For some reason the traffic in Houston has been horrendous this week, which made me late the other day. I was supposed to stop by Hanley’s house before I picked her up from school to grab the tote bag with her accoutrement for swim class, but there wasn’t going to be enough time for that because of one traffic jam after another. Collecting the The Big H first would save me time, but it meant letting Hanley’s mother know we’d be stopping by, because she’d decided to work from home that day and would have to hide from her daughter. If you don’t have kids, I’m sure that sounds awful, but I bet there are lots of moms out there who understand. It’s sometimes easier to altogether avoid the bargaining, whining, and tantrums that go along with trying to get your young child out the door on time, or when you have other important things to do. We nannies certainly understand, because we’re the ones charged with bolstering the child’s tiny psyche after said tantrum while trying to get them where they need to be on time, usually without a degree in child psychology and without a sports car.
Since I was sitting in traffic it was safe to send a text to Hanley’s mother to let her know I had to stop by with H. She replied and said it would be no trouble for her to put the swim tote on the porch outside so we’d both be tantrum free and I could get H to swim class on time. Excellent! The traffic finally moved and I made it to Hanley, Inc. moments later. I stopped in the driveway and said, “I’ll be right back!” I grabbed the tote, jumped back in the CRV, and was whipping back onto road as Hanley said, “That’s Mommy’s car!”
“Why, yes, it was,” I said. “Very observant!”
“Was she home?”
“Nope,” I lied.
There was a long pause, until Hanley asked, “Did she take Daddy’s car?”
“Huh? No. Your daddy’s car is probably at the airport.”
“Did she walk?”
My favorite white lie to date has to be The Environment. Hanley used to love playing in the bathtub with the water running when she was two years old. This went on until she was three and about a year ago, perhaps, Hanley’s mother grew tired of bath time taking so long. Not to mention the bargaining it took to get H out of the tub. So, H’s mom said, “Hanley, water is a valuable part of our environment and we’re wasting it. We need to take better care of our planet. Don’t you think?” They had a big talk about the environment and what they could do to take care of the earth. The next time I gave Hanley a bath she pretty much had a meltdown when I ran her bath. It takes a while for the water in her bathtub to heat up and after three minutes she was wringing her hands and dancing in place, saying, “Timothy? Timothy? The water! Can you turn it off, please? The Environment!” I was all, What the hell? Who expects a three year old to be worried about the environment? Now she’s four and I have no idea what The Environment is in her imagination, but it’s become an entity that concerns her daily. She’ll absentmindedly pluck a leaf from a tree and then gasp, “Oh! The Environment!” It’s cute. I hope her future therapist thinks it’s cute, too.
Another golden era has ended. For four years there’s been a pink car seat in whatever car I’m driving, which has been a constant source of amusement, both for myself and my friends. Whoever would’ve thought I’d have a need for such a thing? As of today, it’s gone. We’ve moved on to the booster seat phase. Exciting, no!