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Goodbye yaya/ nanny

on February 18, 2011

When I was pregnant with Buchi, I was still working full-time so I knew that we had to get a yaya/nanny. It was a good thing that my parents’ household had two maids so my Mom willingly trained the other one to be Buchi’s nanny. During the first month, I was really paranoid to let anyone carry the baby, so most of the time he was with me. Since I had to rest and recuperate from the operation (c-section), my father would carry/watch the baby while I catched up on some zzzzs. What did the nanny do, you might ask? She washed the bottles, baby’s clothes, prepared the bath, fixed baby’s stuff. She didn’t do any household work since she had to be clean and alert all the time in case I needed her. In addition to that she would bring my food, and sometimes massage my back to relax me when I expressed milk. She hardly touched Buchi up until he turned two months old (I finally overcame my fear and let her carry him for the first time)

She was a relatively good nanny considering she was young and did not have kids of her own. She would watch over Buchi while my husband and I were at work (I arranged a schedule that allowed me to be home by 4pm so that I would only be gone for a short period of Buchi’s waking time — he usually woke up at 10am). When Buchi turned one, she said goodbye. Buchi hardly remembers her since he was still very young. Her replacement (her cousin) was trained for a month, mostly on preparing his food (I cooked baby food in batches and this needed to be thawed properly) and following the routine (Baby Whisperer).

The second yaya was very energetic and it was easy for me to teach her nursery rhymes and play activities she could do with Buchi when I was not around. She followed the 2-hour tv time (we’ve experienced a lot of yayas who would watch TV all day and I wouldn’t be able to supervise the shows/language the kid gets exposed to). She said good bye 2 weeks after Buchi turned three. We spent a month talking and explaining to Buchi that his yaya would leave him for good and that she had to take care of her little brother in the province.

The day she left, Buchi was at my parents’ house. He said his proper goodbyes to her, smiling and waving happily even as she walked out the door that morning. He was cheerful the whole day and did not look for her. Then when dinnertime came, he just suddenly burst into tears. He was trying so hard not to cry, even chuckling at times. I had to be somewhere at that time (I know, bad mother), and my mom called me up so that I could comfort the little guy. He said he was sad that he was a big boy and that he has no yaya anymore.

Everyone around him made him feel extra special that week. He was showered with more attention. I was scared that he would start crying again and look for her. A few weeks after yaya’s departure, I finally found the courage to ask him. Do you miss yaya? He said no. I said, it is okay to miss yaya, I miss her too (I don’t get a time-out from running after Buchi now). He said that yaya is taking care of her brother because Buchi is a big boy. I think it was his way of letting go and telling me that he understands the situation. I’m really proud of my brave independent boy. Sometimes kids are more understanding than adults.


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