Believe it or not, but I once was a very highly sought after nanny. Despite my affection for swear words and drunken debacles that one might associate with being a bad role model– I get toddlers and they get me. I am well versed in diapers, know all the words to many annoying kids songs and make the world’s greatest mac and cheese. I can also potty train like a champion, if I do say so myself.
While there was nothing worse then being out on the the town with your friends and accidentally pulling Matchbox cars out of your purse when searching for your fake ID– the perks to nannying were numerous as a poor college student. I got access to a well stocked fidge, time to study during nap time and always had an excuse to go to the zoo. Plus, the kids were pretty fun too.
Skills I learned dealing with the terrible twos and temper tantrums has also taught me important skills in life– mostly, how to deal with drunk people. The science behind it is simple: treat drunk adults exactly how you’d treat toddlers that are having a meltdown in Starbucks because you bought him a broken cookie. Talk softly, talk slowly, patronize them just enough that they know you are in charge and never ever let them out of your sight.
While at a beach bar in Costa Rica, we coincidentally ran into a bachelor party of former Howard students. We immediately bonded over our shared love and/or hate for Washington, DC and how small the world seemingly is. One of the gentleman, that we’ll call Florida because that is where he lived, had been over served from the get-go.
Florida had tripped and fallen into the ditch upon leaving their beach house after drinking quite a bit of rum and taking a couple hits of pot for the first time in about 7 years (the last time he smoked he tried to convince everyone to take him to the hospital– I was told). By the time I met him, Florida was sitting at the bar half passed out resting his head against his bottle of water.
When he wandered off into the palm trees to puke– I organized the babysitting efforts, instructing people to get him bottled water and make sure he didn’t wander into the ocean. Once we got him situated and passed out in a plastic chair on the beach, he’d list back slowly even so often and we’d kick the chair to right him again. When the group went to leave, he tripped on a beach dog napping in the sand. I gave instructions for his hangover/if he kept puking (that was more from dealing with freshmen rugby players rather than children) and sent them on their way.
We ran into him at the airport in San Jose on our way home. Really, I hadn’t put my drunk whisperer skills to full effect, but was greeted with a large hug and a thank you for “saving his life”. In reality, I just watched him to make sure he didn’t asphyxiate, but I’ll take good karma– even exaggerated karma– where I can get it.