Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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nannying and mars (though there’s no relation to the two).

Posted By on June 7, 2012 in Thoughts and Feelings | 6 comments

My feet are falling apart.

Well, hopefully not really, but they are cracking and isn’t it true that a vase in pieces started with just one single crack in the veneer?

This does not bode well for my feet.

I think it’s all the sum-sum-summertime walking I’ve been doing with a small monkey named C.

I have to admit, entering the world of nannydom is quite interesting. First of all, most of the other nannies at the park are not American. Plus, a lot of them seem to know each other. Hang out. Tell each other hilarious stories while their charges eat bits of sand and hope nobody notices.

Not to give the impression that these nannies aren’t serious about their job–oh no, they ARE. They actually remind me of alligators. You know, you see them at the zoo and they look one wheezy breath away from death at worst and utterly disinterested at best as they just lay there in the water like they do. But if one person so much as offers a bit of fresh flesh, the gator would be on them in a flash, dinner is served, who’s gonna be dessert?

And these nannies are quick like that, too. Alligator quick. Today I saw a chubby baby-ish child–probably nearing one year old, I’d guess–put something in her mouth and FLASH! KAPOW! WHAM! those nannies were on that baby and whatever it is she put it in her mouth never stood a chance, really. They are THAT good.

But I think I envy their camaraderie. The pace with which they match each other as they push their respective strollers.    Their pretty accents as they tell each other everything and nothing in the shade as their wards play a few feet nearby. Anyway, I find the whole nanny culture interesting in general, I think. And it’s a fun one to blend into.

Have you heard this nonsense about colonizing Mars? Apparently, once you decide to go, YOU CAN NEVER COME BACK. It’s like Charlie, you can never come back…! from All Dogs Go To Heaven, but way worse, because you’re not stuck in heaven, you’re stuck on MARS. Where you can’t even breathe, for goodness’ sake. And it’s so cold there–they’ll have to build a huge bubble to put everyone in and keep you warm.

‘Who would ever go?” I asked my friend, who was explaining the whole harebrained idea to me.

“Someone with no ties to earth,” he said, matter of fact.

“Who in the world (literally, the world!) has no ties to EARTH?!” I wondered aloud.

“Oh…” I realized. “Psychopaths. People with anti-social personality disorder…”

And then I thought that this might not be such a bad idea, after all.

Which perhaps does not sound very compassionate of me, but maybe you should read up on psychopaths and then judge.


  1. Rob the first June 8, 2012

    The world of nannydom sounds a bit like highschool-and you’re the new girl. But how could they not love you? You’re awesome.

    Confession: there are days when moving to Mars and cutting all ties with Earth sounds pretty darn appealing. You see, I’ve never really quite felt like I belonged here. I have often wondered if I was an alien that somehow got stranded on Earth. Kind of like E.T., only taller and with shorter fingers. Growing up, I fantasized that I was adopted since I didn’t fit in with my family very well. As it turns out, I share too many features and personality traits to not possess their DNA. So my family is my family, and Earth is my home. Mars seems rather inhospitable anyway; even for an alien like me.

  2. peaj June 8, 2012

    You! Always tuned in to the connections between people. You are so social, it is beautiful and inspiring.

    Personally, I am a big fan of the idea I read a while ago that before we go to Mars that we should practice our colonization techniques in a bubble built in some cold desert someplace. You know, somewhere inhospitable, but not 225 million km away from Earth, in case something goes wrong. Probably hard to get funding for that, though.

    • Robert June 8, 2012

      PeaJ, there have been many experiments such as what you suggest. Check out the book “Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void” by Mary Roach. It’s an amazing recount of just what it would require to travel space or colonize the moon or another planet. I won’t go too much into it(Heaven knows I blow up this Blog too much as it is) but the bottom line seems to be, We humans aren’t mean’t to be isolated for long periods of time either alone or in small groups. Every experiment(the longest of which was 60 days I think) resulted in serious mental distress and various psychosis which made it overly obvious that we have a looooong way to go exploring and finding our Inner Space, before we can ever hope to conquer Outer Space.

      • peaj June 8, 2012

        Sounds like a fascinating book. There has been a lengthier experiment called MARS-500 that built up to a 520 day mission-length simulation. The participants were reported to be in good health after the experiment ended.

  3. Evangelina June 8, 2012

    I can only imagine that someone who would be moving to Mars would have the same kinds of feelings/fears that some of the folks that decided to up and leave Europe before America was “discovered”, etc. We are a curious curious creature, we humans are. Those of us seeking “adventure” would surely say goodbye to our friends and families to search for bigger and better (and bubblier) things. I think I’ll be staying, anyway. I’m kinda comfortable here.

    KUDOS on the All Dogs Go to Heaven reference. I looove that movie! Charlie is such a great German Shepherd and that little girl is absolutely adorable.

    I don’t know what part of NY you’re nannying in, but I think it would be great if you and my friend Becca (who I tried to introduce you to on FB) could be friends. She’s American and has only been in NY for about two years, so she could use some more local friends like you 🙂 She takes her kiddos to central park a lot.
    My other nanny friends are all from other countries and live in Philly.

  4. Robert June 8, 2012

    For your poor little feets, you might try to invest in some Heeltastic foot cream, it’s some amazing stuff for real. Works wonders on cracked and dried out feet. Sure, cracks might foretell the crumbling of a particular vase, but remember there are still vases around that are thousands of years old(fine China and Porcelain from the Ming or Han Dynasties, for example). But these fine things are still around because people cared enough to treasure and care for them. With that in mind, I don’t think you’ll be crumbling any time soon. I like what Rob said about Nannydom being like High School, you just haven’t been the new kid long enough to be invited to join their ‘Clique’. But then, didn’t you say you were home-schooled? So maybe that parallel doesn’t hold much weight to you. At least you’re enjoying the experience, that matters a LOT!

    Around the time I finished reading the Narnia books, my dad gave me two Sci-Fi books to read: Alfred Bester’s “The Stars My Destination” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”(Rest In Peace, Sir…you will be missed). I have been a big fan of exploring space and other planets(especially Mars) ever since. The problem is, as you said, there is that point of no return…that’s one heck of a commitment. As much as I would like to see and explore other worlds, I could never sever myself from this world permanently to do so. There are just too many people I couldn’t leave behind. If we reached a point where we could visit for a few weeks, that would be a different story. But we’d probably just find Starbucks and McDonalds there, so it wouldn’t really be much of a change would it? I’m not so sure about shipping psychos off to the Prison Planet…Europe used to ship their criminals off to the Prison Island/Continent…..and now it’s a vacation Mecca called Australia 😉 HA!

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