Need a nanny? Here's the right man for the job

September 05, 2006|By Susan Reimer | Susan Reimer,Sun Columnist

Position Wanted: Manny

My husband the sportswriter is considering a midcourse career correction, which is what you call a midlife crisis that doesn't involve hair plugs or sports cars.

Taking a page from the child-rearing practices of Britney Spears, who hired a former Naval Academy lacrosse player to help with the groceries and the kids, my husband has decided that he would make a terrific nanny - or, in his case, manny - for the children of the rich.

Very rich. Because he is not going to work for minimum wage and bus fare home.

"I figure, 100 grand," he said. "I'm talking about high-end, top-shelf, one-on-one, maybe one-on-two, supervision."

And he could get it.

Why? Because of all he brings to the job.

First of all, the guy is more Mr. Rogers than Mr. Rogers. Kids adore him, women want to knit for him, mailmen want to talk to him.

He once interviewed the children's television host and, at the end of the interview, Fred Rogers praised him for his sensitivity. How's that for an endorsement?

He's not a gourmet cook, but he can make all the foods kids like, including pancakes in the shape of dinosaurs, snakes or fire engines; really buttery grilled-cheese sandwiches; and beach-style grilled hot dogs. His scrambled eggs are a moist, fluffy marvel.

And can he color? You bet. Not only can he stay inside the lines, he can create custom coloring books for your children.

When our kids were little, he would collect them at the kitchen table with their paints or their crayons and produce whatever subject they wished to color: from jet planes to My Little Ponies.

He can create Halloween costumes and elementary school dioramas out of common household items. He handles a glue gun like he was born with it in his hand.

A product of Catholic schools, he can still diagram sentences. Your child's term papers and college essays will be in the hands of the perfect editor. And your child will never say, "Me and Paul." Your child will say, "Paul and I."

He hasn't had evasive driving training, but he drives so safely - that is, so slowly - that his own children, as well as other drivers, scream at him.

He is Mr. Safety. He doesn't trust amusement-park rides or playground equipment. He puts caps back on medicine. He always watches out for hot stuff. He doesn't ride his bike without a helmet. He treats every knife like a sword, and he spots broken glass on the kitchen floor the way most people spot quarters on the sidewalk.

He can clean a kitchen better and faster than any one of Martha Stewart's quaking assistants, and he will wash and fold laundry all night, as long as there is something good on ESPN.

(It's genetic. He gets these skills from his mother.)

And his night-owl habits mean you can go to bed while he waits for your child to make curfew or finish the AP homework.

But here is his major selling point: After years in the sportswriting biz, the guy can take a look at your sonogram and tell you what sport your child is made for.

It is a gift. And in these competitive times, when any sporting misjudgment or delay can cost you a Division I college scholarship, he won't steer you wrong. He can watch your baby take its first steps and know whether your son has the hips for wrestling or your daughter has the long bones that predict height.

Not only can he pick the sport, he can supervise the coaching and training of your little Hall of Famer. After all, he has spent his professional life around many of the greatest teachers in sports. And his award-winning reporting on sports medicine means he can tell the difference between a sprain and a strain - and he knows the right wrap for every joint.

Now, you tell me. Is there any better set of qualifications for guiding your child through the formative years than those held by this patient and - some say - childlike man?

He is available for hire immediately. He has listed the names and phone numbers of his two children at the bottom of his resume.

Under "references."

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