Monday, April 21, 2008

Standing up for Kayley - (Post 7)

Today was a busy day in the Kingston house. Mr. K did come home today, which was somewhat of a surprise to everyone, even Mrs. K. She seemed to have no clue whether he was going to arrive or not. He was already here when Kayley and I got up for the day. Mrs. K wasn’t even up yet but we came downstairs to find Mr. K sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee, as if he had been there the entire time. Kayley was excited to seem him and just about sprinted across the kitchen and hopped onto his lap. Even though Mr. K doesn’t pay much attention to Kayley he does treat her well when he does. He’s really sweet to her when he acknowledges she’s there. The problem is it usually only lasts for a moment or two and then he moves on. Plus he’s not home very often so the sweet moments are few and far between. I have to admit though, he treats her much better then Mrs. K does. She is definitely a daddy’s girl. They had a good little conversation, which mostly consisted of Kayley telling him everything he missed this weekend. The zoo was the main part of the story though. Mr. K was pleasant and encouraged her to keep talking. He seemed to be reading the papers in front of him more then listening but he pretends enough that she doesn’t notice. Even though this isn’t great, it’s still an improvement from the interaction between mother and daughter.

Kayley was already done with breakfast by the time Mrs. K came down. The look on her face when she saw her husband sitting at the breakfast table and what followed almost made me burst out laughing. It was pure shock, but not in a fun surprise party way. I don’t know why I felt the urge to laugh but it just seemed so ridiculous. She literally froze in the doorway. It took her a few moments to regain her composure and went full force into her “happy life” charade. She attempted to hug and kiss him but he was cold towards her. He didn’t hug her back and moved away before she could reach up to give him a kiss. This was sad to see. He’s not usually that cold to her so I was surprised. Mrs. K looked at me as if embarrassed and then turned away and began to tell her husband all she had planned for this coming week (which was news to me and Tara). I think she made it all up on the spot. He didn’t even pretend to listen but she kept on talking. She told him she was planning a big party for all their friends that will be held outside. From the sounds of her plans she is going all out. The only thing she hadn’t decided was the date. Soon she excused herself and disappeared.

About an hour later Mrs. K closest friend, Mrs. E arrived with her personal assistant (who’s name I never caught) who was carrying piles of books, brochures, and magazines and looked severely stressed out. The three of them disappeared into the formal dinning room and about twenty minutes later another woman arrived who introduced herself as an event planner. If you have enough money, you can get an event planner at your house in record time, even on a Sunday. For some reason she handed Tara and I each a card when she walked in. I don’t know why she did it, probably out of habit. I’ll leave her name and her business’ name out of the blog, but according to Mrs. E’s personal assistant, she is the best around. The four of them worked for four and a half hours, with only the personal assistant coming and going from the room to retrieve food and drinks. Honestly, I could care less about this entire thing but this party means the house will be very busy with all types of deliveries and setup. Last time she threw one of these parties the house was so busy even early in the morning. Sleep becomes impossible when the work is being done to prep the house. It’s more then just setting up flowers, they do everything from painting rooms, re-planting flowers and bushes outside and even demolition and rebuilding if someone decides it’s a good idea. It can be a true pain in the ass!

Mrs. K and Kayley did have a run in later in the day. It was right before dinner was ready and Mrs. K was still deciding details about her party. The other guests had left hours before but she barely left the dining room. It was on one of her trips to the kitchen for a drink that it happened. Usually when Mr. K is home his wife his much nicer to Kayley but it’s like she forgot he was in the house. Kayley, who was just happy to have both her parents in the house again was very excited to spend time with them .She would visit her dad his home office and then talk with her mother in the dining room. She did this for the better part of the afternoon. While Mrs. K was in the kitchen, Kayley had returned to the dining room to visit her mom. I was in the next room helping Tara fold some laundry and I saw her head in there. I went in just to check on her and she was patiently waiting on the chair next to the one her mom had been sitting in. She didn’t touch a thing and was sitting very quiet and still.

I didn’t leave the dinning room but turned in the doorway to hear what Tara was saying from the next room. While my back was turned Mrs. K entered from the other side and began screaming at Kayley. When I turned around Kayley was holding a piece of paper she had taken off the table. She wasn’t ripping it or damaging the paper at all. All she was doing was holding it and looking at the pictures of a flower display. Mrs. K was screaming as if Kayley had ruined everything. I can’t repeat what she was saying just because I couldn’t even understand half of it. She was being so frantic that I could only understand a few words here and there. Plus I wasn’t really listening since my main concern was getting Kayley out of that situation. Kayley was sitting there with a look of shock and tears streaming down her face. The nature of the yelling had both Tara and Mr. K in the dining room in seconds. I scooped Kayley up in the middle of this but it didn’t stop Mrs. K from screaming at her. I was walking out of the dining room as Mr. K stepped in the middle and literally told her to shut her mouth. I took Kayley upstairs to her room and held her as she cried. In between the tears and sobs, she repeatedly said, “I didn’t do anything!” From upstairs in her room I could hear yelling downstairs but couldn’t understand exactly what was being said. To drown out the yelling, I turned some music on and just held her as she cried while trying to calm her down.

Tara later told me what exactly happen downstairs. Turns out Mr. K stood up for his daughter. I was shocked to hear it and if anyone besides Tara had told me, I wouldn’t have believed it. Mr. K flat out told his wife that she was horrible to Kayley and that he was sick of it. He told her that she was a lazy mother and that their daughter will grow up to hate her. He then told her that if she ever screams at Kayley like that again, especially if she doesn’t do anything wrong, then he will divorce her. I was floored! Apparently Mrs. K only fought back in the beginning but then just stood there and took it. She simply nodded and walked away when he was finished. When she was gone, Mr. K told Tara that from now on he wants to know how every interaction that goes on between Mrs. K and Kayley. He later told me the same thing after I had put Kayley to bed. He gave me his personal cell phone number (even though I already know it) and told me that even when he’s not here, he wants to know if this ever happens again. Honestly, I don’t even know what to think. This is so far from what is normal in this house that I’m blown away. After their fight he came up to Kayley’s room and said he wanted to spend some time with his daughter. They ended up watching movies in the family room and seemed to really enjoy their time together. He was actually laughing and fully engaging with her. It was great to see but I feel so confused.

It’s a good thing that he seems to be stepping up and taking control of the situation, I just hope it lasts. I guess I’m worried this is only temporary. I didn’t see Mrs. K again after that explosion in the dining room. She called Tara to her room once to bring her something but other then that, she was quiet all night. Mr. K went to bed in one of the guest rooms. He’s never done that the entire time I’ve worked here. Tara has been here for almost two years and even she has never seen it. Things are changing in the Kingston house, that’s for sure.

I’m heading to bed. I’m very curious to see how tomorrow plays out. I think anything can happen at this point. I do have a feeling a divorce is coming soon no matter how Mrs. K acts. I worry for Kayley since I don’t know what that would mean for her.

I want to thank all the other nannies that are commenting my posts and sending messages. It’s great to hear from people who know how this job can be and how it pulls on your heartstrings. I hope everyone, including nannies and non-nannies, keep reading and sending me your thoughts. Thanks!

A confused and concerned nanny,


Marylia said...

Hi Mady, how are you? I just love your blog. I was a nanny for 3 years, and as you said is impossible not to love the children, even if the family just sees you as one more of the household personal. You are a great writer and thank you for being so loving and patient. Good luck and be strong.