Monday, June 12, 2006

Mary Poppins

There was a sharp rapping on the front door this morning. Balancing the baby on my hip I shuffled over to answer it. On my doorstep stood a woman in a navy blue coat with brass buttons. She was carrying a carpetbag and a parrot-headed umbrella. Without a word she pushed past me, and stood in the living room gazing around with a sharp eye. Then she sniffed.

“It’s not much, but I’ve had less to work with.”

“Mary Poppins?” I asked, stunned. Tiffany just giggled and hid her face in my neck.

“Indeed. I believe you placed this ad?” She snapped her fingers and a small card appeared in my hand.

Wanted: One nanny willing to do double duty at raising me and my baby. Must have the strength of ten, the willpower of twenty, and the compassion of a saint. No benefits offered. Must be available to work for early mornings and late nights. Cheerful. Play games. Good sense of humor a necessity.

“Well, I – that is, I- I mean, I was just making a joke? Letting off steam on the Net. You mean you really do exist?”

“Honey, I ain’t the Easter Bunny. So you mean to say that you have no intentions of seeking outside services?”


Her shoulders slumped. “I knew it. I *knew* it. Do you know how many families have turned me down? I haven’t worked for months. Either there’s no money, or they have rules against imagination, or they are against punishment of any sort. Now those kids I feel bad for- they’re not taught any sort of consequence to disobeying. Where will they be when they go to school and then into the adult world?”

“Have you applied for unemployment?”

“Can’t. I’m not a legal citizen because I don’t have a birth certificate. I don’t have a SSN either. No green card. The only offers I’ve had are of a distinctly off-colored nature.”

“Why don’t you come in a sit a bit. Maybe we can think of something. You know, when I was working people called me Mary Poppins…”

Sniff. “Really.” She examined me down the end of her slightly tilted nose. “I don’t see the resemblance myself.”

As she went into the kitchen to brew a pot of tea, I shook my head and locked up behind me. This was going to be a Weird Day. With a capital Weird.

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