Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Nanny Diaries

• The flight back from LA, I'm sitting in the middle row with a baby chair in the middle seat and a lovely, bright Salvadoran nanny on the far seat. The baby is being breastfed by his mother in either business or first class. When he is done, he comes back to coach spends the rest of the time with the nanny, who patently adores him and keeps him entertained. He loves her back as if she was his very own mother. They kiss and cuddle and coo. He is a good, social baby who smiles and wants to play.
At first I think, that's rich. Paying for 2 extra seats on coach so that you don't have to deal with your own baby. The nanny tells me she's been with him since his birth, 5 months ago. Two women adore him. Two women mother him. He will either be the spoiledest brat on Earth when he grows up, or the happiest, best adjusted kid ever. I think about the feelings of the nanny, who has to relinquish him at any given moment, takeoff and landing, for instance. My first impulse is to hate the selfish mother. But then I think, this is what queens and princesses used to do. This is how it has always been (for the rich). They understand that having a kid is an extremely demanding undertaking, akin to any other form of effort that requires assistance from other people. Why not? This way the mother can relax on first, not bother her fellow privileged passengers with a fussy baby, and every one travels in style.
If women were told how hard it is to be mothers, perhaps they would all demand to have this kind of help.

No comments:

Post a Comment