In my post “In Search of the Perfect Nanny,” I listed my criteria for choosing a yaya (nanny), which are as follows: she should have protective maternal instincts, she should love being around kids, and she can tolerate kids’ mischief. Today, a new helper was brought to us. I realized, in the course of interviewing her, that I actually expect more from someone to whom I would entrust my son.
These are the questions I threw at her:
1. What’s your complete name? How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids of your own? How old are they? Where are they staying? What is your hometown? When was the last time you went home to the province?
2. Have you worked as a yaya before? Where, when, and how long?
3. Where did you last work? Were you fired, or did you resign from your last place of employment? Why?
4. What is your educational attainment?
After interrogating her, I laid down my house rules, namely:
1. Drink Vitamin C everyday. This is so that she’ll have a strong immune system so I am assured that she is healthy and capable of caring for my little one. I provide for this, by the way.
2. Take a bath early in the morning and wash herself at night. I also advised her to wash her hands always and make sure Justin’s hands are clean at all times. Hygiene is very important, especially when kids are involved.
3. Don’t spank the kid, shout at the kid, or speak harsh words. Be patient, gentle, and kind.
4. Be like a kid in that she should play with my son when Justin wants a playmate. Justin is an only son and the only time he gets to be with other kids is when he’s in school or at the playground.
5. Don’t text when taking care of my son, except when it’s an emergency. My son is at the stage where he’s most active and curious about his surroundings. To protect him from harm, the yaya should focus her attention on him and him alone.
6. Tell me when accidents involving my son happened, no matter how small (e.g., a bump on the head, a fall from the bed, a cut on his skin, etc.) in case he needs to be rushed to the hospital or be given first-aid treatment.
7. Don’t go loitering in the hallway or downstairs and gossiping around.
So tell me, are these too much to ask?