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Nanny Cooking School? Really?

Photograph by Getty Images

I've always felt irritated when fellow moms complain about their babysitters not doing enough. Like emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry and preparing a nutritious meal that could be easily reheated, while also giving the kids focused attention, a safe place to develop gross motor skills, frequently changed diapers and minimum six new phrases in Spanish or Mandarin. Parents can't do that for their kids. Why should the hired help be able to?

It actually doesn't matter why, not to the monied parents who fear their children won't be the smartest, healthiest, most worldly babes of them all. These parents are always being enabled by new businesses catering to their every insecurity. These moms and dads are simply too busy to stand back and ask themselves, "Really?"

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Which is how we end up with services like marc&mark, a company that teaches the nanny how to cook. At least one family, profiled in The New York Times, was able to slay a big fear of theirs by engaging in marc&mark's services.

I quote: “We want to give Erela the advantage of having a palate diversified enough to enjoy all of the delicious food from around the world.” Mind you, Erela is 5. But she's in a roast chicken, and rice and beans phase, and the nanny is from Wisconsin and having a hard time distinguishing quinoa from cous-cous, the story reports. Stephanie Johnson and Dan Yashiv, global sophisticates and Erela's parents, expect more from this world than their country bumpkin nanny Ashley Hafkens could give. So now Ashley meets with nanny counselors who teach her how to debone fish and pick a ripe peach. Once they've worked their way through Whole Foods' line-caught offerings, the counselors will also compile a book of little Erela's faves (which includes kale chips so big win, Stephanie and Dan!).

They're getting a handle on Erela's palate problem before it truly gets out of hand.

I hope Ashley takes some time to compile her musings on this whole project—I'll totally read that book.

At least Dan and Stephanie can stop kicking themselves. They're getting a handle on Erela's palate problem before it truly gets out of hand. “We were too basic with her food in the beginning, so we want marc&mark to help us explore more sophisticated food that has some diversity and flavor,” she said. “I don’t want her growing up not liking curry because she never had it.”

Pressure's on, Erela. And Ashley. If the $2,500 Stephanie and Dan threw at this problem doesn't get Erela to nosh on more than chapati when out for cheap eats with friends, at least they're off the hook. They tried everything!

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Which goes right back to the beginning: obviously Stephanie and Dan can't debone a fish or make a reduction or glaze carrots for the Tunisian cous-cous. So, really. Why should the hired help be able to?

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