I'm a nanny for 4 kids, but hopefully by now, you already knew that. The youngest, we'll call him Jay-Z (ha, actual play on his name!), is just about 5, and started Kindergarten this year. Between him and his older sister, C-bear, I've been doing school pickups for going on 4 years now. 2 years of preschool and 2 of kindergarten.
While waiting around for the kids to get out of class, I can't help but observe the dynamics of the group of moms waiting with me. I won't go into years past, but this year is one where I've noticed very early on the types of people waiting, and I've broken it down into groups for your amusement:
The syrupy sweet moms: They usually have just one small kid in tow, and when talking to the child, even when scolding, they crouch down and talk all cutesy to the kid. This syrupy sweet voice often carries over to adult conversation.
The hiking moms: They usually wear cargo pants that are too short, often wear a baseball cap of some ugly washed out color and look like they're about to pull out a bag of granola from their pocket.
The twenty-something moms: Always seem to be texting, and are actually wearing clothes that don't scream "I'm a mom with kids under 5!" Their kids are dressed as miniature versions of them.
The volunteer moms: Always trying to get you to volunteer at the school. They probably volunteer at 5 different organizations, saving puppies and sick children while we're sitting on the couch watching tv.
The foreign moms: barely speak english, so they just stand around smiling.
The obligatory dads: Often just one, rarely two or more. If he's dressed as if he's just come from the office, the moms seem to be drawn to him and all want a piece of him. If he's dressed like a stay at home dad, they could care less.
The caregivers: This needs to be broken down into subcategories… The foreign live-in nanny: Most likely from the Philippines. Knows English quite well, and is always on her cell phone. The young live-out nanny: (Me!) Has a social life after work, other moms live vicariously through her. Especially if the nanny is still dating. The day home workers: Usually a younger one and a much older one towing 3+ kids.
The I'm nice to everyone moms: They usually come in twos, go around befriending all the others and then gossip about them all behind their backs, probably while drinking too much wine.
The whole social hiearchy is completely ridiculous and is a scene straight out of high school. We all stand in the same spots every day, talk to the same people, ignore the same people and judge the same people. I believe this to be a pretty accurate description of the people I've encountered the past four years, and it has barely changed during that time. I'm amazed.