Authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus tell us in their Note to the Readers before Chapter One of THE NANNY DIARIES that they have worked as professional baby-sitters for over 30 families in New York City. THE NANNY DIARIES is, however, fiction, they remind you. Despite the disclaimer, one can't help but wonder what autobiographical traces have seeped into the book. DIARIES is a striking, comical social commentary on the wealthy who look down their surgically downsized noses at the apron-wearers and stroller-pushers they've hired to run their households. Are the many references to Bergdorf's and Chanel nail polish and Manolo Blahnik shoes coincidental? I doubt it. Even in the most hilarious of scenarios --- and there are plenty of those in DIARIES --- the high end product-name-dropping rings too true not to be accurate reflections of the skewed priorities set by Park Avenue's finest residents.
But enough of my commentary. Who is Nanny? Nanny is a child psychology major at NYU, attempting to finish her degree and make her monthly rent payments. She accepts a position with the incredibly affluent X family caring for their four year old son Grayer for a few hours a week. What Nanny doesn't realize at first is that she has also signed on for the full-time care of Grayer's mother --- who doesn't clean, doesn't cook, doesn't work, doesn't do much of anything except shop for herself, schedule incredibly complicated days for her son and then neglect him.
If Nanny had read the facetious --- and yet prophetic --- want ad in the inside book jacket, she probably would have thought twice about applying:
Wanted: One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic, and selfless --- bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employee's Hermes bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.
Nanny, who does take it all personally, perseveres --- despite the growing demands