July 22, 2007

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I held her baby in my arms, watching helplessly as she raced from room to room tipping furniture and tearing frames off the walls. I hadn't said anything remotely out of line, but ever since her husband came clean about his ongoing affair, she had been very unpredictable. As their nanny, my first reaction to this current outburst was concern for the baby; broken glass was scattered in a glittering warpath behind her. It was a miracle she hadn't been cut.

After she ran out of things to break, she threw open the window and screamed into the alleyway. The baby began to writhe in my arms at the sound of it. As the only sane adult in the house, I took charge: sat her down, told her to calm the baby, began gingerly gathering all the glass so that the house would be safe by the time the four-year-old got home from her play date. The glass was everywhere, had been pulverized in places, the dust filling the cracks between floorboards. An hour later, when I left, I swore to myself I would never return. Nothing was worth this.

I wound up working for them for another fifteen months. ~TB

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