The Super Nanny
It was about the same time we realized that our ‘partner visa’ was going to take 14 years to get approved, that we decided it was best I go back and join the Swedish work force. After going back and forth with many variations on a theme, it was decided that as of mid-June, I’d be going back to work and from mid-July, TSH will be a stay-at-home dad for 6 months, until we leave for Sydney next January.
This left us with a one month cross over with no one at home to actually take care of The Flash. I called home and complained and no sooner had the words left my mouth, then my awesome sister-in-law offered to come over and babysit! FROM SYDNEY. “So, you know that Stockholm isn’t an outer suburb of Sydney, but the capital of Sweden?” – yes, she said she remembered where it was. “So, you’re going to take a month off work, travel 24,000 km’s away, sit on a plane for 32 hours and then take care of the kids, one of which speaks predominately Swedish?” She seemed rather happy with that. Talk about needing a village to raise your kids, well how global is our village?
It’s a very beautiful time of year now in Sweden, what with midsummer just around the corner, however I do feel we have got the better part of the deal. She’s one pretty cool chick with some serious bush skills; she can grow things and cook things, and knows the botanical names of stuff. She’s already raised four well-adjusted young adults and has decades of experience as a registered nurse. Could it be any better? So much motherly experience and medical know-how all in one. If the kids slip and fall in the playground, they will no longer have a mother who runs around screaming, clutching her chest and cursing the Gods, but someone who’s seen it all before and knows which band-aid goes where. She is a real life SuperNanny and she’s arriving next weekend.
So, I’m hoping she is going to sort out my children for me, while I’m at work. I’ve gone from attachment parenting to detachment parenting. After months of not sleeping, I’m quite happy to let someone else take the reins for a while. I need one of them potty trained and dummy usage reduced and the other one has some serious night waking issues – haven’t mentioned this to her yet, thought I’d wait until she arrives and then take her passport away. I did promise however to take her to the new ABBA museum.
But you know, I’m a bit concerned as when you watch SuperNanny on TV, it is never the children, it’s always the parents who are the ones causing the problems. Over scheduling, over demanding, over everything, it’s always the parents that are really at fault, so what will our SuperNanny find with us? Ha!
And we are at fault. I know one thing we have done pretty bad and it’s something we have been paying for ever since. Last midsummer, when I was super pregnant with the Flash, we went off to the studio and wrote and recorded a lullaby especially for her. (We had done it once before for Bubba and considering we didn’t want the Flash to suffer from Second Child You Took A Million Pictures of My Sister But None Of Me Syndrome, we decided to do it again.)
So yes, with both girls we wrote a lullaby for them, sang it to them whilst I was pregnant and then played and sang it to them when they popped out. I had the same reaction both times. They went from wriggling little babes in my arms to completely still bundles, eyes open and focussed, looking up at me. I have absolutely no doubt that they remembered it from before they were born.
But that’s not where we went wrong. The idea of writing a lullaby for your baby is a good one, it’s more the content side of things that you need to watch out for. One kid got a nice and traditional lullaby with a slow, calm tempo and beautiful theme. One kid got a midsummer dancing bush band inspired Swedish/Australian mash up. One kid sleeps. One kid doesn’t.
I mean, what for the love of God. After nearly a year in use it’s been a totally crap lullaby and apart from the first time she heard it, it only seems to excite and invigorate her.
So when our SuperNanny arrives next weekend and I ask for help getting the Flash to sleep through the night, I know she’ll say, ‘well you can take those damned headphones off her and stop playing that bloody song for starters’. SuperNanny 1. Lou Lou 0.
Do you need a SuperNanny? What jobs would you palm off to her/him whilst you were at work? Is that some of the best trumpet playing you have heard in a while?
[Photos courtesy of Ola Ericson + Sara Ingman/imagebank.sweden.se]