I am a student who focuses on child development and parenting in an evolutionary context, so when I decided to become a nanny, I specifically sought out a family that practices evidence-based, “attachment”-style parenting. Since I am not a parent yet myself (suitable bachelors inquire within), I’ve heretofore only “practiced” attachment parenting principles in a peripheral sort of way (wearing my friends babies, etc). I am therefore super excited to finally have the chance to test the scientific principles “in the field,” in an everyday context.
My two charges are aged three years, and five months. It’s been two weeks, and every day I get these random thoughts that I text to Jamie, and we thought you guys might get a kick out of it. Here is two weeks in the life of an AP nanny.
- I just tried a ring sling for the first time evarrr! #Lifegoals
- These kids are suuuuper chill. Sometimes, I have to let the baby cry because I — being the infinitely flawed person that I am — have to urinate on occasion, and do not lactate (meal prep takes time). So he does cry a little here and there, but it’s really more of a loud whine. He never goes straight to that scream-cry the way most Western babies do. It’s much nicer on the ears. It’s anecdotal and therefore totally unscientific to say it’s the AP, but I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s the AP.
- I have worn a lot of my friends babies and stuff, but I’ve never actually done EC. I really really want to try it on him but I’m afraid to ask the family because it’s totally foreign and like, we just met.
- Paced feeding is a black hole, where the hole is your time and the Hawking radiation it spews out is all the productive things you could be using your hands to do.
- I refuse to use the Ergo for a child who is less than a year old. I am not a mom, therefore I can still be expected to make a reasonable effort to look “cool.” Slings and wraps, in my mind, totally pass for clothing. Especially if they coordinate with my dress. A sling says, “I’m cool, I’m hip, these kids are totally not mine, and yes you may have my number.”
- Developing opinions on cloth diapers. WTF is up with the 2-in-ones where the flaps come around the sides from the back and buckles UNDER the front?? Now I have to worry about making sure the insert goes behind the flaps so the flaps don’t get soaked with pee. Stupid.
- Attachment nannying = you WILL get that cold that they have, and it WILL hit you worse than them, because you are not breastfed. And it WILL ruin
your weekendtwo weekends.
- They gave me a manual. Before you laugh, it’s mostly just important phone numbers and stuff, but with a few info pages about paced feeding, handling breastmilk, etc. — stuff that most people can’t be expected to be familiar with. I legit knew everything in it. Funny thing I noticed: they employ a “loosey-goosey” version of RIE for motor development, which is funny because I plan on doing that too when I have kids. #matchmadeinheaven
- Part of me kind of wishes cross-nursing was ok in this culture? I mean I’m not saying I’d do it, but my boob is like RIGHT THERE and the face he makes when he wakes up looking for mom is sooo pathetic. Homeboy wants the tit. He knows I am an evil impostor and he is on. to. me.
- I have come to realize that my fight to NOT smell like breastmilk at the end of each day was a battle I lost from the start. If you have to pour it, you will wear it.
- This mom does not think you can carry a 5 month-old on your back. And, I mean, I don’t want to tell parents they are wrong? But you toootally can. One of my professors married a woman from one of the Gambian villages he worked in, and she was carrying their baby around on her back on day 3. I mean, I don’t do it, obviously, because mom doesn’t want me to. But this kid legit hates it when I squat down or bend over and I REALLY NEED A BACK CARRY OKAY.
- The anxiety-inducing task of pouring breastmilk into a tippy Comotomo while an angry five month old grabs at your arm was making me reconsider becoming a parent myself, when I realized that, as the DFAB of whatever breeding pair I end up in, I will not be the one to have to deal with this because I will have that shit on tap.
Wearing the baby means you cannot wear the toddler. This displeases the toddler. Actually, today Mom taught me how to wear both at once, using a woven wrap and an Ergo. I am now officially a pack mule.