It is always an interesting experience when you meet your clients for the first time. There are a few little butterflies that zoom around, while you wonder, “What are the parent’s expectations going to be? Will they have routines? What are kids like? Are they high energy or book readers? Will they like the bag of ‘tricks’ that I have planned for them?”
All of these questions flood my mind, but on top of all of them – I am a Manny! Yes, I have all of these thoughts, plus I am a guy.
I think most clients (new and returning) have, for the majority, experienced a female Nanny, but when a Manny shows up, it is very interesting to see their reactions, even though they know to expect me ahead of time. Nonetheless, I will tell you that being a Manny is a lot of fun!
I am ready to get down and dirty at the playground or build crazy sandcastles. I have the knowledge of Star Wars, Hot Wheels, and, of course, Transformers, and I can play a good game of ‘21.’ But my play is also very surprising to girls as well, as I can make friendship bracelets. I know how to string beads, play dress up, read and sing the storybook Munsch’s “I Love You Forever”. I know how to play dress-up with Barbies and can even sing a few numbers from many Disney classics!
I believe above all, what really breaks the ice are my magic tricks. If you don’t know any magic tricks, I encourage you to drop by any magic store, such as www.clowninaroundmagic.com and pick up a few moves. It is truly amazing how a few simple tricks will have them wrapped around your fingers.
One of my many favorite activities is a scavenger hunt! I love creating treasure maps that lead to clues and hints that are placed all around the house – and even outside. I recently created a scavenger hunt that required the kids to draw a picture of something that their parents love doing and then share it with each other before moving onto to a new clue. I will tell you: the kids loved it! And, you should have seen how embarrassed the parents were when they saw the pictures that the kids drew “describing” their favorite activity – sleeping!
Being a Manny in a female dominated industry has it challenges but I will tell you: for this Manny, its all about the ‘magic’ and finding out what ‘treasures’ kids really love!
Gary Lam – Vancouver Manny (Nanny of the Month, March 2011)