Dear The Supernanny,
I write to you today, as you have left me with no choice. I feel betrayed, set-up and inept. This is not a good position for me to be finding myself. Especially when it is quite obvious that I have failed Parenting 101: sleep and your 4 year old BOY.
as I impatiently waited for my husband to get off the computer so I could blog! and had nothing better to do, I happened to tune into your television show. My timing appeared to be perfect as you were administering to a family of 3 girls who were basically running their poor parents into the ground with disruptive bedtime routines, hence causing a sleep deprivation of major proportions. Although I am not an ardent fan of yours, I had watched you a few times before and was impressed by what appeared to be your common sense and wealth of experience. Hurrah!, I exclaimed to myself, this is very similar to our situation with BOY! Perhaps THE NANNY will come up with a viable plan!
You proceeded to demonstrate the Do's and Dont's of parenthood to this couple and in truth, I was on your side. The 3 girls appeared to be running roughshod over their parents and ruling the roost, so to speak. You demonstrated a few techniques, which seemed simple enough.
The first task addressed was to get their daughters to go to sleep on their own with the following steps:
- to tuck your child in, kiss them goodnight and walk out of the room
- when your child comes back out, walk them back in and say "it's bedtime, goodnight"
- when your child comes back out again, walk them back in and just say "goodnight"
- when your child comes back out, AGAIN walk them back in, tuck them in, and this time say nothing
- when your child comes back out at 36 or so more times, continue with step #4- the idea being that they will eventually "grow tired" and not come out of their room. [You failed to mention the likelihood of the parents "growing tired," especially those parents well over 40.]
The 2nd Task addressed what steps to take when your child awakens in the middle of the night and comes into the parents' bedroom:
- walk your child back to their room, tuck them back in and say "goodnight"
- walk your child back to their room again and this time say nothing
- walk your child back to their room again, and again, and AGAIN -saying nothing...until they "grow tired." [See aforementioned #5 under First Task.]
And so I say to your 2 tasks, with all verisimilitude, BLAST! BUGGER! BLOODY HELL & SOD OFF! THE NANNY has clearly not encountered THE BOY.
If I seem a trifle perturbed, that would be correct, Miss Smugger than Most Super DUPER Nanny. Because, THIS is what transpired at our home last evening:
I had tucked in my daughter and was on the computer. BOY and his father were playing in the living room and preparing to wind BOY down (Surely you jest?!), before tucking him into bed. BOY came into the office to kiss me goodnight and then went into his room accompanied by his father. His father sat with him for several minutes and then followed your technique, albeit haphazardly, since he hadn't informed me that he would be doing so [but, that is between me and himself], for putting BOY to bed. This is how it went down:
Husband tucked BOY in, talked to him for a bit, said "goodnight, see you in the morning, I love you" and walked out.
BOY came out. Husband tucked BOY in, said "goodnight" once again, walked out of BOY's bedroom and walked into the parents bedroom, shut the door, and had mom deal with it.
So, I took it ,
resentfully and like an ass bravely on like any good woman would:
BOY came out of his room. I walked him back in, said "goodnight, I love you, see you in the morning" and walked out.
BOY came out, I walked him back.
BOY came out, I walked him back.
Various screams, words of "don't leave me, fear of monsters.
BOY came out, I walked him back. [Am I repeating myself here?]
BOY came out, I walked him back. [This is SO Mommy's Nightmare Groundhog Day!] SILENCE on my part. I was ever the diligent Nannyfied Parental Unit.
Are you my mommy or are you a monster? BOY said in a fearful voice in the dark as I adjusted his covers.
O.K., Nanny, this is where we part ways. I admit it. I succumbed. It's bad enough when your own child is wondering if you really are his mommy or A MONSTER, but when a stuffed animal starts talking to you that is when I abandon THE NANNY WAY HIGHWAY and take it MY WAY. I sat down and talked to BOY, calmed him down and was with him for 10 minutes until he fell asleep. He was fairly disturbed by your technique. This was 9pm.
At 1:15AM there arose a scream. I ran to BOY's room and he was thrashing about in what could only be called The Night Terrors. As I tried to soothe him, he yelled out, "Why won't you stay with me? Why are you leaving me? No one wants to be with me! Stay mommy, stay!" He didn't recognize me, Nanny. My words didn't calm him. And Nanny, it was pretty unbearable let me tell you. He was holding on to fear that we had abandoned him and carrying it with him into his sleep. For lack of better words, IT SUCKED, Nanny. It only took about...45 minutes OR SO to calm him down and get him back to sleep. Obviously, we have chosen THE WRONG time in his development to pursue this line of sleeping alone.
And now I am in SUCH A STATE of depression and parental flagellation that I have resorted to drinking COFFEE, (of all things!), in the afternoon. You see, I am a tea drinker, like the lovely English lass that I thought you were. But, NOT TODAY! Oh, no, no, noooo.... Now I have joined the ranks of every strung out American Momiteer out there and am drinking iced coffee with 1/2 & 1/2 and chocolate syrup...just. to. get. through. my.day. without. throwing. myself. in. front. of. a. speeding. train. This may appear to be an S.O.S. It is not. I will be fine. So, will my BOY. I expect we may be in therapy now until his graduation from college, most especially if my mother reads this letter and finds out that her dear grandson, BOY, does not go to sleep on his own anymore nor does he sleep through the night. Sorry, Mom. Mom? Mom? Oh, GOD, now she's gone racing for the train tracks!! I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY, MISS. NANNY SMARTYASSPANTS, YOU HAVE NOW FUCKED UP 3 GENERATIONS! The therapy of untold horrors.
Perhaps I digressed. Let us not forget the main reason I am writing to you and that is to let you know that I will not be watching your "show" again anytime soon. No, I've picked up enough of your "tips" and have decided to just bite the bullet and go without your advice. I will be tuning out. Go forth, you, you Nanny. Go forth and take on some other suckers. Because we all know that you are on television and that television is not reality. At least not mine.
***Photos courtesy of Google Images