Firsts and Milestones

One of the great joys of being a nanny is the privilege of sharing in “firsts.”  There are baby book firsts, such as first word; intentional firsts, such as first time ice skating; and cutesy firsts, such as first playground kiss.  As with any position, there is an element of tact.  Not many parents dream of coming home after the market takes a nosedive to hear that they missed their baby’s first steps.  The parents will always be the parents, naturally, but when a kiddo spends the bulk of their awake time with a non-parent, it is pretty inevitable that that person will be there for some of their milestones.

Obviously anytime safety is involved, I believe that it’s my duty to inform the parent(s) – e.g. Hey, yo: Your kiddo can pull herself up. It’s REALLY time to lower that crib mattress. For the most part though, there’s an unwritten protocol for each type of first.


Baby Book Firsts: Depending on the parent(s), it quite possibly just didn’t happen.  Your baby did NOT crawl today, but man, is he close!  I suspect he’s saving it to show Mom and Dad first.  Some parents expect to miss things and leave the video camera handy.   This group accepts that it’s going to happen and shares in my excitement for their child.  Another option is to record it on your cell phone.  Mostly these are technically “lies of omission.”  I’ve never outright lied to a parent when asked if their child has achieved a certain skill.  Milestones should be joyous, versus causing sorrow, and it’s pretty irrelevant if Junior first crawled at 10am or 6pm.  Junior crawled and that’s pretty awesome.

Intentional Firsts: If you know it’s a first and something that might be important to the parents, it’s good form to ask if it’s something they’d like to introduce to their child first.  These often happen at the request of Mom Boss or Dad Boss.  If possible and relevant, I try to get some footage – picture or video works.  For families with log books, I write up a good bit on the experience, for the parents and for posterity.  Log books needn’t be limited to naps and bowel movements. 

Cutesy Firsts: These are the moments that make up life.  They are unplanned and happen when they happen.  Sometimes I share them, other times I filter them out – totally circumstance-driven decisions.  When I filter them, it isn’t that I’m trying to hide something from the parents.  Rather it is that it was just one of the many bits of our day and unnecessary to mention – particularly when I know they’ve spent the last ten hours waiting to take their child to the park, versus hearing me yammer about said child.

Last week Boo had a “cutesy” first.  I’m using the term “cutesy” rather loosely there, as it was cute to me, but I know his mom would have been less than impressed.  ALL BY HIMSELF, Boo figured out how to make fake fart noises by zerberting his arm.  When I asked him what he was doing (I was making his lunch) he correctly identified the sound, informing me that he was making fart sounds.  He spent the rest of the time it took me to make his lunch alternating between making fart noises and saying, “’scuse me!”  At least he’s polite in his impoliteness.  The kid is clearly a genius; I’m so proud.


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