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My First Week as a Manny

After my first week as a manny, I'm looking back on the highlights I have experienced so far in my new role

03/06/2016

 

I'm writing this in the car park of the local leisure centre. Tucked away all snug and secure within the confines of his car-seat spaceship protection system is the baby. He's asleep. When he awakes we will be walking to the soft play arena for some... well, soft play antics.

His nose has been streaming all day - he has not got a cold, it's just pure, untreated, baby gunge. And I have crashed through three packs of wipes in about nine minutes trying to clean him up.

Now turn the clock back one week...

The first day 

Turning up for my first day as a manny I felt as if I should have been dressed up in fancy dress or something - such is the rarity of a Male Nanny. I parked my car on a side street (not yet confident enough to park in their driveway), and paced nervously up to the watching house.

It was not an office. Neither was it a factory. To greet me, there was no HR representative with a folder or smartly dressed Manager with a performance plan. Nope. Instead, encouraging me through the door, were a welcoming mum and dad of two beautiful boys.

The baby was in the kitchen chewing on some toast. The eldest boy was relaxing in the lounge watching Sinbad.

First day nerves were present, but soon disappeared. Shadowing mum and being informed of routines were the order of the day to begin with. The welcome pack consisted of which cupboard the Weetabix was in. Great induction. Casual get-to-know-each-other chats and interacting with the kids was the beginning of my manny career.

The boys' mum took me to the pre-school of the eldest to be introduced to his teacher. She loved the idea of a manny. Box ticked. Great start.

Sole responsibility

Friday arrived. My first full day on my own. I arrived on time, and naturally a little apprehensive. Dad was upstairs as he works from home. Mum wished me good morning - we had a quick handover as we crossed paths and she set off for her commute to work.

Bang. The door slammed shut. The sound sent shivers down my spine. Kind of like when the lady in Paranormal Activity gets out of bed and looks over her husband while he sleeps. OK, maybe not that bad.

Anyway, I was now let loose to look after someone else's humans. I was responsible. Yes, I am a dad to a small daughter, and yes, I have had three years' experience of looking after children in a respite home, but I was now on my own for the first time (bar dad on his conference calls upstairs) entrusted with these humans.

That was the moment my confidence levels raised somewhat. I composed myself, took a deep breath, and just allowed my natural affinity with kids to take over. First job after turning up at 7:30? Change nappy. Yay. Thankfully there was no sign of a first-day category 5 trainee induction poo.

With the two brothers strapped in the back of the car, the three of us were out the door 20 minutes later for the pre-school drop-off. Complete.

The baby and I

Baby and I headed back to the car.

I now had an adorable, cute little human-baby sitting in the backseat all warm and comfortable. He was looking at me rather strangely, though. I could feel his piercing eyes on my neck. "So, who the hell are you"? his eyes ask. Mmmm. Yes correct. Who the hell am I?

"I will be looking after you three days a week, young sir."

"Oh. Since when?"

"Today."

"Okey dokey. Not a problem. First job - clear away that snot which is just about to enter my mouth."

We arrived back to the house. It was eerie. This was now my place of work. Could I just go into the fridge and help myself to some pineapple juice? Yes.

Baby and I had a little play time before heading out for a walk to gain some bearings on the local area.

Memorable lunch

We embarked on our first adventure to look at boats at the Marina. We had a packed lunch on a bench. The sun was shining, the boats were glistening and snot was streaming. It was a fantastic moment.

Back to the house for more play time. And subsequent school pick-up. Baby smiled as soon as I mentioned his brother's name.

Once I arrived at the eldest's pre-school, his eyes caught mine and they instantly lit up. He smiled at me.

He ran up to me and gave me his book bag. "It's too heavy, can you carry it, Andy?" I was under his thumb already.

Evening rush hour of dinner and bath all complete. Then back home to my daughter and wife. It's been a great first few days.

Back in the car outside the leisure centre the baby is beginning to awaken from his nap - I better hunt down some wipes from his bag in order to soak up his snot. Soft play here we come...

Andy Robinson, Working Dad and Tinies Manny

Find more child and parenting related articles on Andy's Huffington Post page.

 
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