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Mommy Versus Nanny

My six-year-old and I get in our daily morning debates before school. This rainy Monday in late fall was no exception. I tell him to wear the raincoat.

“Zipper it,” I say. “I don’t want your t-shirt to get wet.”

“I can’t,” he whines and I get on my knees to attempt the zipper. The silver zipper puller thingy falls off.

“Ooh—can I have it?” he cheers. And I struggle to no avail. So we go with his bottom button holding the bottom of the jacket and his right hand clutching the top together.

“Put your hood on,” I plead.

“I like the rain,” he protests and has a skip to his step, despite my frustration. I carry my heavy umbrella over him (the corners dripping on me). I shift hands when my arm goes numb carrying the oversized beast over both of us.

“Are your feet getting wet?” I keep asking.

“No!” he repeats. “Why? Are yours?” he asks. He has always been considerate like that.

“Yes!” I grunt back. “They’re soaked together with my jeans from the knee down.”

As we approach school, we see Tommy, a nice boy. Another “duplicate mailing” in the parents’ directory—with one address on Central Park West and the other one a prominent Tribeca loft. Spring break in New Zealand watching his mother bungee jumping. So Tommy is walking akin to his grossly overweight nanny. She is carrying the Cadillac of umbrellas and is comfortably dry as Tommy lingers—feet swishing and t-shirt half saturated in freezing rain.

“Tommy doesn’t have to zip his jacket,” Jacob quickly points out.

To which I quickly reply, “Well, that’s the difference between a nanny and a mommy.”

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