Sunday, June 08, 2008

Thank You and Godspeed!

Yesterday, I said goodbye to a dear friend, my son's nanny. She had been with us since Koy (aka Boz) was only one month old. She didn't have the faintest idea how to care for a baby back then, but because she needed work and I was making the most of my two-months' maternity leave, we mutually agreed to give it a try.

She learned fast and was never hard to coach. She did her work diligently to the point of getting mad at my in-laws whenever they interfere with her work. You could easily tell when she's angry or trying to keep her emotions at bay from the way she pouts her lips and the manner that she struts. The hubby never liked it when she did that. And me, I try to rationalize.

During the first two years, I sent her to Saturday classes where she learned manicure, pedicure and facial treatments, which selfishly served my parlor needs. She also learned basic dressmaking and pattern making. I thought the classes would be good for her so she won't be easily bored with work. But being a person who never really liked school, it became hard to sustain her interest so she didn't take up additional courses and stayed home to watch TV instead.

The next thing that we did to keep her busy was make her handle our mini-loading business. Our market was the people working with my hubby's family's small business and a few of my officemates. She managed the collection and reloading diligently. For that, she get monthly load allowance. I never really cared if I was earning or not, I just wanted her to feel empowered and not just see herself as a nanny to my son. Through the endeavor, I learned that I could always count on her honesty and integrity. She always gave me whatever she has collected up to the last centavo.

As a nanny, she was good to my son. She practically raised him, I should say. She was not the nurturing type, though. Again, because she never really knew how to care for a child in a maternal way. And also because she was the nagging type. She sure knew how to pamper my son, giving him what he wants, buying him stuff, even from her own pocket. Just recently, she bought him an Iron Man T-shirt and Cap for his birthday and nagged me for not buying my son character clothing. I was deeply touched, actually. We had our budget tied to buying the Transformers toy that Koy wanted to have so much that I didn't really thought much of buying him anything else. What she lacked in the teaching faculty she compensated with all the love and affection that she could give.

I could always count on her on anything, looking for stuff that I misplaced (and be nagged for it), withdrawing money (and be nagged for it too) and even tidying my things up when I go out of town (that she would do gladly without my asking her to). With her around, I never had to worry about my sons needs. I'd just give her their weekly allowance and she would buy him everything he wanted (but always within budget). She'd take care of his vitamins, his meds, things that he would need when we go home to Bacolod, his day pack whenever we go out to the mall (extra shirt, water bottle, two face towels, baby wipes, tissue paper and a small toy). She'd nag me about school fees and school projects and even went to the extent of borrowing money from my mother-in-law to enrol my son because she was afraid that they wouldn't get the schedule that they wanted because it was on a first come first served basis. And when I went home that night she said, "Mads (short for madam), may utang ka to sa kay Inday (my MIL). Ginpa-enrol ko na si Boz, kay basi ma closan na kami sa schedule no!" I was so embarassed but relieved to be bossed around. It's just that my midyear bonus was still a week away and well, money is scarce these days.

But for all the beautiful things that she had been, she was ill-tempered. She'd beat a dog to death for gnatting on her favorite shirt. She almost caused havoc when the neighbor's helper falsely accused her (the nanny) of making comments about her (the helper's) get-up (very short, tight-fit shorts and plunging tank top). And her nagging was non-stop when she had encounters with the hubby's aunts (whom we are living with). And she does it in the eskandalosa attitude: loud voice, pacing back and forth as if all the steam was about to go off her nose and ears. Her eyes almost popping out and her hair almost ready to turn into medusa mode. She'd turn into this monster ready to take on her prey. She'd come off it eventually, either by crying her self to sleep if not after days without showing any emotions.

That was that attitude of hers that we all didn't like. Sometimes, when she's angry, she'd vent it out on Koy, speaking harsh to him, losing her patience so easily and threatening to leave each time. We thought it wasn't healthy for Koy. We observed that he was imbibing some of his nanny's temperament. And we'd have to put up to it all the time. And so we decided that the next time she threatens or asks permission to leave, we won't be holding her off.

And so it happened yesterday. I entered the house with two bagfuls of grocery items and some funny and exciting stories about what happened to me at the supermart when she told me of her decision. She was leaving and she was not coming back. I didn't really know how to process it until I was able to unload all the groceries and talked with the hubby about it. The reason why she was leaving was she's had another verbal encounter with the hubby's aunt who was accusing her of hurting Koy when all she was doing was reprimanding Koy for being angry and almost running her (the hubby's aunt) off with his bike. "Anhon mo na siya, patyon?" the hubby's aunt said. "Twako, kung gusto ko na siya patyon, dugay na... ikaw na gani ang ginasakit sang bata, amo na nga ginasaway ko, ako pa ang malain." It was always like that, us having problems with trying to discipline Koy because she would always interfere, getting angry at us for making the boy cry, she'd say. And the nanny, being responsible for Koy, she must have just been too tired to fight it any longer.

It was painful... seeing her pack, seeing her turning over everything to the helper. But she didn't cry. At some point, perhaps, she'd been wanting that moment to come so she could finally make up her mind and leave. She's been held off far too long, her husband wanting her to leave last December, my asking her to stay until March, her saying that she'd stay until Koy's birthday. It was bound to happen, and it's time has come.

I cried... although I knew from the very start that she wouldn't be with us for long, I still cried. Because I saw how she loved my son. I cried because I knew, for all her character flaws, I've seen her grow in the years that she's stayed with us. She was like a small sister to me, stubborn, temperamental but very loyal.

It was time to let go. So she could start her own life now, be a wife to her husband, learn how to be a homemaker. I hope she lives the lessons she learned in the four years that she has been with us. That she will learn how to cook, eat whatever is served on the table (with no complaints), be accepting of other people's faults, be respectful of other people's opinions and be more considerate of other people's needs. I hope that she will start a family soon (giggles) and she will have kids of her own so she could love them more than she had loved my son. I would love it if she could also come and visit us whenever she wants, so Koy will not forget her and she will not forget him too. And we could still be part of each other's lives even no matter how far apart we are.

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