Monday, August 28, 2006

Nanny rant

Ok...she hasn't really started yet and already I am starting a rant. I was hoping that this would be the start of an easier time, but I think I am going to be mistaken. Some back story...

G's aunt has a friend (or someone who came from the same village in China) who has been babysitting for a couple in Jersey. We have always been told that getting a Chinese sitter to come out to "far away" jersey is difficult, but this was a rare one who didn't seem to mind the long commute. She is taking care of 4 kids and 2 adults. What???, you ask. 2 adults?!!! Yes, her duties extend to making meals for the adults whenever they came home. So if the adults came home at midnight, she would have to rise out of her bed and make them a meal. She also worked 6 days a week and worst than that, she doesn't really have a set quitting time at the end of those 6 days. One time she didn't get home till after midnight because the parents were delayed in returning home. We had heard about her more than 6 months ago and felt bad that she was in such a horrible situation. We had told G's aunt that if she had wanted to work for us, we would gladly welcome her. Since G's aunt and the woman came from the same village, that's practically family, right???

Fast forward to a month ago, G's aunt called G's mom and told her that her friend has had enough and wanted to quit. G's mom scheduled an interview over that weekend. We were going to drive into Brooklyn to see her also. At the last minute (actually midnight), she canceled via G's aunt saying that she had gotten home really late and had to get back that same day. Can we try to meet up next week? Again, we felt bad for her, having little more than 6 hours away from work before having to go back. So she rescheduled. G and I couldn't make it because we had already made plans for that weekend, so G's mom went to do an assessment. G's mom reported that she felt that the woman was competent and that she had already given notice to her employer last week. I found that kind of odd. She seemed fairly sure that she will get the job. No biggie. Nothing wrong with having confidence, right?

However some other little things started surfacing that have been giving me a really bad feeling. She insisted on weekly pricing though she is being paid monthly now. Again, she might have felt that she has been taken advantage of and is now trying to be more assertive. Not a big deal. G's mom negotiated rates for 1 kid for now and 2 kids in the future but she wanted to have the 2-kid rate starting immediately. (2nd kid is not scheduled to arrive till the end of November) Ok, so she wants to get a little signing bonus. Hmmmm....

2 weeks ago, intuitively I asked G what if her employer said that they couldn't get another slave .... I mean, nanny by the time she is supposed to start with us. G's mom talked to her about it and she assured us that since she has given her employer ample notice (~ one month) that they should be able to find someone else.

Fast forward to this morning...G's mom told us that the lady's employer has not bee able to get a replacement and she would have to start a week later. G's mom is going to take g for an extra week since we have already given notice at daycare. I am so ticked off by this.

If I were a new employee, I would make every effort not to annoy my new employer. If I were in her old employer's shoes, I would milk this for as long as I can. To be truly evil, I would even sabotage her chances with her new employer by keeping this up for another couple of weeks. There is no incentive for the old employer to find someone new. They have someone who almost works for pennies and seems really loyal to them.

G's mom said that the woman suggested that we could put g back into daycare for the meantime. What gives her the right to make recommendations like that? How does she know what our situation in daycare is like? We could have told off her daycare and can't take her back again. Daycare could be real sticklers and charge us a registration fee of $50 since we have technically given notice already. Who's paying that?

Side note: I was feeling really good about hiring a nanny this weekend especially when we brought g into daycare on Friday, happy and healthy. She came home that afternoon with the sniffles which progressed to sneezes which moved on to a runny nose that graduated onto coughing. Great, just GREAT!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sesame Place

The Family C took a trip to Sesame Place last weekend.

Here is father-and-daughter tubing...
g was slightly freaked out at first about the whole tubing experience.

But after a few minutes, she wanted to get into the water.

My personal review of Sesame Place:
One word: WEEKDAY!!! I thought that Sesame Place was a cool place to go, but the lines were crazy. For the more popular rides (Elmo's World and the Tube experience), the wait time was averaging about 45 minutes on line which is a long time for adults but unbearable for young kids.

A sample of the crazy line to go tubing.

Here's g, G and K finally getting to the end of the line.

The lines were getting me agitated. The food lines were even worst. Looking at the lines for food, you'd think they were giving the stuff away.

So my advice to all the mommies and daddies headed for Sesame:
Pack lunch for everybody. I packed food for g, but not for the adults.
Bring enough drinks. There are lines for that too.
I got g a wetsuit. I think this helps since there is a lot of soaking rides in Sesame. It prevented her from getting the chills from being wet and half-naked.
Need I say this again...WEEKDAY!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

g & G

Originally uploaded by tychuaco.
g's the one eating the peach (this was her second one) and G looking on. g is making sure that her dad keeps away from her peach. We had a great day peach picking which was originally scheduled to be a group thing, but we were having so much fun at the playdate that we had decided to just stay and let the babies play.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The making of Daddy's little girl

g woke up this morning quite late. Possibly due to her early morning waking, she spent almost an hour chatting to herself while intermittently asking to get up. So by the time she woke, G had gone to work. I had a client meeting locally so I was dilly-dallying. g woke up calmly at 8:30 AM. I had gone to her while she was still doing her morning stretches, still mentally trying to prepare for a roaring day of running around, eating and napping. g stretched for a minute more and then she looked me square in the eye and said, "Daddy?" I responded that Daddy was not home anymore. She then said, "Daddy, home?" Well, no, "Daddy went to work already. Daddy will be home later." Then she looked at me again as she laid back and scratched her head, "Daddy, work." She repeated this a few times almost reassuring herself that she has figured out where her daddy was. After this, she was ready to face the day.

Now, I don't often leave before G but I have never recalled anyone telling me that she asked for me after I had left. When I pick g up from daycare or when I come home, she would smile, give me a hug. After a few minutes had passed and she hears the main door opened, she would inevitably ask if that was Daddy.


Side note: Funnier story without the "awwww" factor. g has taken to imitating G. It really would have been a video that would have made America's Funniest. G had just gotten home and had begun to animately tell me something that happenned during the day. Right beside him was g babbling while imitating his gesticulation. It was so funny. That was the first time I saw her do it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A walk through 'boken

The family c went to Hoboken today for a little r & r. First there were the sprinklers. g is always hesitant to approach it at first, but once she in that rain of chlorinated water, she always ends up squealing with delight. Then a short walk through the park, a nice reclaimed area near the old Erie-Lackawanna (now Path) train station. There was free kayaking today also though we didn't go.

I don't think g knows that there's no camera on this phone.

who is g talking to?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Over the weekend, g has started to say "I -tah-tu" (translation: I love you) I don't think it is something that she understands or a concept that she has grasped as of yet, but despite an ignorance to what the phrase actually means, it is really nice to hear. She also tends to accompany this with a massive amount of hugs and kisses. She seems to enjoy hugging now or strangling according to G. She would clutch G tightly around the neck and say i-tah-tu again and again. All together now...awwwwww

New words that I remember:
* honny - hungry
* Khakuh - cracker
* ee-nee juis - ernie juice or apple and eve berry juice with ernie on the label
* sing - swing or park, often accompanied by arms swinging
* side - slide often accompanied with the words "sing" and "pak"
* huht - hurt
* chat chat - cantonese for brushing teeth
* sau sau - cantonese for washing hands
* pin pin - cantonese for diaper
* Mahrney - Barney (the purple dinosaur)
* papayee - papaya
* tai ji - cantonese for grapes
* nana - banana
* yo-gott - yogurt
* chiss - cheese
* kak-kak - quack-quack or duck
* umba - umbrella
* een - rain, only used when she wants to take out an umbrella, she would inform me that it's raining.
* soks - socks
* shus - shoes
* bibi - baby
* pakpak - backpack
* bahsh - brush
* potty - potty - she knows the word but refuses to use it.
* Iya - Olivia the pig
* Da-a - Dora the explorer

* she also knows parts of her body, mostly in English though she knows some of it in Cantonese too.

Songs g loves to "sing"
* tinkle, tinkle - twinkle, twinkle - her FAVORITE
* abc - ABC
* tang, tang, tah-tang, tang, tah-tang - theme music for the emperor in Star Wars
* bop bop - baby bop's theme song
* mah mahrney - Barney theme song
* I-tah-tu - "I love you" song from Barney