Screaming, crying, bratty children who hit, spit, kick, talk back, and basically run the household. Mothers who cry and stand helplessly aside, giving in, giving up. Fathers who hide at work or behind a cell phone while at home. Parents who look at each other and shrug when their children jump off couches and pound on each other. These are the people portrayed on Nanny 911 and Supernanny. These are the people in need of serious help. These are the people who give me nightmares.
Nanny 911 offers a gaggle of British nannies. Is gaggle the right word? I figure it’s the word for geese and it’s better than herd. Anyway, each show starts out with a horrendous family situation followed by the Head Nanny In Charge (HNIC—which stood for something completely different in the movie Lean On Me) recapping the horrendous events. So HNIC will open her book and discuss the spitting, biting children with the other nannies over a spot of tea. It’s all very, very British. So British that each nanny wears a cloak and nanny uniform. The HNIC chooses the nanny best suited for the job. Probably the one with the most ammo. Then the chosen nanny meets the horrendous household, observes, gives them all rules, reprimands everyone, and then, after more screaming and crying by both children and parents, all is well with the world again. Seems so simple.
Supernanny is all about JoJo. Jo is also British. I guess all nannies come from Britain, following in the footsteps of Mary Poppins. Only these nannies don’t offer spoonfuls of magic potion that cause hallucination to the point where nannies seem to be flying on umbrellas. Anyway, Jo doesn’t wear a stupid uniform or cloak and she doesn’t sip tea. She does, however, carry around a portable DVD player to continually watch and mock the wrong-doings of the parents before and during her intervention. Jo is famous for the Naughty Chair. So now we have All-American moms and dads using the term Naughty Chair, sometimes with a British accent, when trying to reprimand their children. And at the end of the hour? You guessed it. One big happy.
While both shows have completely good intentions, I have yet to sit through an entire episode of either one from beginning to end. I’m constantly flipping. Why would anyone want to watch screaming children? I don’t get it. I watch mostly to see the nannies scold the parents. So many parents just don’t understand how to talk to a child. They don’t want to play. They don’t want to really have anything to do with their children. So many of them, shockingly, lock their kids in different places of the house. Or threaten their children. Or call their children names. Or bicker with their children. Hello? You’re the parent. There’s no debate.
The nannies are pretty much take-no-prisoners kind of ladies. Nanny 911 nannies will play with the children and when one gets out of hand will look at the parent and say, “Well what are you gonna do now?” Heehee. They don’t really help until the parent gets it totally wrong. So awesome. Then Jo the Supernanny (hey, if she’s super, shouldn’t she have the cloak as a cape instead of the other nannies?) will show the parent footage of then doing the wrong thing and will say, “What was that???” Heehee again.
[b] And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: It reaffirms my lack of desire to have children and confirms the fact that most people shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.
I’m not talking about the good parents. I’m talking about the parents portrayed on this show. I have a strong feeling that there are more of them, the clueless kind, than the kind who know what they’re doing. Why can I say this? Because I’m a teacher and almost everyone I know is a teacher. Seriously, I’m really leaning towards a world like the one in Demolition Man where people had to be tested to have kids. Yeah, if you don’t know that your two year old is not in charge of the household, then you shouldn’t be having kids.
But here’s the more important question: In a knock-down, drag-out fight between Jo and all the nannies from 911, who would come out on top? I’ve gotta say Jo. She doesn’t have that clock weighing her down, and she’s friggin Supernanny.
Got kids? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com or visit http://christinamrau.blogspot.com