny. She had been with us 8 years when I fired her and the girls cried for months. Months. Do you know how insulting that was to me? Their mother?
and be anything other than a satirist?

Blink. Blink. Blinkity-blink-blink-blink.

So I followed her trail here, and damn if my eyes aren't stuck in flutter mode. Reading her blogger profile, which lists her occupation as "heiress," I can't help but think this is definitely The Onion of all mommy blogs.

The trainwreck just worsens, and I continue to wonder 'is this for real?' and alternately doubting my sanity and my ability for reasoned thought.

A quick and dirty Google search get's me here, and I read through more heart-wrenching stories from the perspective of the fired nanny.

I considered what to do. Had this been some site I stumbled upon accidentally in my neverending search for comfortable shoes, I wouldn't have felt the need to gossip this way. But she came to my little backyard in the ethosphere and, like some tea-cup pooch, dumped the tiny load on my lawn.

So, taking the tact that this is, in fact, legitimate (I wince as I use that word under the circumstances) I have spent much of the day pondering the arguments and the counter arguments. Not to mention the mother's seemingly masochistic tendency to dot the internet with kernels of incriminating blog comments, which, incidentally, bring attention to her rivals' point of view.

But no matter how much I bristle at the attitude of this sad figure, who demands respect as if it too were a trust fund -- inherited and not earned. And no matter how much I feel for nanny, who was spied on and fired, the only side I can truly understand is the children's. Everyone in their life -- even the people who cared for and about them -- ultimately let them down.

I still cling to the hope that this is some kind of comedy satire gone awry, especially since mommy dearest bemoans "home is a very private thing," then goes on to blog about what happens there, presumably, herself. Nevertheless, even if it is a farce and none of the characters are real, it has me thinking about my own public journal.

I have to wonder: What will Annabel think when she finds her named splattered all over the internets one day? Even with the best of intensions, is it really the best idea to tell the world (or the world that's reading) what she said to the neighbors or the toll-booth collector or the amas and papas in her life?

Perhaps a detox is in order.


kimmyk said...

As I sat here with my mouth gapping open from the comment "I called my daughter a fat ass" I can only assume your commenter was a self absorbed woman who never should have procreated in the first place. What a horrible thing to say to you, to her daughter, to her nanny. How pathetic.

kimmyk said...

OMG..Ok so..I read the links and I'm furious. What the heck kind of woman brought that woman up in this world to be so self centered and absorbed? She has no idea how precious it is to be a mother...her new boyfriend biff seems to be all she cares about. those poor children-wanting to come home from camp and her saying what she did-if I said she infuratated me would be an understatement. GOD bless those children..may they not grow up to be like their whacked out mother. I can see why she is seeing multiple therapists....she's a nutcase. Don't let her get you down or get you thinking...if and when your sweet little girl ever GOOGLE's her own name and sees what you've written about her-she will know she was loved...unlike her daughters.

Jackie Hutchinson said...

I loved reading what you wrote about the lady more than anything, I'm going to say, "not for real" and think it's more of a ploy to get people to buy her book. But who knows I guess. I was a nanny once to a woman who didn't work. She lived in California has 5 kids, one that's with a rich man she's with now.
To make a long story short, I had a great relationship with the younger kids, I went back home to see my boyfriend, who then proposed to me and when I broke the news to her she just about died because I was ruining her plans for summer, and how could he do this to her when he knew I had a commitment to her till September? I was heart broken that she hated me for this and that I would never be able to see or talk to them again.
It was very unsettling I thought about them all the time. Until one day I emailed her husband, the more sane one, and she ended up replying saying she had no hard feelings, and that was in the past, and she forgave me and wanted to know what was up in my life and how I was doing. Well, I emailed back and never heard from her again. At least I feel better about the whole thing even if that was it.

Andrea said...

It's one thing to complain about your children being an inconvenience and being disrespectful when you are disrespectful first, like this woman Marge does.

But you LOVE Annabel wholeheartedly. It's very clear in every post. You worry about being a good mother not because your "Biff" tells you you're not, but because you want to do right by your girl and raise her lovingly, happy, and healthy. I think, were she to come across this site at a later age, she'd appreciate the time and care with which you took to document her childhood from the perspective of being her mother. Someday, that will be priceless to her.

To me, blogs are just a bit more widespread way of telling the same stories we'd tell over and over again to our relatives and friends as our children grow up. Sure, some of it's embarrassing, like when my parents talk about my potty training escapades with my grandparents, but it's my history. But it's also a chronicle of life, one that will help me remember my own child's milestones as well as the cute things he does day to day.

That Marge woman's business is just self serving, so your blog and hers are not even in the same league. There's no comparison.

Diana said...

I am too tired right now to read the links since I know I'll become irate and stay up all night fuming. But rest assured I will visit them the next time my own insomnia (read: fetus) dictates and then I will have a solid response, as a former nanny AND mother. Bless your heart for giving me something to focus my sleepless attentions on other than flickr and ebay.

c. said...

Hello. I had to comment when I read this post. (I found your site through flickr, I love your photos and your words!) Anyway, I am familiar with the "simulating normal" site b/c I found it advertised on craigslist, maybe six months ago. This type of promotion and what you have described make me think it MUST be satire. Whatever it is, its appalling!

Heather said...

That website is AWEFUL!! I found myself sick to my stomach the more I read. I feel SOO awful for those children. I just wanted to jump through the computer and snatch them away from her!!

HVM said...

I'm with Jackie- it's gotta be to sell books. please, please let it be just to sell books. because, holy crap.

thanks for your comment on the die hipsters pillow!