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Bizarre Nanny Requests

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Following the birth of my older daughter, I placed a classified in the local newspaper looking for a nanny. My requirements were pretty straightforward: Must adore children, speak fluent English and have a valid U.S. driver’s license. In return, I offered the opportunity to spend time with my darling baby girl, a competitive hourly rate, reasonably flexible hours and free food. We found a woman so wonderful that even when we eventually offered her a raise after she’d been with us for a while, she declined (we gave it to her anyway).

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I’m unquestionably high maintenance in most areas, but when it comes to someone caring for my children, they only really need to be committed and caring. However, not all moms seeking nannies are created equal. A company called Abigail Madison (not to be confused with Ashley Madison) specializes in providing “the highest quality home staffing services including nannies, housekeepers, chefs, newborn specialists, tutors and personal assistants for all types of households with differing needs.”

Abigail Madison once had a family living on Manhattan’s tony Park Avenue request a nanny who was also a “professionally trained chef and work 75 hours per week over six days,” according to ABC News. Other requests have included a nanny/professional beautician who could create “fancy hairstyles for the mom and 9-year-old girl every morning” as well as “shave the dad’s beard.”

I suppose if money were no object, I might want more in a nanny than someone who knows exactly how to cure my kids’ imaginary boo-boos.

Other families asked Abigail Madison to find nannies who needed to be prepared to accompany kids to Broadway auditions, set a formal table, speak fluent Tagalog or work a 50-hour week homeschooling six children for $9 an hour.

A few years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin advertised for a tutor for their two young children. Candidates needed to commit to two to four hours each day to teach the kids Ancient Greek, Latin, French and Spanish and help them master two musical instruments. The pay was $98,000 a year, plus a free apartment in West London in addition to free travel around the world with the family. For someone who is generally reviled, Paltrow easily comes out of at least this situation smelling like (gluten-free, organic) roses.

I suppose if money were no object, I might want more in a nanny than someone who knows exactly how to cure my kids’ imaginary boo-boos. Here are 10 ways I might be able to employ someone in my home, ostensibly to care for my daughters:

1. Wake them up for school. (Combat pay included.)

2. Keep them away from me until I’ve exercised, showered and had two cups of coffee.

3. Brush their hair. (Combat pay included.)

4. Find their most precious lovies that they forgot they had and never knew they needed until exactly 30 seconds before walking out the door to catch the bus.

5. Clean up after the nuclear bomb tea party they detonated created at breakfast.

6. Play the part of the punching bag as they play the part of the Holy Trinity (cranky, tired, hungry) when arriving home after school.

7. Wrestle them into a seated position long enough to let them whine about not wanting to do homework. (Combat pay included.)

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8. Make them four different dinners, each of which they will ask for and then refuse to eat.

9. Stage tense negotiations about the precise moment at which they will need to go to sleep, despite the fact that you have not fed them.

10. Put me to bed.

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