I’ve been incredibly privileged in my life. I live in a home where I can get three meals a day. I go to the doctor and the dentist regularly. I even got to go to a private school on full scholarship. Now, I’m getting to go to college. In comparison to most people, I’m doing just fine. There’s no real need I have that can’t be fulfilled. However, I don’t always feel that way.
Going to private school, I was always surrounded by people who had exorbitantly more money than my family did. It made me feel poor, even though that’s not the case. However, sometime around my junior year of high school, I grew out of that insecurity. This was partially due to the realization that those people were not ANYTHING like the person I wanted to become. Their world views and lifestyles are actually quite repulsive. Of course, plenty exceptions to that rule can be made, but on the whole the world of the richer-than-gods is not one I want to be part of.
Yet, I can’t find myself disassociated from their slew just yet. The world of a nanny is remarkably similar to the world of private schooling. The families I work for are all richer than God. One family even owns a private jet. Although I love the families I work for and their children, I often find myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of growing up wealthy. So, here I am introducing a new segment to the Diaries of a Nanny series. It’s called “Entering the World of the Affluent Child”. It’s going to be about all the silly moments that just make me want to shake someone and laugh at the same time. These moments make me want to laugh because of their absurdity and how incredibly well it demonstrates just how the other half lives. These moments make me want to shake someone because I know THIS is the exact reason kids of this class turn out to be such awful people in the end; their parents screw them up in an endless number of ways.
So, to kick off this new series is one of the best stories I have.
Josie is an uncontrollable child. She doesn’t really have discipline or structure in her home life. So, meltdowns are a frequent occurrence. Whether it’s because she doesn’t want to brush her hair, eat her dinner, take a bath, or anything else imaginable, tears are almost always inevitable. However, the most frequent reason for a full blown calamity would be the neighbors.
Josie lives in a townhouse. She shares a wall with a family that has three daughters. Now, these three girls can be even worse than Josie. They literally have no boundaries in their lives. So, put all of them together and it makes for some popcorn-popping drama. They will run between the two homes without a word to anyone. Next thing you know, someone is in full blown hysterics because someone doesn’t want to play the same game as someone else. But, no matter what NO ONE wants to stop playing. No matter how badly their feelings are hurt.
Just a few weeks ago, Josie was over playing at the neighbor’s home while I was feeding her little brother next door. The doorbell rings, and not surprisingly, Josie is on the front steps in tears. Apparently, she had hit one of the neighbors in the eye and had been asked to leave. Her interpretation of this event was that “My friends don’t want to play with me anymore. They’re so mean!” So, after nothing could be done to stop the tears, I picked her up, sat her on the stairs, and told her I would come back to talk with her once she had calmed down.
Upon returning, poor, little Josie was still sniffling. I explained to her that actions have consequences. If you hit someone in the eye, people won’t want to play with you. Her response, uttered over and over and over was, “It’s just not fair!” I explained, several times, that it was fair because she had done something mean and that sometimes taking a break from our friends was necessary. After about a hundred more times of hearing the words “It’s not fair,” I asked her, “What does the word fair mean?” You will never guess her response.
She looked me right in the eye and said, “Fair is when you get what you want.”
Holding back my laughter, I explained to her what fairness really is. But after the event was over, I couldn’t help realizing that it’s how affluent children think. They don’t know any better, practically regardless of how their parents try to teach them otherwise. Their parents don’t actually know better either for the most part. They know what fairness is, but they don’t understand it because it’s never applied to them. It could not have been a better example of how the 1% thinks.