30 Mar

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.


17 Responses to “Gloria”

  1. Irma Clement June 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    so glad to see that motherhood is agreeing with you. I’m also glad to see that you have started up your blog again. I wish you and Justin the best and hopefully i will get to see the two of you, as well as the baby, some time soon!

    • sefahey June 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Irma! How have you been? Thanks for your message! Will we see you again soon, I hope?

  2. John Macdonald June 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi Sarah!

    Pedro and Maria’s grandkids wear an unusual bracelet, with a small stone on it. They explained to me that this amulet protects the baby from the gaze of drunks and tired laborers. I always thought the laborer aspect odd, but your post sheds light on that. Maybe you can save on eggs if you get Lucinda one of those bracelets…

    See you in early August, si Dios quiere.


    • sefahey June 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Hi John! Great to hear from you! I’ve heard about the bracelet, too – kind of like the evil eye in Turkey, I think. Looking forward to seeing you in August!

  3. Kerry Donahue June 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Sarah – this is such an awesome post!! So glad to see you blogging again and hope life is treating all the Faheys well in Nicaragua 🙂 *hugs* to you all!!


    • sefahey June 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Thanks, Kerry! Hope you and the fam are doing well 🙂

  4. Caitlin Fahey June 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Love the Secretos! Keep ’em coming!

  5. Bclark June 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Ha, ive got my own Gloria’isms…by the 2nd wk, Gloria had bathed my baby in chamomile tea, layered boiled “catapanza” herbs on her head, wrapped her up in towels and then wanted to give her a tincture of flor de avispa and honey…all b/c of the “sol”. I put my foot down at the tincture, I told her that it was very dangerous to give babies honey bc of a potentially deadly microorganism..she thought I was crazy.

    • sefahey June 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      Apparently, chamomile tea solves pretty much any problem in babies under the age of 2 🙂

  6. Stew June 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Sarah — this is so great! I was cracking up. Sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it…I’m new to the working mom thing too. It’s so hard! I hope our girls get to meet sometime in the near future. Miss you!

    • sefahey June 23, 2011 at 2:11 am #

      Thanks, Stew! Hang in there on the working thing – there are days when it’s terrible, but also days when it feels nice to have an adult conversation 🙂 Sometimes, work is the greatest escape! xoxo

  7. crazynicaraguaKi June 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    haha, hi sara,
    and did you know that if you put your bag on the floor the money will run away and if you are cutting your hair you won’t have milk (or your babies hair…. forgot…). there is quite a lot!
    saludos desde alemania,
    I am very happy that you are happy with Gloria, indeed, we miss her a lot! (Luna is still asking for her, that is NO joke)

    • Sarah June 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      I love the stories! Gloria is wonderful – thank you for introducing us!!! Hope you guys are well.

  8. Great to meet you, and Gloria, via The Red Dress Club

    • Sarah July 25, 2011 at 1:21 am #

      Thanks for visiting JanMary!


  1. Are you my mother? « Mom's the Word - July 8, 2011

    […] struggled to get her to nap during the day.  Nights were improving, but days were labor-intensive. Gloria began nannying for Lucy around the same time and within a week, she had her napping twice a day in […]

  2. Calor de Vista « Mom's the Word - November 13, 2011

    […] barfing and fever, our awesomely caring yet superstitious nanny/maid/cook/woman-at-arms Gloria was of a different opinion.  She came in this morning and immediately put a red bracelet on […]

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