Gloria is Lucy’s nanny. I never thought I would have a nanny for my child. I was certain that I would, not-only care for our children full time, but also work, cook, clean, and fit into size 4 jeans 2-weeks post partum. Who needs help when I planned to be super mom? Needless to say, that did not happen. Three weeks after Lucy was born, my mom, who had flown in on Lucy’s third day of life, returned to the States and Justin and I were left completely and totally in charge of the care of our three-week old daughter.
As with most new parents, we did eventually find our rhythm – and subsequently broke that tenuous routine when we made the difficult decision that I would return to work part-time. That’s when we found Gloria.
The list of reasons to love Gloria is long – not the least of which is how she cares for Lucy as if she were one of her own – but another, simpler reason are for her “secretos” – or what we might call wives tales.
Gloria began working with us when Lucy was about 4 months old. A couple of days into her first week, I mentioned that I thought Lucy’s eyes might be changing color, as many babies’ eyes do over the course of the first year. “Of course,” she agreed….“es la marea [it’s the tide],” she added. She went on to explain that babies’ eyes regularly change color with the changing of the tides. They will be one color in the morning and another in the afternoon. Hmm. Well, we agree that they change – perhaps for different reasons.
By the way, did you know that if you kiss your child on the mouth, s/he will drool more? Even more interesting is that, apparently, you can, determine the gender of your NEXT child based on the shape of your current child’s nipples. If they are horizontal, you’re having a boy. Vertical – girl. If that’s got you stumped, you can always just pay attention to you current child’s teething patterns. If her top teeth come in first, your next child will also be a boy. Of course, I had to ask…what happens if your child has horizontal nipples, but gets her bottom teeth first?
Justin came home super sweaty the other day. He picked Lucy up as he walked in the door. Later, Gloria pulled me aside to tell me that we were going to need to wrap Lucy up in the same t-shirt later in the day. My Spanish competence is ever-evolving and I missed the rationale on this one. We did it anyway. Just to be safe.
Our landlord is building a new house, right behind ours. On any given day, there are 5-10 workers sweating it out in the hot sun. A few weeks ago, Gloria helped us to load some things, including Lucy, into the car. As we passed the workers, Gloria explained that we must not allow them to look at Lucy because of their “vista caliente.” If, by chance, they do catch a glance, Lucy could end up with the “pujo.” After 10 minutes of x-rated charades, we determined “pujo” to be constipation…we think. The same happens if a menstruating woman, other than the baby’s mom or nanny, holds her. And it doesn’t stop there.
If the child is unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the vista caliente and get the pujo, you’ve got some work ahead of you.
First, you must find an egg “del patio,” which is a street hen, not a farm hen, or your run of the mill grocery store egg. Only an egg del patio will do. Then, you must crack that egg over the lower back of said child with pujo. Add a few droplets of breast milk and mix. And mix. And mix. And mix. Mix until small black beads pop up out of the mixture. Once this happens, your child is cured.
So, Betty Crocker + Dr. Spock = Gloria?
Gloria had so many interesting secretos that I wanted to reciprocate the love. I explained that if you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish. And how a rabbit’s foot will bring luck. And most importantly, if the Red Sox are having a winning season, you can’t change your underwear (or your socks for that matter).
…and she looked at me like I was crazy.